Faq about Midwives

What kind of training do midwives have?
Midwives are experts in normal, natural birth.  They are trained to recognize complications and either correct them or refer them to more specialized providers.  Many midwives (including those at BetterBirth) are specially trained in out-of-hospital birth, such as at home or in a birth center.

There are two types of midwives in Utah: certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) and direct-entry midwives (DEMs).  Nurse-midwives must train as and become Registered Nurses, then they go on to their midwifery education.  Direct-entry midwives, as the name implies, go directly to their midwifery training without training for another profession first, such as nursing.  Generally speaking, in Utah, certified nurse-midwives deliver babies in the hospital, and direct-entry midwives deliver in birthing centers and in homes (although there are exceptions to this rule).  There are both certified nurse-midwives and direct-entry midwives at BetterBirth.

All certified nurse-midwives must be licensed to practice in Utah, but Utah has a voluntary licensure law for direct-entry midwives. If she is licensed, you know that your direct-entry midwife has completed the requisite training and testing required by the North American Registry of Midwives for the Certified Professional Midwife credential, and has had additional training in pharmacology and neonatal resuscitation.  The training of unlicensed midwives is not regulated by the state and varies widely, so it is up to you to determine the qualifications of an unlicensed midwife.  All the midwives at BetterBirth have far exceeded the minimum training required for national certification.  We continue to advance our knowledge and skills with regular continuing education.

How do I find a qualified midwife?

Of course, if you’re reading this, you’ve already found qualified midwives!  But if you’re looking around and want to interview several midwives, you can search the internet or ask friends and neighbors for names.  Once you have some names, it is very important you ask direct questions to make sure the midwife is qualified to care for you and is a good match for your personality.

Will I have one midwife or do midwives rotate call?
Our midwives work in small teams, a concept we call Team Midwifery.  You will get to know your small group of midwives, and they will know you.  One of them will attend your delivery, or if you have chosen the Student Program, one of them will supervise the student managing your birth.  Our teams are not like "midwife roulette," where any one of several providers you barely know will show up to deliver your baby.

How are the midwife teams organized at BetterBirth?
Please click here to see who is on each team.

Will my whole team of midwives attend my birth?
No, only one or possibly two midwives on your team will attend your delivery unless your labor is very long.  In this case another member of your team may take over for the first so you always have a fresh midwife managing your birth.

How will I meet the midwives on my team?
We will rotate your prenatal visits so you have some with each midwife, but that's not the only contact you will have with your team.  When you have questions you can call in and talk to your midwives, and we will follow up with you.  You may also meet the midwives on your team through consultations about any problems you might be having during your care.

Will I have to repeat myself?
No.  Each member of your team will communicate with the others any important issues regarding your care so you only have to ask questions, express concerns, or make arrangements once.

How do I reach the midwife?
Our midwives and students are available by cell phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and you can call anytime.  You should receive the number to call at your first visit, but if not, it can be found in the footer of your weekly e-mail.

What happens if my midwives are on vacation, sick, or attending other women in labor when I deliver?
One of the purposes of our Team Midwifery concept is to always have a midwife on your team available to you, a midwife you know well.  In the extremely rare case that you need a midwife and none of your team is available, we will provide another equally qualified midwife to assist you. 

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"Where do we begin to thank you for such an amazing experience at the Better Birth Center?  You answered all our questions, eased our fears and supported us in each of our decisions.  The actual birth the support, help and respect we were shown was tremendous. Thank you to your midwife team, students, and support staff.  We will be back and we will spread the word!

- The F Family May 2012


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