What does the word "midwifery" make you think of? Probably a profession that focuses on the delivery of babies. While it's certainly true that midwives deliver babies, that's not all they do. Choosing a midwife for your baby's birth isn't the end of your obstetrics care relationship. Check out the other ways that a midwife can help you to stay healthy.
Whether you just had a baby or your baby is now old enough to have her own baby, a midwife can help take care of your reproductive health. Instead of visiting the OBGYN, a midwife can take over your yearly gynecological exam. This also includes PAP tests, basic breast exams, and any other annual needs that you have.
It's not time for your yearly visit just yet. But, you've been having some gynecological issues or aren't sure if something you're experiencing is normal. Instead of calling the doc, your midwife can handle most common medical issues. She has the training and experience to diagnose most gynecological problems and prescribe medications to treat them. If the problem is too complex or requires a specialist, she can refer you to someone who practices in the specific area that matches your needs.
You just had a baby and aren't sure if you're ready for another one right away. Scratch that. You're completely sure that baby number two definitely needs to wait. The midwife can counsel you, providing an expert education on various types of contraception. This includes prescribing hormonal types of birth control as well as offering longer-lasting options such as the copper IUD. While nurse midwives can't provide surgical sterilization services (you'll need a licensed surgeon for that) they can discuss the procedures available and refer you to a specialist.
Midwifery doesn't end when your child-bearing years do. As you enter perimenopause (the time period when your periods begin to end), the midwife can help you through this transition. She can evaluate your situation and discuss realistic solutions to symptoms you might have. This includes hormonal therapies, nutrition needs, sexuality, and physical activity.
Gynecological care is part of your healthcare routine, from your teens through your golden years. Even though midwives are well-known for pregnancy care, these specialized nurses do much more than prescribe prenatal vitamins and deliver babies. They provide women with regular care throughout their reproductive times—and for long after. For more information about midwives, talk to a doctor like George L Stankevych, MD.