Studies show that about 15% to 22% of women worldwide deal with anxiety and a fear of childbirth during their pregnancies, especially if they are first-time parents.
While it is totally normal to feel stressed about the unknown, there are many ways you can prepare to have a good labour and delivery experience. One way you can ease this anxiety about motherhood is by finding a good midwife.
A high-quality midwife will provide the tools and resources to prepare for labour and delivery. Do you want to learn more about choosing a midwife during your pregnancy?
Keep reading this guide for the top things you should look for when finding a midwife for your pregnancy.
One of the most important factors you need to consider when choosing a midwife is finding someone that provides you with respectful treatment. Every pregnancy and birth is different and different women have different needs.
You need to ensure that your midwife will respect your culture, your beliefs, and your decisions regarding what is best for you and your baby.
If you feel like your midwife does not respect you, it may be difficult for you to advocate for yourself during your pregnancy and delivery. A respectful midwife will provide you with the best birthing experience and will prioritise your needs as their patient.
Helps You Make Informed Decisions
It is also essential that you find a midwife that wants you to be informed about your options during your pregnancy and as you prepare to deliver your baby.
There are many different decisions that you need to make as you prepare for the birthing experience. For example, you may need help deciding whether you want to deliver at a hospital, a birthing centre, or in your own home.
A high-quality midwife can teach you about the benefits and drawbacks of each option to help you choose the option that works best for your needs.
Similarly, your midwife can help you learn more about the tests you may need during your pregnancy, potential medical interventions during your labour and delivery, and more.
When you are more informed about your options, you will be able to make choices that meet your unique needs.
Understands Your Needs
You also need to find a midwife that understands your needs and wants during your pregnancy and birth. Many women have different expectations when it comes to their labour and delivery.
For example, some people may prefer to give birth in a traditional hospital setting. Others feel safer and more comfortable delivering at a birthing centre or in their own homes.
You should feel comfortable discussing your needs and wants with your midwife. Finding a midwife that respects your birthing plan will help you feel supported throughout the entire experience.
Personal Attention & Individualised Care
Having personal attention and individualised care is something that you shouldn’t have to ask for when you are pregnant or in labour. You need to find a midwife that cares about you as a patient and is willing to provide you with the best care possible.
Having personal attention from your midwife will allow you to develop a trusting relationship with them, which will make the labour and birthing experience more positive.
Similarly, it will make it easier for you to discuss your questions and concerns during your prenatal and postnatal care. During your appointments with your midwife, you should feel like you are their only priority.
Prioritises Patient Education
Not only do you need to find a midwife that helps you make informed decisions, but you also need one that prioritises patient education. This is especially important as a first-time parent.
There is so much information you need to know about pregnancy, birth, and care for your baby. Without a reliable source of information, this can become overwhelming.
Make sure your midwife freely shares information with you about what you can expect during each step of pregnancy, birth, and recovery.
They should also provide you with suggestions to help you improve your nutrition during pregnancy and how to improve care for yourself and your baby after you give birth.
Part of a Larger Care Team
You may also need a midwife that is part of a larger care team. This can provide you with peace of mind, especially if a complication arises.
Midwives can work with other specialists in the event of these complications. Plus, your midwife may have others on their team whom they share on-call duties with. If your baby comes while your midwife is away, you should feel comfortable with others on the care team.
Knowing who is responsible for your care will help you feel confident that you are in the best hands possible.
Prioritises Your Long-Term Health & Comfort
Pregnancy is a significant change for your body and it can take months to fully recover. Because of this, you need a midwife that prioritises your long-term health and well-being.
Not only do you need ongoing support during your recovery, but you may also have additional concerns. For example, many women deal with mental health challenges during pregnancy or after delivery. A midwife that truly cares about your well-being will help you find resources to overcome your challenges.
Many new parents also need help getting the hang of caring for their babies, especially when it comes to breastfeeding. You may want to find a midwife that can provide a lactation consultation or additional resources to help you through these challenges.
You also should find a midwife that has suggestions for improving your comfort during your pregnancy. Pregnancy can be uncomfortable as your body grows and changes. One thing that may be able to keep you comfortable is getting a pregnancy massage.
This can help you ease pregnancy discomforts and prepare you for labour and birth!
Guides Through the Birthing Process
To feel prepared for delivery, you need a midwife that guides you through the birthing process. What might labour look like for you?
For example, you may want a midwife that comes to you once you are in active labour. This way, you will have continuous support until you are ready to give birth.
Many midwives also prefer to only intervene in the birthing process when necessary. This will keep you comfortable while still protecting the baby.
Lastly, you and your midwife should discuss your birth plan goals. For example, you may prefer natural therapies or non-medical techniques for pain management, like a TENS machine, water birth, aromatherapy, massage from a doula, rather than an epidural.
Your midwife can help you through this entire process. They can coach you as you are in labour to help you progress and avoid unnecessary pain. This includes recommending positional changes, offering counterpressure, and more.
Prepared for Emergencies
Although many births happen without any complications, there is a chance that you will experience an emergency during your labour or delivery. You need a midwife that is prepared for these emergencies.
Whether you have a preterm birth, need an emergency c-section, or have any other problems, you need to feel confident that your midwife knows what to do.
This way, there will be a lower chance of mortality for you or your baby during delivery.
Supports Through Recovery
Finally, you need to find a midwife that will support you through your recovery. After delivering your baby, your body will go through many changes. You will likely need time to recover.
You need to ensure that your midwife provides continuity of care through your pregnancy, to your birth, and for several weeks after your delivery as you recover.
You may even be able to find midwives that visit your home for your postnatal care. This way, you can discuss your needs as you recover from delivery. You can also ask questions about caring for your baby, like tips for successful breastfeeding.
If you need additional help during your postnatal recovery, you may want to consider getting a postnatal massage. This will help ease your discomfort as your body heals following pregnancy and birth.
Improve Your Pregnancy Care With a Midwife
Choosing a midwife is one of the most important parts of pregnancy and can greatly impact your pregnancy and birthing experience. Following each of these tips can help you find the best midwife for your needs.
If you need help with other aspects of your prenatal and postnatal care, Bella Mama Pregnancy Spa & Wellness Centre can help! We are a luxury spa in Auckland and we specialize in pregnancy massage and postnatal massage.
Contact us today to learn about our pregnancy massage services or to book an appointment at our pregnancy spa in Auckland.