Midwifery care is based on promoting health and dealing preventatively to avoid or minimize problems. Women being cared for by midwives are active participants in their own health care. I expect that clients take a high degree of responsibility for their health and that of their babies. Midwives are committed to providing a supportive approach to helping clients address risk factors such as drugs, smoking and alcohol. During pregnancy, I expect and encourage women to eat a balanced diet, become informed, participate actively in their prenatal care, and get adequate, regular sleep and exercise. If a woman doesn’t take care of herself during pregnancy she won’t be recognized as low risk and will need to be transferred to a different care provider.
As a midwife I work within a scope of practice governed by the state of AK (AS 08.65 and regulations 12 AAC 14) and consult with other health care providers when appropriate. Midwives provide care for women anticipating normal, low risk pregnancy and birth. We do ongoing screening of the well being of clients and newborns. Most pregnancies, births and postpartum periods are normal and do not require consultation outside of midwifery care.
Do I see a doctor as well as a midwife for pregnancy care?
No, licensed direct-entry midwives are primary health care professionals who provide comprehensive care to healthy women during pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period. If a woman develops health concerns that aren’t within the scope of midwifery practice as defined by the State of Alaska consults/transfers will be made as required.
I provide necessary supervision, health care, and education to women during pregnancy, labor, and the postpartum period; including attending births and providing immediate postpartum care of the newborn. The “practice of midwifery” includes preventative measures, the identification of physical, social, and emotional needs of the newborn, the woman and family, and arranging for consultation, referral, and continued involvement when the care required extends beyond the abilities of the midwife, and the execution of emergency measures in the absence of medical assistance.
Can midwives order blood tests and ultrasounds?
Licensed midwives can order routine pregnancy laboratory tests, such as blood work and ultrasounds.
How often do I see my midwife?
Midwifery visits begin when pregnancy is confirmed and end about six to eight weeks postpartum. Visits occur monthly until the eighth month, then twice monthly until the last month, then weekly until delivery. Appointments are approximately 45 minutes and include physical assessment of mother and baby (B/P, urinalysis, and fetal growth etc.). Midwives provide full care to clients and their babies until 6 weeks after the birth. You can expect to be visited several times after your baby is born. The first visit will be the day after the birth of your baby and then 24 hrs after your milk comes in. The next visits will be at 2, 4 and 6 weeks.