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A midwife is a healthcare professional that provides a wide range of obstetric and gynecological care. They administer compassionate care for childbearing people, newborns, and families across the entire pregnancy process, including prepregnancy, pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. Midwives often work alongside obstetricians and gynecologists, referring patients who experience problems during pregnancy to providers who specialize in those issues. While most assume midwives strictly manage pregnancy, many midwives see women throughout their lifespan for multiple reasons to include pregnancy, childbirth, sexual health, and reproductive needs.
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Our Midwifery Locations
TPMG Obstetrics & Gynecology – Hampton
2240 Coliseum Drive
Hampton, VA 23666
TPMG Obstetrics & Gynecology – Newport News
860 Omni Boulevard
Newport News, VA 23606
Da Vinci Surgical Systems Offer Improved Gynecologic Surgical Techniques
Because da Vinci robotics reduces the need to complete procedures with an open incision, patients can return home sooner with less pain and quicker recoveries.
Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ – Midwifery
Thank you for considering TPMG for your maternity care. At TPMG Obstetrics and Gynecology, we approach pregnancy and birth differently than any other maternity providers on the peninsula. Midwifery care, typically reserved for low-risk mothers, is integrated into every aspect of the care we offer our pregnant clients.
What does that mean for you? Midwife support for your pregnancy, labor, and birth, regardless of the complications you may experience. To decide if midwifery care is for you, check out these answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about midwives:
What is a midwife?
In Virginia we have two kinds of midwives:
- Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNM) are licensed (through the Board of Nursing), independent healthcare providers who have a bachelor’s degree in nursing and either a master’s or doctorate in midwifery. Most people associate midwives with pregnancy and birth; however, certified nurse-midwives also provide primary care, gynecologic and well-woman care, family planning services, and preconception care. Some CNMs even provide care for the well newborn. CNMs have prescriptive authority.
- Certified Professional Midwives (CPM)/Licensed Midwives are licensed (through the Board of Medicine: Midwifery Advisory Board) providers who are not required to be nurses. Their training is through an apprenticeship with a qualified midwife or by attending a midwifery program or school. CPMs manage women’s health care related primarily to pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. In the state of Virginia, CPMs cannot prescribe, possess or administer medications.
What services do midwives perform?
TPMG midwives provide:
• Annual gynecological exams, pap smears, and screenings
• Management of low-risk pregnancies and co-management of high-risk pregnancies
• Education and prevention
• Breastfeeding support
• Sexually transmitted infection diagnosis and treatment
• Contraception counseling and management
• Management of common gynecologic problems
Which type of midwife will care for me at TPMG OB/GYN?
The midwives at TPMG OB/GYN are Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs). This means they can prescribe medications, order tests, and provide treatments for their clients.
What are the benefits of midwifery care?
Many studies compare midwifery-led care with care provided by other birth providers. The results of these studies consistently highlight several benefits of having a midwife at your birth. First and foremost, midwives have a lower cesarean section (CS) rate. Midwives are not surgeons; their goal is a vaginal birth, as long as you and your baby remain healthy. Midwives prefer to use movement, position changes, and stretching to help your baby into the optimal position for birth, even if it takes a bit longer. As a matter of fact, the TPMG midwife CS rate in 2022 was 23%, significantly less than the national average of 32%.
Midwives typically have lower rates of labor induction and augmentation, in the absence of medical need. Women laboring with midwives have a significantly reduced chance of having a third- or fourth-degree perineal laceration. When babies are healthy, midwives promote the “Golden Hour” with immediate skin-to-skin contact and delayed cord clamping. Honoring the Golden Hour helps improve mother-baby bonding and breastfeeding success. Lastly, women who give birth with midwives have an increased sense of control during their labor and birth experience.
What is the difference between a midwife and a doula?
Midwives and doulas often share similar mentalities regarding physical and emotional support during labor, but they have very different roles on your birth team. A doula is a non-medical team member who is trained to provide continuous physical and emotional support to families before, during, and after childbirth. The midwife is the healthcare provider on the team and, although she will also support you physically and emotionally, her role is clinical. She is trained to pay attention to how your body and your baby adapt to labor. Her primary focus is to make sure you both remain safe throughout pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period. A doula is an invaluable member of the birth team but is not a substitute for a midwife or doctor.
I am not sure I want an unmedicated childbirth. Can I still have an epidural with a midwife?
Absolutely. TPMG CNMs provide evidence-based education to help you develop the birth plan that is best for you. Midwives specialize in unmedicated childbirth but, when attending hospital births, can provide you with a full range of pain relief options, including epidurals.
What if my pregnancy or labor becomes high risk?
For some women, pregnancy, and labor can transition from low or moderate risk to high risk rapidly. Midwives are trained to identify the difference between normal changes in pregnancy and changes that require additional care. In pregnancy, we collaborate with other providers, be that our OBGYN colleagues, maternal-fetal medicine specialists, or other specialties such as cardiology, endocrinology, or gastroenterology. If labor is a high risk, we work collaboratively with our amazing team of physicians to ensure we give both you and your baby top-notch care. If a surgical birth (cesarean section) is needed to help your baby arrive safely, a physician will join the birth team.
Will I see the same midwife throughout my pregnancy and at my birth?
At TPMG we have a team of providers including CNMs, nurse practitioners, and, when needed, physicians. We want you to feel confident with your birth provider when the time comes. With that in mind, we encourage you to rotate whom you see at your prenatal visits so that you have met each midwife when you arrive in labor.
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