Journal of Clinical Nursing and Practice


A midwife is a health professional who cares for mothers and newborns around childbirth, a specialization known as midwifery. The education and training for a midwife is similar to that of a nurse, in contrast to obstetricians and perinatologists who are physicians (doctors). In many countries, midwifery is either a branch of nursing or has some links to nursing such as a shared regulatory body, though others regard them as entirely separate professions. Midwives are trained to recognize variations from the normal progress of labor and understand how to deal with deviations from normal. They may intervene in high risk situations such as breech births, twin births, and births where the baby is in a posterior position, using non-invasive techniques. For complications related to pregnancy and birth that are beyond the midwife's scope of practice, including surgical and instrumental deliveries, they refer their patients to physicians or surgeons. In many parts of the world, these professions work in tandem to provide care to childbearing women. In others, only the midwife is available to provide care, and in yet other countries, many women elect to utilize obstetricians primarily over midwives.

Relevant Topics in Medical Sciences