5 Myths About Midwives—Busted!

Midwives have the training, skills and knowledge to provide trusted guidance, encouragement and support.

Midwives bring special compassion, kindness and caring to a woman’s birth experience. Yet some expectant moms still think of midwives as old-fashioned and may hold on to mistaken beliefs about the profession, thus missing out on a wonderful option.

Providence Mission Hospital superstar certified nurse-midwife Allison Molinski thinks that’s a shame, and she wants to set the record straight about what modern midwifery is.

Molinski holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nurse-midwifery from Columbia University, as well as a bachelor’s in international development from the University of California, Berkeley. She has served families in the Orange County area since 2012.

Myth 1 | Midwives learn how to deliver babies only through hands-on experience.
Not true! At Providence Mission, says Molinski, “our certified nurse-midwives have a bachelor’s degree in nursing and a master’s degree in nurse-midwifery.”

That means that not only can they offer care before and after you give birth, but they can also help with routine gynecologic care. Midwives treat common vaginal and urinary infections, do Pap smears, perform exams and can order whatever tests, medication and imaging (such as mammograms) you may need.

Myth 2 | I’ll meet my midwife only when I’m ready to have my baby.
False! You and your midwife will get to know each other well during visits that ideally start at least three months before your delivery date. “We love to establish care with you early in your pregnancy and build a relationship with you and your partner over the course of your pregnancy,” says Molinski. “This partnership allows for the best possible experience during labor, birth and the postpartum period.”

Myth 3 | If my pregnancy is high-risk, I can’t work with a midwife.
“A common misconception is that pregnant people of ‘advanced maternal age’ are too high-risk to work with midwives, and that is not true. Age alone does not rule anyone out of midwifery care,” says Molinski.

“There are complications that can arise over the course of the pregnancy, birth and postpartum period. Sometimes these situations do mean that a mom-to-be will need to transfer care to an OB-GYN, but in most situations our midwife team can co-manage your care with a physician so that you can continue to work with us as your primary care providers.”

Myth 4 | I’ll have to have a “natural childbirth,” because midwives can’t provide medications or epidurals.
“Wrong!” says Molinski. It’s true that midwives are skilled at supporting women who want an unmedicated birth, but midwives also take care of women who want the pain relief of an epidural. “How people choose to labor and birth is a personal decision,” she says. “We are here to support families in their decision-making. There is no right or wrong way to have a baby!”

No matter what happens, the midwife stays in her caring role, says Molinski. “We are fortunate here at Providence Mission to work on a collaborative midwife and OB-GYN team, so if a physician is needed (for example, if a cesarean section is necessary) we have seamless access.”

Myth 5 | I won’t find out my baby’s gender ahead of time, because midwives don’t use advanced imaging or testing methods.
Nope! “Our midwives offer the same testing and ultrasounds as physicians. You can know the fetal sex early in your pregnancy, if desired,” says Molinski.

You can make a “meet and greet” appointment with one of our certified nurse-midwives by calling 949-364-1040

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