If you have chosen a midwife as your healthcare provider, the chances are that your prenatal care will be more personal. Midwives, whether we're talking about Certified Nurse Midwives, Certified Professional Midwives, or direct entry midwives, are known for their ability to listen to pregnant women and support them. Midwives tend to see pregnancy as a natural event that just needs a little guidance, and their approach is less medical than those of obstetricians, which is no surprise given the fact they are surgeons! But at the same time, midwives are very skilled professionals who will be able to monitor your health and your baby's health, to make sure everything is going well. So, what exactly will a midwife normally do at your typical prenatal appointment?
Midwife appointments might last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, and depending on your personal preferences and the type of midwife you are using you might meet her at a hospital, birth center, or in your home. Your midwife will probably listen to your baby with a doppler or later a fetascope, and measure the heart rate. She will also check your fundal height, which is the length stretching from your pubic bone to the top of your uterus.
As your pregnancy goes on and your baby grows, your midwife will also palpate your abdomen to check fetal position - it is amazing how they can determine the position of your baby just by feeling from the outside! Urine dips are pretty common at prenatal appointments with a midwife. They can test for glucose and protein in your urine, which can indicate a variety of conditions that may or may not require further medical intervention. You will also talk about your diet, how you have been feeling, and perhaps check your blood pressure. Some midwives weigh pregnant women, but this is becoming less common now.