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Finding a Midwife in Northern California

Midwives treat many women’s health concerns and provide pregnancy care, birth care, and family planning services. Many women choose midwives because they prefer a highly personalized approach to pregnancy, birth, and women’s health care. 

Dignity Health midwives in Northern California offer women quality, personalized care. To learn more about this birthing option, Find a Doctor at the following Dignity Health North State maternity and family birth centers:


What is a Midwife?

The word “midwife” means “with woman.” A midwife is a health care professional who provides health services to women, most often during pregnancy, labor, and delivery. A certified nurse midwife (CNM) is a registered nurse who has completed a midwifery program and passed a national certification exam. 


What Does a Midwife Do?

Midwives usually offer the following services:

  • General gynecologic care, including Pap smears and pelvic exams
  • Family planning and birth control services
  • Pregnancy care, including nutrition counseling
  • Labor support and pain relief 
  • Birth care
  • Newborn care
  • Breastfeeding support
  • Menopause management


Choosing a Midwife for Maternity Care

Like obstetrician-gynecologists (OB/GYNs), midwives attend births in hospitals and birth centers; some care for home births as well. Although midwives are trained to respond to medical emergencies, they cannot perform C-sections. That’s why they regularly collaborate with OB/GYNs and other medical professionals. In 2014, certified nurse midwives attended just over 12 percent of all vaginal births and just over eight percent of births overall in the US.

Midwives they treat uncomplicated pregnancies and births. They consider pregnancy and birth normal, natural events that do not require routine medical intervention. Your midwife will show you how to work with your body during labor and birth. Research has shown that women who use midwives for pregnancy care are less likely to need pain medication, including the epidural, more likely to move around during labor, and less likely to have a C-section. If your pregnancy is low-risk and you’re looking for a natural birth, you may want to work with a midwife. 


What to Expect from Midwife Care at Dignity Health North State

Midwifery care is a safe, effective choice for pregnancy, birth, and well-woman care. Midwives get to know their patients’ desires and needs so they can offer a highly individualized approach. A pregnancy visit with a midwife often lasts longer than many routine health appointments. Midwives consider each condition they’re treating in the context of a patient’s life. Midwives will educate and empower you by explaining your options and teaching you more about your body. 

Talk to your doctor if you’re considering working with a midwife during your pregnancy.

Dignity Health North State offer personalized pregnancy care through our midwife services in Mt. Shasta, Red Bluff, and Redding, CA.