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Definitions of Providers

Midwifery and family nurse practitioner care promotes the normal and natural physiological events that occur in all areas of the human lifespan.

Women and families are unique with their own characteristics, strengths and weaknesses. Care should be given to meet the needs of the individual woman and family by advocating informed choice, shared decision-making and self-determination through gentle nurturing, education, and counseling. Care is given by “being” with the women and family, heart and hands of intuition, and evidenced base practice.

Childbirth and menopause are transformational events in families and should be recognized as a time of growth spiritually, physically and psychologically. Interventions during the process of birth and menopause should be minimal, allowing the women to progress through this transformation gently and safely. Childbirth is a normal and natural physiological event, which will proceed to an uncomplicated end in most cases. Communications with specialist allow for collaboration, consultation and referral if necessary.

Midwifery and family nurse practitioner care provides community care through health promotion, disease prevention and education. The midwife can promote health, disease prevention and education by “being” part of the community. Part of the problem of health care is the lack of interpersonal relationships in the communities.

Midwifery and nurse practitioner care are addressed in three different areas: community, family/women health and primary care.

Building interpersonal relationships: school, church, community events
Promoting cultural awareness
Advocates for vulnerable populations

Childbirth is a spiritual and family centered event and the midwife’s role is to help the mother and family achieve their goals.
Provide family center care: hospital, birth center or home
Encourage optimal health by education on nutrition, alcohol, nicotine, illicit drugs use
Promote individual rhythm or patterns in labor and birth
Use of non-intervention technology throughout labor and birth if uncomplicated
Embrace early bonding through breastfeeding
Encourage breastfeeding up to 1 year

Women/Family healthcare provides family planning, STI counseling, well women exam and episodic event. Trust is a necessary ingredient in building an interpersonal relationship with the woman and family.
Provide birth control options, education, and counseling
Encourage yearly well women exam
Use non-intervention therapies during menopause
Educate, counsel regarding hormonal replacement therapy

The word "doula" (DOO-luh) comes from the ancient Greek meaning "a woman who serves" and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth. During labor, Doulas can provide massage, aromatherapy, heat/cold compresses, suggest position changes, provide counter pressure, hip squeezes, and a number of other physical supports.

Doulas DO...
provide emotional and physical support throughout labor
suggest comfort measures
explain practices and procedures to allow for informed decision making
support the family in advocating for their wishes
refer family to community resources

Doulas DON’T...
perform medical or clinical tasks, including vaginal exams, or fetal heart tones
“prescribe” treatment