Mid Wife Week
This week is certified nurse-midwife week and will be celebrated nationally.
The only contact many people may have had with a midwife is reading about them in history books.
The word midwife means "with woman" in Old English. there are several of these nurse-midwives practicing in Gainesville delivering babies at North Florida and Shands A-G-H. Choosing the right doctor during pregnancy can be one of the biggest decisions a family has to undertake.
In the U.S. women's choices were once limited to obstetricians, but recently nurse-midwives have become a more popular alternative.
Jane Houston, a midwife from Scotland who practices in Gainesville, says that more than 70 percent of births are assisted by midwives in Europe.
And she says its catching on here.
"Twelve percent of babies are delivered by midwives here in Florida. That's 1 in 8 babies a very significant number. For the midwives here in this hospital its also all about building relationships with their patients."
Midwives spend time during prenatal visits addressing a woman's individual concerns and will stay with her as much as possible throughout labor.
You might think of midwives helping women give birth at home but nearly all births assisted by midwives are in hospitals or birthing centers.
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