DULLES, Va. — Expectant mothers have many decisions to make. It can be the most exciting but stressful time in a woman's life. A midwife takes a lot of that stress away and aids in preparation during all nine months. Here's what to expect from the midwifery program at StoneSprings Hospital in Dulles, Virginia. 

What does a midwife do? A midwife is a trained health professional who helps women during labor, delivery, and after the birth of their babies. Each state requires a different level of training, but in Virginia Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs) are registered nurses who have completed a master's or higher degree through a program recognized by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education. 

Who can benefit from a midwife? A midwife can be used for many birth plans, but is ideal for women who want less medical intervention and have had no complications during their pregnancy. Unless supervised by a doctor, it's not advised to use a midwife to deliver twins because this procedure can be more complicated. 

Why do some mothers prefer this experience? Having a natural birth using as little medication as possible is important to many women. The additional care that a midwife provides through the entire pregnancy is also appealing. Midwives are even a resource before the pregnancy starts. They provide family planning and preconception care. They watch over the mothers' physical and psychological health, and aren't just present during doctor's visits. At StoneSprings Hospital the midwife program is tailored to each patient's desires. "It's very low-tech, but high-touch," says Margie Brandquist, CNM and director of the program at StoneSprings. "Women have the right to choose what they want to do, and we support them in that."

This article is sponsored by StoneSprings Hospital

Additional information provided by WebMD and Mid Wife Schooling.

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