It may surprise you to learn that the United States spends far more on health care, yet ranks much lower than other developed nations in many measures of health. Unfortunately, women’s health care is one area in which this is the case. Our purpose is to improve women’s health and maternity care in the United States by re-introducing midwives and midwifery care as important options that should be the norm for women’s health care services. The time is now for women everywhere—including you—to understand how midwives partner with women to improve their health throughout their lives.
The skills of midwives and their expert knowledge of women’s health care are often overlooked. Many people don’t realize how highly educated today’s midwives are, or think that midwives are only knowledgeable about childbearing. But providing care and guidance through pregnancy and childbirth is just part of the range of services offered by midwives. Many midwives can provide care for women of all ages—from teenage years through menopause and beyond. In fact, many women visit a midwife for women’s health needs before, during, and after pregnancy. This is one of the unknown truths about midwifery that we want to reveal.
Why is this initiative essential?
Your health needs are unique. To get the care that you deserve, you need a provider who understands you—your past experiences, current situation, future goals, work, family, sexual identity, and faith. You may never have stopped to think about what you want and need in a women’s health care provider. Midwives are a great option to provide this personalized care, but myths about midwifery and midwives prevent many women from considering using a midwife.
Public education and change go hand in hand. We aim to increase awareness and understanding of the different care options available. We do this by providing an outlet in which to talk openly about your health needs and concerns. We offer new insights about the midwifery profession that you can share with friends and family members to complete the circle of care. It’s time for real change – so let’s begin.
You can help increase understanding of women’s health care needs and the types of services that should be available to meet them. Our second goal is to offer education and options (so you can seek the best type of care and health care provider for your needs) and to improve your well-being through knowledge and resources made available through the initiative. Rather than telling you how you should maintain your health or who you should be working with, we encourage you to become aware of your health care options and make informed decisions based on what’s best for your own needs and preferences.
The American College of Nurse-Midwives
The American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM)—one of the oldest women’s health care organizations in the United States—is the national organization that represents certified nurse-midwives and certified midwives in the United States. With this website, ACNM aims to redefine how women understand the health care options available to them.
Learn more about ACNM by visiting www.midwife.org.