The Rapidian

Midwifery is a Booming Business in West Michigan

Midwifery and home births are growing in popularity in West Michigan, particularly Grand Rapids' families.
Midwifery Matters

Midwifery Matters /Leslie Cornwell

Midwifery means "with woman"

Midwifery means "with woman" /Leslie Cornwell

Midwives are with women. Midwifery care has been around for thousands of years and gives support during pregnancy and birth that is unmatched. Midwives care for women during preconception, pregnancy, and women’s health. The high quality, individualized care has been shown in research time and time again.  Homebirth is a safe option for low risk, healthy women. Women are learning there are more options for pregnancy like home births.  Births taking place outside of the traditional hospital setting increased 29 percent between 2004 and 2009, from 0.56 percent of all births to 0.72 percent — almost 30,000 births — according to a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

There is a great article, Home Birth After Hospital Birth: Women’s Choices and Reflections,  in Journal of Midwives and Women’s Health done by local birth supporters stressing why women are choosing home births after prior hospital births. Five themes emerged from the women’s narratives: choices and empowerment with home births, interventions and interruptions in hospital setting, disrespect and dismissal in hospital births, birth space at home having people the women chose, and different connection felt in their home births.

With the demand in West Michigan growing for home births, the midwifery practices are opening. “More than Birth-Midwifery,” home birth practice in Rockford opened this past fall, “Cedar Tree Birth and Wellness,” birth suite and resource center for pregnancy opens this spring in Grand Rapids, and “Midwifery Matters,” home birth and birth center practice in Greenville opening this summer. With more midwives graduating and home births increasing in the area, more midwifery practices will start to open. Women deserve to know the options available in their area. Most women are low risk and healthy and out of hospital births are a great option for these women.  With the Business of Being Born video by Ricki Lake and internet access to evidence based maternity care, women are learning and choosing midwives instead of the traditional hospital model.

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