Midwife vs. OB-GYN: What’s the Difference?

Midwife vs. OB-GYN: What’s the Difference?

Sep 13th 2021

Prenatal care is the care you receive while pregnant. When it comes to finding the right care for you throughout your pregnancy journey, you have options. Many expecting mothers refer to midwives, OB-GYNs, or a corresponding team of both during their pregnancy. Whether you’re pregnant or interested in pursuing a career in prenatal care, reflect on the midwife vs. OB-GYN: what’s the difference? Gaining a better understanding of the roles’ specifications and limitations can help you determine a preference.

What Is a Midwife?

A midwife is a healthcare professional who specializes in women’s health, though most people associate them with pregnancy and postpartum care. A midwife will work with the expecting mother’s OB-GYN or family physician to ensure they provide the best possible care. A midwife will often provide health services for the baby and mother after birth, too.

What Is an OB-GYN?

OB-GYN is an abbreviation for obstetrician-gynecologist. Obstetricians focus on pre- and post-birth health care and baby delivery, while gynecologists home in on women’s general reproductive health. OB-GYNs specialize in both obstetrician and gynecologist responsibilities.

Ways Their Roles Differ

OB-GYNs and midwives may both participate in baby deliveries, but they still have a couple of standout differences.

  • OB-GYNs can perform Cesarean sections, or C-sections, as they have the necessary surgical training and certifications. Midwives cannot legally perform C-sections.
  • OB-GYNs deliver babies in hospitals. Midwives may assist in deliveries outside of established health care facilities. A few alternatives to a traditional hospital setting include the expecting mother’s home and birth centers.
  • OB-GYNs typically tend to high-risk pregnancies or scenarios where the expecting mother has considerable medical issues that may cause complications throughout the pregnancy or birth.

How Are Midwives and OB-GYNs Similar?

After comparing midwife vs. OB-GYN roles and what the difference is, we want to acknowledge their similarities.

  • Both midwives and OB-GYNs strive to provide the utmost comfortability for the expecting mother and their baby.
  • Midwives and OB-GYNs perform rigorous training and receive relevant certifications for their practice.
  • Both positions maximize the health and safety of the mother and baby pre- and post-birth, as well as during birth.

Cascade Health Care has a complete inventory of high-quality pregnancy and birth medical supplies for both midwives and OB-GYNs. From midwife birth bags to various fetal Dopplers, our resources make it possible for prenatal professionals to create a safe and comforting space for expecting mothers, whether at home or in a health care facility. Peruse our site today to learn more about our expansive catalog of all things health care.