Never Ignore Your Doctor's Advice About Your Blood Pressure

I have always been in pretty good health, so I was surprised one day when my doctor told me my blood pressure was a bit high. She told me to begin watching my salt intake, start exercising, and to try to relax. Well, I intended to follow her advice when I left her office, but the next day I was back to my same habits. I kept using the salt shaker and didn't begin an exercise routine like I had planned. When I went for my next check-up, she told me that my blood pressure was even higher and approaching a dangerous level. I had to begin a blood pressure medication to manage it. I wanted to create a blog to share my story and remind people to listen to their doctors' advice. If a few lifestyle changes can improve your health, then you should make them.

5 Criteria To Consider Before Selecting Your Midwife

Health & Medical Articles

Once you have decided that you prefer to have a midwife assist you throughout your pregnancy and birth, you may be surprised at the variety of midwives that work in the United States. Before you make a decision on who to work with, you should ask yourself the following five questions. 

What Certification and Training do they have? 

Not all midwives have the same background and training. A Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM) generally has the highest level of medical knowledge as they are trained to be both a nurse and a midwife. Other certified midwives include Certified Professional Midwives (CPM), who are certified by the North American Registry of Midwives and Certified Midwives (CM), who are certified by the American College of Nurse Midwives, but are not trained as nurses. Direct-Entry Midwives (DEM) and lay midwives may have formal or informal training but have not been certified by one of the recognized boards. However, DEMs are usually licensed to practice in the state they live in. 

While certification may not be the most important aspect for you, it is important that you know what type of training and experience your midwife has. This information will help you decide if you need to seek other medical help if your pregnancy becomes complicated. 

Will your insurance cover their costs? 

Many states require insurance plans to cover the cost of a CNM if a woman elects to use one as opposed to an OB-GYN. Some insurance plans will cover part or all of the cost of a CPM or a CM; however, few plans will cover the cost of a DEM or lay midwife. Also, few plans will cover the cost of both a CNM and a second medical professional, such as an OB-GYN. For this reason, it is important that you speak with your insurance company before beginning pregnancy checkups and creating a birth plan. 

Are they allowed to practice where you want to give birth? 

97 percent of midwives deliver babies in a hospital. Midwives may work at a birthing center or offer home birth to their clients. If you have a particular hospital or birthing center you want to give birth at, you should speak with the center and select from a list of approved midwives. However, if you want to have a home birth, you may look for a midwife through certification centers or your local birthing community. 

How comfortable are you with them? 

One of the benefits of selecting a midwife to complete your prenatal visits and attend your birth is that midwives often dedicate more time and energy to educating each individual patient than physicians. However, to get these benefits, you will need to be comfortable admitting when you are uncomfortable with an aspect of your pregnancy and asking questions about things you do not know. 

Before you begin prenatal visits, you should interview your potential midwife to make sure you are comfortable with them and their methods. If you do not feel comfortable with them at any point during your pregnancy, you should have a frank discussion with them about your concerns and consider finding a new midwife. 

What do they think of your pregnancy and birth plan? 

With different backgrounds and experiences, midwives have a variety of preferences for pregnancy and birth. Whether you want to have an unassisted home birth or a medicated hospital birth, it is important that your midwife supports your desires. However, it is also important that you can trust them to give you sound medical advice if an emergency arises. For this reason, you should share your birth plan early during your pregnancy and make sure you and your midwife are a good fit for each other. 

Selecting a midwife you trust can help ease anxiety and make your pregnancy and birth a more pleasant experience. However, you should also keep in mind that you have your entire pregnancy to build a relationship with your midwife and make decisions about your birth process. For more information, see a website such as


29 July 2015