The Midwives Model of Care

The Model of Care Matters 

Social scientists who are experts in women’s health, reproduction, and maternity care have identified characteristics that define models of maternity care. In 1979 sociologist Barbara Katz-Rothman was the first to define the difference between the medical model and midwifery model of care. In 1992, medical anthropologist Robbie Davis-Floyd described the technocratic and holistic models of birth. Others have provided further clarification. Each model is different in terms of scientific, humanistic, economic and outcome efficiencies and deficiencies, as well as effect on providers and recipients of these models of care. What is important to note when reviewing models of maternity care is that each model relies on different skills, tools, language, underlying beliefs, interventions, and power relationships between patients and providers.


Midwives Model of Care™ Is Client-Centered

The Midwives Model of Care™ is a fundamentally different approach to pregnancy and childbirth than contemporary obstetrics. Midwifery care is uniquely nurturing, hands-on care before, during, and after birth. Midwives are health care professionals specializing in pregnancy and childbirth who develop a trusting relationship with their clients, which results in confident, supported labor and birth. While there are different types of midwives practicing in various settings, all midwives are trained to provide comprehensive prenatal care and education, guide labor and birth, address complications, and care for newborns. The Midwives Model of Care™ is based on the fact that pregnancy and birth are normal life events. The Midwives Model of Care includes:

  • monitoring the physical, psychological and social well-being of the mother/birthing parent throughout the childbearing cycle
  • providing the mother/birthing parent with individualized education, counseling, and prenatal care, continuous hands-on assistance during labor and delivery, and postpartum support
  • minimizing technological interventions and
  • identifying and referring women/birthing people who require obstetrical attention.

The application of this model has been proven to reduce to incidence of birth injury, trauma, and cesarean section. 

(Midwives Model of Care definition is Copyrighted © by the Midwifery Task Force, all rights reserved)

Midwifery Model of Care Works Well in Any Setting

The midwifery model of care, whether practiced in clinics, private homes, hospitals or birth centers, has at its core the characteristics of being "with woman:" listening to clients, and sharing knowledge and decision-making with clients. The goal of the midwifery model of care is to support birthing people and their families in the process of birthing their babies safely, unhindered and with confidence. Every woman deserves access to the high quality, safe, personalized, attentive, affordable, and respectful care of a midwife. Personalized Care is Foundational to Midwifery Care

Midwives Have Excellent Outcomes

Across our planet, eighty percent of people alive today have been born with midwives. In many of the industrialized countries of the world, midwives attend approximately 70% of all births. The countries with the lowest mortality and morbidity rates for mothers and infants are those in which midwifery is a valued and integral pillar of the maternity care system. The midwifery model is a low-tech, high-caring model that produces excellent outcomes not only for low risk clients, but for vulnerable and at-risk people as well.