Definitions of Providers

Midwifery and family nurse practitioner care promotes the normal and natural physiological events that occur in all areas of the human lifespan.Women and families are unique with their own characteristics, strengths and weaknesses. Care should be given to meet the needs of the individual woman and family by advocating informed choice, shared decision-making and self-determination through gentle nurturing, education, and counseling. Care is given by “being” with the women and family, heart and hands of intuition, and evidenced base practice.Childbirth and menopause are transformational events in families and should be recognized as a time of growth spiritually, physically and psychologically. Interventions during the process of birth and menopause should be minimal, allowing the women to progress through this transformation gently and safely. Childbirth is a normal and natural physiological event, which will proceed to an uncomplicated end in most cases. Communications with specialist allow for collaboration, consultation and referral if necessary.Midwifery and nurse practitioner care are addressed in three different areas: community, family/women health and primary care.Midwifery and family nurse practitioner care provides community care through health promotion, disease prevention and education.  The midwife can promote health, disease prevention and education by “being” part of the community. Part of the problem of health care is the lack of interpersonal relationships in the communities.

  • Building interpersonal relationships: school, church, community events
  • Promoting cultural awareness
  • Advocates for vulnerable populations

Childbirth is a spiritual and family centered event and the midwife’s role is to help the mother and family achieve their goals.

  • Provide family center care: hospital, birth center or home
  • Encourage optimal health by education on nutrition, alcohol, nicotine, illicit drugs use
  • Promote individual rhythm or patterns in labor and birth
  • Use of non-intervention technology throughout labor and birth if uncomplicated
  • Embrace early bonding through breastfeeding
  • Encourage breastfeeding up to 1 year

Women/Family healthcare provides family planning, STI counseling, well women exam and episodic event. Trust is a necessary ingredient in building an interpersonal relationship with the woman and family.

  • Provide birth control options, education, and counseling
  • Encourage yearly well women exam
  • Use non-intervention therapies during menopause
  • Educate, counsel regarding hormonal replacement therapy


The word “doula” (DOO-luh) comes from the ancient Greek meaning “a woman who serves” and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth. During labor, Doulas can provide massage, aromatherapy, heat/cold compresses, suggest position changes, provide counter pressure, hip squeezes, and a number of other physical supports.

Doulas DO…

  • provide emotional and physical support throughout labor
  • suggest comfort measures
  • explain practices and procedures to allow for informed decision making
  • support the family in advocating for their wishes
  • refer family to community resources

Doulas DON’T…

  • perform medical or clinical tasks, including vaginal exams, or fetal heart tones
  • “prescribe” treatment