"We Listen to Women": Exploring Midwifery in Virginia from Certified Nurse-Midwives and Certified Professional Midwives
The purposes of this study were to explore the work of midwives and their experiences with the medical community, and to examine their goals and hopes for the profession of midwifery in Virginia. To facilitate this purpose, the guiding research questions included: What do midwives believe the role of a midwife is? What are their experiences with the medical community? What are their hopes and goals for the future of midwifery in Virginia? Through interviews, focus groups and participating as a researcher-observer, I found that both certified nurse-midwives and certified professional midwives believe the role of midwife is one of support. Furthermore, midwives' experiences with the medical community are both restrictive and supportive, and both groups are pursuing the advancement of midwifery acceptance and practice through building relationships and advocating for midwifery. The dominance of medical authoritative knowledge of childbirth in the United States creates struggles for midwives. Consequently networking and consumer advocacy are cited as vehicles for the growth of midwifery.