Jennifer Caniglio, RN, is director of Bay Area Midwifery at Anne Arundel Medical Center. She writes here about being a midwife. What does your job entail?: Midwives see clients for both well-woman and prenatal care to include delivering their baby and providing post-delivery care. We provide delivery services in either a hospital or free-standing birth center, as in Bay Area Midwifery, located in the AAMC Wayson Pavilion. What kind of schooling or training did you go through?: I have a bachelors degree in nursing and a certificate in Midwifery from Philadelphia University. Midwifery training is a two year, full-time program that includes nine months of clinical training in which you work alongside another midwife. What inspired you to this career?: I always wanted to work with women. After delivering my first baby I knew that I wanted to offer support to women giving birth. It is an amazing feeling to witness birth every day. I chose midwifery over being a doctor because midwifery focuses on low risk healthy women, and looks at pregnancy as a normal body process and not a disease condition. Certainly there are times when pregnancy and birth becomes high risk and medical conditions do develop. We are trained to recognize and treat these conditions as they arise, often times in consultation with a physician, but for the most part midwives care for healthy low risk women. What do you like best about your job? The best part of my job is to see parents hold their child for the first time. I am often amazed at a fathers reaction to the birth of his child which is a very sweet moment. I also enjoy empowering women to trust their body in this process. My job is to support a woman in her plan for her birth, and to provide a service where she feels that she has a voice in her pregnancy. What are the challenges? Certainly there can be times when my judgments and the patients wishes can conflict. When pregnancies become high risk it can sometimes be hard to make my clients understand that sometimes to have a healthy baby a birth plan has to be deviated from. This is where trust is important. Developing trust helps make this an easier situation to deal with, but ultimately there are times when it is in the best interest of the baby or mother to intervene in a pregnancy. Luckily those times are very few and far between. As midwives practicing in Maryland we collaborate with a physician. I am fortunate enough to have a large pool of backup physicians, however, it is a challenge faced by midwives in Maryland. Average salary: In this area, average salaries for midwives range from $85,000 to $130,000 per year.
Courtesy of Anne Arundel Medical Center
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