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Many people are under the impression that midwives exist specifically to support families through pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum recovery. However, midwives are also providers of well-person care and can provide annual visits, second opinions, holistic advice about fertility, contraceptive options, and so much more. As independent midwives not employed by a physician or hospital, we can bring you the extended appointment times and individualized attention that you need to feel confident about your healthcare.

Here’s five things you may be surprised to hear that we can help with:

1. Prescriptions

While many of our clients come to us looking for holistic options that they may not be able to get counseling on elsewhere, we pride ourselves on our ability to offer a wide range of options, and midwives in New York State have full prescriptive authority which means we can prescribe any medications that a physician can prescribe. We most commonly prescribe medications for birth control, existing thyroid conditions, and postpartum anxiety or depression.

2. Blood work

Unlike most offices in the area, we draw all of our own blood work. A midwife drawing your blood not only saves you the time you would have spent to go to a lab but also is particularly helpful for clients who have anxiety about needles.

3. Fertility consultation and intrauterine insemination

While some clients may eventually need the support of a fertility center like CNY, we can provide education about tracking your menstrual cycles and review your cycles for you as well as suggest modalities that may enhance your body’s own fertility. We can also order basic fertility lab work, though often recommend you follow up with a fertility specialist for anything that falls outside of normal or if conception is taking longer than a year.

For clients that wish to become parents with a same sex partner or utilize a sperm donor for another reason, we can provide in-office intrauterine insemination. We don’t prescribe medications for fertility, but IUI with a midwife works well for those who do not have underlying fertility complications and are able to track menstrual cycles and ovulation. We can consult with you about ways to maximize the success of medication-free IUI, and we can also provide instruction on performing IUI for couples who desire to perform it themselves in a more intimate setting at home. We promise, it’s easy!

4. Care for anyone who has body parts like vaginas, uterus, or breasts that might require tests like Pap smears, mammograms, or screening for sexually transmitted infections

We know a lot about these body parts and, regardless of gender identity, are trained in ways to support you to maximize your health. Any person who has a cervix, for example, needs a pap smear, and we can support you in ways to obtain a pap smear in the most respectful and sensitive way possible, from offering a self-speculum exam to simply taking a blind sample of cervical cells without a speculum.

5. Wellness for those who benefit from trauma-informed care

We assume that any individual might have a history of sexual trauma and recognize the ways in which sexual trauma can impact the desire or ability to seek out well-person care. We have open conversations with our clients about how the care we provide can help them feel most comfortable. For example, pelvic exams are not a routine part of our practice, and we discuss with clients what the reasons to do or not do a pelvic exam would be. When indicated and desired, we strive to make pelvic exams as comfortable as we can, allowing our clients to remain as much in their own clothes as possible, not using stirrups, offering self-insertion of speculums, and talking our clients through every step of the pelvic exam.