October 9, 2019

What Midwives REALLY Do

The role and practice of a midwife is often misunderstood. Many think this is someone who simply assists medical doctors, or they confuse the offerings of labor support doula with a midwife assuming this person has limited medical training and authority or just catches babies. (None of those assumptions are correct!) So what does a midwife REALLY do? 

In today’s episode of Yoga |Birth|Babies, I speak with certified nurse midwife, Tanya Wills. Tanya debunks some of the misconception of what midwives offer and thoroughly explains the different credentials midwives can earn. She also gives some helpful hints about getting your midwifery care covered by insurance! 

In this episode:

  • Learn about Tanya and her trajectory to becoming a midwife.
  • The difference between the midwifery model of care and that of a more traditional OB/GYN for both prenatal and postnatal care. 
  • The biggest misconceptions about the care a midwife offers.
  • An explanation of the different credentials midwives hold and what that means in terms of the services they provide. 
  • Home birth: what types of emergencies midwives are prepared to handle at home and what would warrant transferring? 
  • Midwives and insurance: how to get your insurance company to cover services of your midwife. 
  • How the landscape of midwifery care has changed in NY during Tanya’s career so far.
  • How the US’s midwifery model differs from many other countries ? 
  • One tip or piece of advice for new or expectant parents.
  • Where to find Tanya’s work! 

About Tanya:

Tanya Wills (she/her) is licensed in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. She is the owner of Manhattan Birth, where she and her team have helped thousands of expectant and new parents with “heartfelt, down-to-earth, no-purple-crystals” classes, support, and midwifery care in the childbearing year. She is a graduate of the midwifery program at Yale School of Nursing, where she received her Master of Science in Nursing with top honors, and also earned her R.N. (Registered Nurse). While at Yale, she received the Power Day Award, chosen by her peers as a promising healthcare provider who uses her power as a force for good. 

She completed her initial birth and postpartum doula training with Debra Pascali-Bonaro through DONA, International just 3 months after giving birth. She went on to complete her holistic doula training with Whapio Diane Bartlett through The Matrona deepening her capacity to nurture and connect with couples and their babies while reaffirming her belief in the human instinctual knowledge of how to birth.

Tanya earned her Certified Lactation Counselor credential in 2010 through Healthy Children’s Center for Breastfeeding enabling her to provide evidence-based lactation support and received additional training while at Yale with Julie Bouchet-Horwitz at Hudson Valley Breastfeeding as an IBCLC candidate. She trained as a midwife’s assistant with Ina May Gaskin and other midwives at The Farm. She is also a breast cancer survivor.

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