Midwives Model of Care

Medical Model of Care



• Birth is a social event, a normal part of a woman's life.

• Birth is the work of the woman and her family.

• The woman is a person experiencing a life-transforming event.

• Childbirth is a potentially pathological process.

• Birth is the work of doctors, nurses, midwives and other experts.

• The woman is a patient.



• Home or other familiar surroundings.

• Informal system of care.

• Hospital, unfamiliar territory to the woman

• Bureaucratic, hierarchical system of care



• See birth as a holistic process

• Shared decision-making between caregivers and birthing woman

• No class distinction between birthing women and caregivers

• Equal relationship

• Information shared with an attitude of personal caring.

• Longer, more in-depth prenatal visits

• Often strong emotional support

• Familiar language and imagery used

• Awareness of spiritual significance of birth

• Believes in integrity of birth, uses technology if appropriate and proven

• Trained to focus on the medical aspects of birth

• "Professional" care that is authoritarian

• Often a class distinction between obstetrician and patients

• Dominant-subordinate relationship

• Information about health, disease and degree of risk not shared with the patient adequately.

• Brief, depersonalized care

• Little emotional support

• Use of medical language

• Spiritual aspects of birth are ignored or treated as embarrassing

• Values technology, often without proof that it improves birth outcome