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Midwifery is a health profession that deals with care during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period (including care of the newborn). A professional in midwifery is known as a midwife; the term is only indirectly related to the word "wife" and is used regardless of gender, although most midwives are indeed female.
Midwives are specialists in childbirth, postpartum, and well-woman health care. They are educated and trained to recognize the variations of normal progress of labor and deal with deviations from normal to discern and intervene in high risk situations, such as breech births, twin births and births where the baby is in a posterior position, using non-invasive techniques. When a pregnant woman requires care beyond the midwife's scope of practice, they refer women to obstetricians or perinatologists who are specialists in complications related to pregnancy and birth, including surgical and instrumental deliveries. In many parts of the world, these professions work in tandem to provide care to childbearing women. In others, only the midwife is available to provide care, and in yet other countries many women elect to utilize obstetricians primarily over midwives.
Reference in Actor Atlas