Midwives have begun to gain popularity in recent years. Known for care of low-risk patients, midwifery has become more appealing to many searching for affordable ways to bridge the gap between their physical needs, and their economic realities.
One of three midwife-led birthing centers in Maryland, the Bay Area Midwifery Center, in Anne Arundel Medical Center, is a hub for midwives and their clients. Mary Mayzel, a practitioner at Bay Area, stresses that the majority of midwives today work in hospitals. The lack of a “paternalistic” attitude towards providing care is central to Mayzel, and she enjoys working to help her clients feel heard. Midwifery also tends to avoid intervention when possible, although birthing centers provide easy access to hospital services, if they are needed.
Today, between 10 and 15% of births in Maryland are attended by a midwife, according to Mayzel, and the numbers are expected to rise. She stresses the individualization at her practice, and says she believes more people are starting to get interested in this type of care.