A person trained to assist a woman during childbirth. Many midwives also provide prenatal care for pregnant women, birth education for women and their partners, and care for mothers and newborn babies after the birth. A midwife may be a man or a woman. Depending on local law, midwives may deliver babies in the mother’s home, in a special birthing center or clinic, or in a hospital. Most midwives specialize in normal, uncomplicated deliveries, referring women with health problems that could require hospitalization during birth to a hospital-based obstetrician. Others work with physicians as part of a team. Legal qualifications required to practice midwifery differ between the US states and various countries. See also midwife, certified; midwife, certified nurse; midwife, certified professional; midwife, direct-entry; midwife, traditional.
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A person qualified to practice midwifery, having specialized training in obstetrics and child care. [A.S. mid, with, + wif, wife]

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mid·wife 'mid-.wīf n a person who assists women in childbirth see NURSE-MIDWIFE

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mid·wife (midґwīf″) an individual who practices midwifery; see nurse-midwife.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • midwife — [mid′wīf΄] n. pl. midwives [mid′wīvz΄] [ME midwyf < mid, with < OE (< Gmc mithi < IE * meti < base * me > MID1, Ger mit, Gr meta) + wif, woman (see WIFE): basic sense “woman with, woman assisting”] a person (now, esp., a… …   English World dictionary

  • Midwife — Mid wife , v. i. To perform the office of midwife. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Midwife — Mid wife , n.; pl. {Midwives}. [OE. midwif, fr. AS. mid with (akin to Gr. ?) + ? woman, wife. Properly, the woman or wife who is attendant upon a woman in childbirth. See {Meta }, and {Wife}.] A woman who assists other women in childbirth; a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Midwife — Mid wife , v. t. To assist in childbirth. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • midwife — (n.) c.1300, woman assisting, lit. woman who is with (the mother at birth), from M.E. mid with (see MID (Cf. mid)) + wif woman (see WIFE (Cf. wife)). Cognate with Ger. Beifrau …   Etymology dictionary

  • midwife — ► NOUN ▪ a nurse who is trained to assist women in childbirth. DERIVATIVES midwifery noun. ORIGIN probably from obsolete mid «with» + WIFE(Cf. ↑wifely) (in the sense «woman») …   English terms dictionary

  • midwife — mid·wife (mĭd’wīf′) n. pl. mid·wives ( wīvz′) 1) A person, usually a woman, who is trained to assist women in childbirth. 2) One who assists in or takes a part in bringing about a result: » In the Renaissance, artists and writers start to serve… …   Word Histories

  • midwife — 1. noun /ˈmɪd.waɪf/ a) A person, usually a woman, who is trained to assist women in childbirth, but who is not a physician. A hundred years ago, a midwife would bring the baby into the world going to a hospital to deliver a baby was either… …   Wiktionary

  • midwife — [14] A midwife is etymologically a ‘with woman’. The mid element represents the long extinct preposition mid ‘with’ (its Germanic relatives are still alive and well: German mit, Dutch met, and Swedish and Danish med). Wife preserves the original… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • midwife — UK [ˈmɪdˌwaɪf] / US noun [countable] Word forms midwife : singular midwife plural midwives UK [ˈmɪdˌwaɪvz] / US a nurse whose job is to look after women when they are giving birth to a baby …   English dictionary

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