Midwives Help Women Going Through Menopause

Posted on: 6 July 2015

In addition to providing pregnancy care, assisting with labor and delivery, and offering new mothers advice on breastfeeding, many nurse-midwives help patients manage menopause symptoms. In overseeing a woman's general health, nurse-midwives not only work with women of child-bearing age, but they also help women who are approaching the end of their reproductive years with health-related issues.

What a Midwife Can Do

Certified nurse-midwives are trained and qualified to help keep women healthy as they transition from perimenopause to menopause and then to the post-menopause years. Midwives who specialize in treating women as they go through menopause:

  • Diagnose perimenopause and menopause by taking a history of symptoms, particularly noting changes in menstrual pattern

  • Discuss birth control options as a woman can still become pregnant during perimenopause

  • Look for signs of depression during the perimenopausal period

  • Talk about the risk factors for cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis in women entering menopause

  • Suggest dietary and lifestyle changes

  • Recommend natural remedies to alleviate menopause symptoms

  • Prescribe hormone replacement therapy and other medications if needed

  • Perform routine pelvic examinations and Pap smears

  • Perform annual physical examinations

  • Refer patients for diagnostic tests including mammograms

  • Screen for other age-related health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, and cancer

  • Work with doctors in providing care for chronically-ill patients

Benefits of Working With a Midwife

Nurse-midwives generally are able to spend more time than medical doctors listening to their patients' concerns. Getting to know patients on a more personal level helps midwives determine the appropriate lifestyle and therapeutic approaches each individual requires.

Midwives typically discuss factors that commonly stress a woman at this stage in her life. While hormonal fluctuations can contribute to a woman's psychological symptoms as she goes through menopause, stresses unique to women of this age often account for symptoms such as irritability, anxiety, depression, mood swings, forgetfulness, and difficulty in concentrating.

Why Midwives Take the Holistic Approach

Nurse-midwives view menopause symptoms holistically, which allows them to have a better understanding of what factors may be affecting a woman's health. By focusing on mind, body, spirit, and emotions, the midwife takes into account the impact the loss of fertility and other midlife-changing events can have on a woman's health.

In addition to the physical symptoms of menopause, children leaving home, elderly parents needing more help, and retirement growing closer at hand can take a toll on a woman's overall well-being. Midwives help by keeping women informed about the physical changes and psychological stresses that can occur in their lives as they approach menopause. Providing women with knowledge and support as they adapt to the physical and emotional changes in their lives helps them remain active and healthy during and after menopause.

For more information about these and other women's health issues, contact a professional like those at Tri-County Women's Health Care.