FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions:

What’s a certified nurse midwife?

Midwifery in the U.S. is as old as the country itself. Midwife-attended childbirth was a customary practice up until the earliest part of the 20th century, when a number of medical groups, pushing obstetrical care, recommended hospitalization for all deliveries and the gradual abolition of midwifery. By the 1970s, the role of nurse-midwives began to broaden—thanks, in part, to national certification for nurse-midwives and a number of studies that found positive outcomes and cost savings associated with nurse-midwifery care. Certified nurse-midwife-attended births increased from about one percent in the mid-1970s to accounting for nearly 12 percent of all vaginal hospital births in 2013.

Today’s certified nurse-midwives are valued and trusted healthcare providers who provide women with a low-tech, high-touch alternative to traditional gynecologic and obstetrical care. Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs) provide general health care throughout a woman’s lifespan. These services include general health check-ups and physical exams; pregnancy, birth, and postpartum care; well woman gynecologic care; and treatment of sexually transmitted infections. CNMs are educated in advanced pharmacology to prescribe a full range of substances, medications, and treatments, including pain control medications. CNMs work in many different settings, such as hospitals, health centers, private practices, birth centers, and homes. Most midwives in the United States are CNMs. [source: msnedu.org]

CNMs are advanced practice registered nurses (Nurse Practitioners) with graduate education (Masters level) in midwifery. Before pursuing a masters degree in midwifery CNMs must have met the educational requirements to earn a Registered Nurse (RN) degree and passed national certification (NCLEX) to become an RN. CNMs are required to attend a nurse-midwifery education program accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME). This education includes a university degree as well as hands-on clinical training by practicing CNMs. Graduates of a nurse-midwifery program must then pass the national certification exam of the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB) to be eligible for licensure to practice in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, & U.S. territories. [source: georgiamidwife.org]

As explained by the American College of Nurse Midwives: Certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) provide care starting with a woman’s first period until after menopause, plus all the important health events in between, such as:

  • Annual gynecologic exams
  • Family planning needs
  • Treatment of sexually transmitted infections
  • Care during teenage years
  • Care for pregnancy, labor, and birth
  • Menopause care
CNMs are independent health care providers. They also work with other members of the healthcare team, such as physicians and nurses, to provide the highest quality care. They work in a variety of settings, such as hospitals, medical offices, clinics, birth centers, and homes. Their care is covered by most insurance. When looking for a midwife who will best meet your needs, it is important to understand the different types available to you in the United States.

Types of Midwives

Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM) CNMs are registered nurses with graduate education in midwifery. They have graduated from a nurse-midwifery education program accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME). This education includes a university degree as well as hands-on clinical training by practicing CNMs. They also have passed the national certification exam of the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB). CNMs are able to prescribe a full range of substances, medications, and treatments, including pain control medications. CNMs work in many different settings, such as hospitals, health centers, private practices, birth centers, and homes.

Certified Professional Midwife (CPM)

CPMs prepare for a national certification exam administered by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) in different ways. There are two primary pathways for CPM education with differing requirements: apprenticeship training alone or an accredited formal education program. The health care services provided by CPMs are not as broad as those of CNMs. CPMs provide pregnancy, birth, and postpartum care for women outside of the hospital—often in birth centers or homes. CPMs are not able to prescribe most medications.

What’s the difference between the roles of physician and midwife?

Obstetrics and midwifery are two distinct but overlapping fields of medical knowledge and practice that focus on care during pregnancy, labor and delivery and postpartum.The main difference between doctors and midwives is that, while midwives are trained to deal with women who are having normal, uncomplicated, low-risk pregnancies, doctors are trained to handle any type of pregnancy including those with complications.

If you choose to see a midwife at Obgyne Birthing Center for Natural Deliveries and any complications arise with your pregnancy, or if any develop while you are pregnant and under the care of a midwife, you will be trusted into the care of one of our obstetricians.

Why give birth at Obgyne Birthing Center for Natural Deliveries?

Our facility feels like home away from home, with plush queen size beds fitted with luxury linen, each birthing suite has its own bathroom with walk-in showers as well as private gardens for each suite. Our staff are compassionate care providers who are attentive, professional and trained to provide exceptional expertise and guidance.