What is a Nurse Midwife?
A Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse with specialized training in Women's Health and a concentration in pregnancy, labor, birth, and care after birth. Midwives affirm the strength of women and recognize the importance of women's health in the well-being of families and communities.Certified Nurse Midwives use the Hallmarks of Midwifery, as developed by the American College of Nurse Midwives, to guide their care.
- Recognition of menarche, pregnancy, birth, and menopause as normal physiologic and developmental processes
- Advocacy of non-intervention in normal processes in the absence of complications
- Incorporation of scientific evidence into clinical practice
- Promotion of woman and family-centered care
- Empowerment of women as partners in health care
- Facilitation of healthy family and interpersonal relationships
- Promotion of continuity of care
- Health promotion, disease prevention, and health education
- Promotion of a public health care perspective
- Care to vulnerable populations
- Advocacy for informed choice, shared decision making, and the right to self determination
- Integration of cultural humility
- Incorporation of evidence-based complementary and alternative therapies in education and practice
- Skillful communication, guidance, and counseling
- Therapeutic value of human presence
- Collaboration with other members of the interprofessional health care team
Who does a midwife care for?
Midwives provide full-scope gynecologic and obstetric care for women from puberty through menopause, including well-woman gynecologic care, family planning consultations and contraception, and prenatal, pregnancy, and birthing care. Midwives support natural birth experiences and are trained to administer pharmacologic pain management if a patient wishes to have it.
- Well-woman care across the lifespan
- Preconception counseling
- Supporting mothers in labor
- Attending births
- Prescriptive authority
- Assist with cesarean birth