Certified Nurse Midwife Questions and Answers

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Certified Nurse Midwife Near Me
Certified Nurse Midwife Near Me

A certified nurse midwife, also known as a CNM, is a healthcare practitioner that provides lifelong care for women, including during pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause. Nurse midwives that have qualities such as a desire to care for others and promote women’s and infant health can greatly contribute to their success. With their expertise, these professionals provide patients the education to make the right decisions for themselves and their families.

What does a nurse-midwife do?

The role of a nurse-midwife varies depending on state law; in general, their responsibilities may include:

  • Providing primary and specialty healthcare, including:
    • Conducting physical exams
    • Diagnosing, treating, and managing medical conditions
    • Some states let nurse-midwives write prescriptions
  • Treating women’s male partners for STDs
  • Counseling and educating patients
  • Providing newborn care for the first month
  • Providing support through perimenopause and menopause

When working with pregnant women, responsibilities include:

  • Monitoring the health of the expectant mother and her developing baby
  • Providing individualized education, counseling, and prenatal care
  • Assisting during labor and delivery
  • Providing follow-up care after delivery

What is nurse-midwifery?

Midwives were present at most births until the early twentieth century and they have helped women deliver babies for centuries. Currently, in the United States about 7% of all births, both vaginal and caesarean, are delivered by certified nurse-midwives. These professionals guide women through safe, natural birth techniques; therefore they are able to provide women with a more low-tech approach to birthing.

Where do certified nurse midwives work?

To give patients a true alternative to the traditional hospital birthing experience, CNMs often work in non-hospital environments, though this does not apply in every situation; house calls and travel are also common. Workplace settings for nurse midwives include:

  • Birthing centers
  • Hospitals
  • Private homes
  • Medical centers
  • Academic institutions
  • Government institutions

How is a certified nurse midwife different from a direct-entry midwife or a traditional midwife?

The different types of midwifery vary in the following ways:

  • Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM) — Certified Nurse-Midwives are trained in both midwifery and nursing. Their training is hospital-based, and a large number of CNMs practice in clinics and hospitals. The CNM scope of practice allows them to provide care in any birth setting, although their training occurs in medical settings.
  • Direct-Entry Midwives — Direct-entry midwives are trained to provide care primarily in out-of-hospital settings to healthy women and newborns; they do not have nursing education as a prerequisite for midwifery education.
  • Traditional Midwives — There are also midwives who choose not to become licensed or certified; they are typically called traditional midwives. They believe that women have a right to choose qualified care providers regardless of their legal status; or that midwifery is a social contract between the midwife and client/patient, and should not be legislated at all; or that they are ultimately accountable to the communities they serve.

Do nurse midwives deliver babies?

Yes, nurse midwives deliver babies. In addition to this, they provide ongoing and direct support for expectant mothers during preconception, conception, gestation, labor, birth, postpartum and afterward. Therefore, delivering babies has only one role in their overall responsibility, albeit a very important one. Normally they learn about the woman and her pregnancy during several prenatal visits, and then during the delivery, they stay with the woman throughout labor and after the baby is born. 

Our women’s health specialists can help you throughout your pregnancy and delivery, providing you with care that makes a real difference in quality of life. We have two Illinois locations to serve you better: one in Mokena and one in Evergreen Park. We look forward to serving you!

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