You may have thought midwives, the matronly women who provided advice and assistance to laboring mothers hundreds of years ago, exist only in history books and movies. However, midwives are not women of the past. Today’s certified nurse midwifes (CNM) continue this tradition of personalized care, but with the important addition of comprehensive education and training.
The Modern Midwife
Because midwifery is rich in history, misconceptions about modern midwifery persist. You may have heard midwives learn through apprenticeship and only deliver babies at home. But all of these assumptions are false.
- CNMs are university-educated and trained in both nursing and midwifery. They’re registered nurses (RNs) who have graduated from an advanced education program accredited by the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM). They must pass ACNM’s rigorous national certification examination and meet strict licensing requirements set by state health agencies.
- As part of obstetrical care teams, CNMs practice in hospitals around the country. In fact, according to the ACNM, the majority of CNM-attended births occur in hospitals. CNMs provide services in both hospitals and clinic settings, generally spending more time with patients during office visits than physicians.
- CNMs are trained in the use of certain medical interventions, such as electronic fetal monitoring, labor-inducing drugs and episiotomies.
- In addition to pregnancy services, CNMs also provide a broad range of primary care services for women from puberty through menopause, including routine gynecological exams, family planning, contraceptive services, nutrition counseling and disease management.
Midwife services have proven to be positive for the labor experience. Little Company of Mary encourages women to choose whatever birthing method option they’re comfortable with. For some women, this may include the care of a midwife. Little Company of Mary offers two certified nurse midwives who collaborate with board-certified OB/GYNs to offer personalized birthing services. To schedule a FREE meet-and-greet with the midwives, or for a tour of our facilities, please call 708.636.9205.
*Sources: ACNM.org, AmericanPregnancy.org, CDC.gov, MedlinePlus.gov, WomensHealth.gov