Today, more and more women are turning to certified nurse-midwives to guide them through their pregnancies, deliver their babies, give care after childbirth, and provide ongoing gynecological services. Nurse-midwives offer professional, yet personalized, care that takes into account the unique physical, social, and spiritual needs of each woman. They are committed to close patient rapport, patient and family education, and promotion of individual responsibility for health.
Certified nurse-midwives are trained in both nursing and midwifery and are certified by the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM). To be certified, a CNM must be formally educated in wry through an accredited program affiliated with an institution of higher learning (usually a master’s degree), demonstrate clinical competence, and pass a rigorous national certifying exam. Nurse-midwives always work in a team relationship with physicians and other health professionals so that medical consultation or referral is available should it be required. Nurse-midwives practice in all 50 states and are allowed to prescribe medications.
For The Woman Who Is Pregnant
Midwives are an appealing option for women who want an individualized and less routine approach to childbirth. They focus on helping you learn about the physical and emotional changes you go through during pregnancy, teach you how to maintain good health habits, and consider you an active participant in all aspects of your care. The nurse-midwife regularly monitors the health of a woman and her baby throughout pregnancy through regular prenatal visits and testing. Women who develop complications or have significant medical conditions or risk factors are cared for in collaboration with a physician.
Midwives see every pregnancy as a unique event and encourage you to consider your options for labor and delivery and to personalize your own birth plan. Whatever kind of birth experience you choose, a nurse-midwife will support you in your decision. That said, a nurse-midwife will not hesitate to use an intervention if it’s necessary for your own well-being or your baby’s. For example, a nurse-midwife will guide you through a non-medicated labor if that’s what you choose, but you’ll still have the option of having an epidural during labor. The nurse-midwife is capable of doing all necessary procedures for a normal vaginal delivery.
For The Woman Who Is Not Pregnant
Certified nurse-midwives provide regular gynecological services such as annual pelvic examinations, Pap tests, screening for sexually transmitted diseases, and breast examinations. A woman’s comfort during a physical examination is always a major concern. Midwives are particularly sensitive to the needs of a young woman during her first gynecological exam.
Nurse-midwives also provide services as prescribing a method of birth control, treating minor gynecological infections and conditions, referrals for mammograms, and providing health teaching on a variety of subjects.