Certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) are licensed health care providers educated in nursing
and midwifery. Certified midwives (CMs) are licensed health care providers educated
in midwifery. CNMs and CMs have graduated from college; they have passed a national
examination; and they have a licence to practice midwifery from the state they live
in. Most of the midwives in the United States are CNMs or CMs.
CNMs/CMs help over 300,000 women give birth each year in the United States. Most
of these births are in hospitals. CNMs/CMs also care for women who decide to have
their baby in freestanding birth centers and/or at home. CNMs/CMs provide health
care to women all through life, including: prenatal care, birth, care after birth,
care for the new baby, annual exams, birth control planning, menopause, and health
CNMs/CMs believe you need time and special attention so you can be healthy and able
to take care of your baby. Midwives specialize in providing support, regular health
care, and in helping you get any additional care needed. Midwives are experts in
knowing the difference between normal changes that occur during pregnancy and symptoms
that require extra attention.
Your CNM/CM will prescribe medicine and order treatment for any common illness that
you might get during pregnancy. Midwives work with doctors who specialize in illness
during pregnancy. If you have a medical problem during pregnancy or complication
during labor, your midwife will work with a doctor to make sure you get the best
and safest care for you and your baby. Your midwife will also work with other health
care providers: nurses, social workers, nutritionists, doulas, childbirth educators,
physical therapists, and other specialists to help you get the care you need.
If you think you want pain medicine during labor, your midwife will give you information
about the medicines available so you can decide what is right for you. Midwife means
“with woman.” If you decide you want pain medicine during labor, your midwife can
prescribe it for you.
Many women go to their CNM or CM for annual check ups, family planning, and to get
care for common infections that happen to women. For example, your midwife can answer
questions about all the methods of birth control, help you decide what is best and
safest for you, and prescribe it for you.
EATING SAFELY DURING PREGNANCY
NAUSEA AND VOMITING DURING PREGNANCY
ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS DURING PREGNANCY
WEIGHT GAIN DURING PREGNANCY
AM I IN LABOR?
INDUCTION OF LABOR
MAKING A DECISION ABOUT INDUCTION OF LABOR