Midwifery

Certified nurse-midwives, also known as a CNM, provide a wide variety of health care services to benefit women. Their focus is a woman's health needs from the teenage years through menopause. The services a CNM offers typically involve primary care, gynecology and family planning. In addition they also assist during pregnancy, delivery and following childbirth. CNMs are also trained and qualified to provide care for normal infants during their first four weeks, as well as treating sexually transmitted diseases in both male and female partners.

Services Provided by a Certified Nurse-Midwife

Most midwives care for patients that are pregnant and assist in the delivery of newborns, however, they are certified to perform various medical evaluations and diagnosis. Additional responsibilities may include:

  • Physical examinations
  • Prescribing medications such as birth control, antibiotics and pain relievers
  • Admission of patients to a healthcare facility
  • Management and discharge of patients in a healthcare facility
  • Ordering various imaging and laboratory tests and assessing their results
  • Instructing in general good-health practices and the prevention of disease
  • Providing personalized wellness care

Most midwives work in hospital and private practice settings alongside physicians, but may also offer care in many other settings, including ambulatory care clinics, public health systems, birth centers and within the home.

Education of a Certified-Nurse Midwife

Certified nurse-midwives are educated and trained in both midwifery and nursing. They obtain a graduate degree, complete a program recognized by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education, and must pass a national examination to qualify for the professional title of CNM by the American Midwifery Certification Board. CNMs are required to satisfy specific criteria for the American College of Nurse-Midwives, or ACNM, once their training is fulfilled. All services they provide must be in accordance with ACNM Standards for the Practice of Midwifery.

To retain their CNM designation, midwives have to undergo a re-certification process every five years as well as take continuing education courses.

Additional Resources