Certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) are board-certified, independent health care providers who offer services to women of all ages and stages of life.
With their advanced education and their focus on research and partnering with women, nurse-midwives are among the most modern, forward-thinking health providers in the United States today.
The midwifery approach to health care has never been more important. Today’s woman expects the best care. She expects her provider to understand and value her individual needs, and she wants a provider who will partner with her to make health decisions.
Midwives focus on what is most important to each woman’s unique situation and values, and they often work with other members of the health care team.
What services do midwives provide?
CNMs provide general women’s health care throughout a woman’s lifespan. These services include general health check-ups and physical exams; pregnancy, birth, and postpartum care; well woman gynecologic care; and treatment of sexually transmitted infections. CNMs are able to prescribe a full range of substances, medications, and treatments, including pain control medications.
Will my midwife provide the pain relief options and medical procedures I want to have during labor?
Your midwife will partner with you on making decisions around pain relief techniques, such as use of epidural during labor, and make sure that you receive the type of pain relief you need and want. Whether you wish to use relaxation or movement methods or IV, epidural, or other medications, your midwife will work with you to help meet your desired approach to birth. At the same time, your midwife will provide you with information and resources about the different options and choices available if any changes to your birth plan become necessary or if you change your mind.
Most midwives favor an approach to pregnancy, labor, and birth that is based on normal, bodily processes rather than on the use of medical procedures: an approach that is strongly supported by current research. The midwifery model of care does not support routinely using medical procedures if there is no clear reason for them or if their use is not supported by research. For example, scheduling a labor induction or a cesarean birth without a clear reason is not supported by research and can often lead to unwanted problems. However, when a medical procedure is necessary, your midwife will work with you to ensure you have all the information you need to make an informed decision about your care and to be sure you are aware of any options or alternatives that may also be available.
Where can I find more information about Midwifery care?
We provide quality, evidence-based obstetrical and gynecologic care for every phase of a woman’s life. Find out more about our offerings at 680obgyn.nm.org.