Certified nurse-midwives (CNM) are registered nurses who have graduated from a nurse-midwifery education program accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME) and have passed a national certification examination to receive the professional designation of certified nurse-midwife. CNMs are legally recognized to practice in every state in the US and in the District of Columbia.
CNMs are not just a provider of care but rather a partner in care. Our CNMs work with our physicians to provide care for patients in a variety of situations. However, there are common myths and misconceptions about CNMs and their role in the practice.
Myth: CNMs only deliver babies.
Midwives are trained in women’s healthcare for all life stages. While they do specialize in childbearing years, midwives are also available to assist with birth control, STD screenings, period problems, breastfeeding issues, annual exams & pap smears, and even menopausal help!
“Midwife means “with woman,” and that means for a LIFETIME!”
Myth: CNMs only attend home births.
80% of midwives in the United States deliver within a hospital setting and another 5-10% deliver safely within an accredited birthing center. These professionals deliver within the “realm of safety” with a Obstetrician as backup.
Myth: Using a CNM means you have to choose a natural birth plan.
Certified Nurse Midwives can prescribe medications and order epidurals. Midwives care for women, no matter how they choose to give birth.
“We pride ourselves and are trained in natural childbirth but we support women who want medications in labor and epidurals too. We look at ourselves as trained experts in physiology of birth and helping women give birth in a way that is less traumatic for them.” – Jane Vesel, CNM
Myth: CNMs are not able to care for high-risk patients.
Midwives are able to provide different levels of care depending on a woman’s individual health needs. In a high-risk pregnancy, a midwife can help you access resources to support your goals for childbirth, provide emotional support during challenging times, or work alongside specialists who are experts in your high-risk condition to ensure safe, healthy outcomes.