CommunityHealth Fix


You’re Pregnant: Call the Midwife

Posted at 7:05 AM, Aug 20, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-20 09:05:40-04

Finding out you are pregnant is exciting news! However, it can also stir up a lot of questions and concerns, especially if it is your first pregnancy. If you and your partner are looking for a more personalized approach to pregnancy and childbirth and if your pregnancy is considered low risk, a certified nurse-midwife might be a good option for you.

What is a certified nurse-midwife?

A certified nurse-midwife (CNM) is a registered nurse who has graduated from a nurse-midwifery program at the master’s degree level. CNMs provide a full range of services to women who are expecting. Services may include:

  • Family planning services
  • Reproductive education
  • Gynecological checkups
  • Preconception planning and care
  • Prenatal and postpartum care
  • Labor and delivery

It is important to note that CNMs provide much more than in-office assistance. They also focus on the physical and emotional needs of a woman during pregnancy and throughout her labor and birth. A CNM’s goal is to improve birth outcomes and achieve safe, high quality maternity care for women, newborns, and their families.

Is a certified nurse-midwife a good option for you?

Identifying your needs and expectations during pregnancy may be a good place to start. In many cases, CNMs can provide a more personalized approach to pregnancy and childbirth than obstetricians, as their checkups/visits are generally longer. If you fall into a high-risk pregnancy range, you may want to consult with an obstetrician about your risks and options. However, if you do decide to use a CNM during childbirth and there are complications, the CNM will collaborate with an obstetrician or perinatologist.

Before choosing a CNM, you might want to consider:

  • Credentials
  • Prenatal, birth, and postpartum philosophies
  • Delivery locations/settings
  • Your own health risks and needs