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:
- Prenatal, birth, and postpartum philosophies
- Delivery locations/settings
- Your own health risks and needs