MidwifesWhat are the pros and cons of having a midwife?
MidwifesNurse Midwifery Today
Today, all nurse-midwifery programs are within institutions of higher education. Approximately 70% of nurse-midwives graduate at the Master's degree level. These programs must be accredited by the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) in order for graduates to be eligible to take the National Certification Examination. There are 47 ACNM accredited nurse-midwifery programs in the United States. Applicants for nurse-midwife programs must be registered nurses and have at least one to two years of nursing experience. As with the nursing profession in general, most CNMs are women. However, in recent years more male nurses have chosen to become nurse-midwives.
Primary health care services for women within underserved populations have been greatly enhanced through the services of nurse-midwives. The National Institute of Medicine has recommended that more reliance be placed upon nurse-midwives for the delivery of women's health care.
Numerous studies over the past 20 to 30 years have documented the ability of nurse-midwives to independently manage about 80% of all perinatal (including prenatal, delivery, and postpartum) care and up to 85% of the family planning and gynecological needs of women of all ages.
Nurse-midwives work in a collaborative role with OB/GYN physicians and either consult with or refer to other health care providers on cases outside their scope of practice (for example, high-risk pregnancies, women with concurrent chronic disease). See types of health care providers.
The Role Of Midwifes
The nurse-midwife is prepared both academically and clinically to provide a broad range of health care services for women and newborns. CNM functions include diagnostic services (history taking, physical assessment, ordering appropriate laboratory tests and procedures), therapeutic management (outlining care, providing prescriptions, coordinating consultations and referrals), and health promotion and risk-reduction activities. Although the majority of CNM practice may focus on childbearing, family planning, and gynecological care for well women, CNMs may also assess and manage common acute, episodic illnesses in adults. All services are performed in collaboration with the client. As with the nurse practitioner profession (NP), current prescriptive practice privileges for CNMs varies from state to state. Health care management by CNMs includes independent management, consultation or co-management, and referral services.
Where To Find A Midwife
Certified nurse-midwives may be found in a variety of settings including private outpatient practices (either by themselves or in collaboration with a physician), health maintenance organizations, hospitals, health departments, and freestanding birthing centers. Traditionally, CNMs have provided care to underserved populations in rural areas or inner-city settings.
As with many other professions, certified nurse midwives are regulated at two different levels. Licensure is a process that takes place at the state level in accordance with specific state laws. In contrast, certification is established through a national organization and requirements for minimal professional practice standards are consistent across all states.
Much like other advanced practice nurses (such as nurse practitioners), licensure requirements for CNMs may vary somewhat from state to state. The current trend is to require master's degree preparation and national certification.
National certification is required in some states for CNMs to be licensed to practice. Only graduates of nurse-midwifery programs accredited by the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) are eligible to take the certification exam administered by the ACNM Certification Council, Inc. History Of Midwifes
Nurse-midwifery in the U.S. dates back to 1925. At that time, Mary Breckenridge developed the Frontier Nursing Service in Kentucky. The program utilized public health registered nurses, who had received additional nurse-midwifery education in England, to staff nursing centers in the Appalachian mountains. The centers offered family health care services in addition to childbearing and delivery care to residents within the region.
The first nurse-midwifery education program in the United States was founded in 1932 at the Maternity Center Association of New York City. The program enrolled public health nurses and awarded a certificate in nurse-midwifery to its graduates.
Comments 1 to 11 of about 11.
114 days ago.
siteseer1, you are NOT crazy for believing that because you can do it! Good for you for giving it a chance too! :) You just have to find a hospital that will let you do that! Unless you wanted to birth at home, but that may be more on the risky side since you have had previous problems. You go girl! Mad props!!!!!!! :) siteseer1
868 days ago.
naturalmama - i like that - 'women of earth, take back your birth'!! siteseer1
868 days ago.
Wow, hello everyone I just discovered this section... I have had 2 c-sections and a rupture...but I still would like to consider Vbac... not sure if I am crazy for thinking its possible...but I feel like my lack of knowledge is what led to those c-sections... NaturalMama
868 days ago.
I can not wait to meet my Midwife! I have to OB's in the past and each pregnancy ended in a c-section. I have heard they are much gentler, kind and trusting of a women's body. Planning a Homebirth after 2 cesareans. Women of Earth Take Back Your Birth!! blessedagainwith10
1290 days ago.
Late term labor - that would make sense (just about all my kids were LATE, LATE, LATE). The midwives did a great job. I actually couldn't make it to the hospital in time. I gave birth in my room with ambulance attendance standing by as the midfife did her work. She suctioned my son herself and I went to the hospital after (only as a precautionary measure then came right back home). Keep in mind that I live at least 30 minutes away from a hospital (maybe longer depending on traffic or weather). I'm soooo excited for you!!! mtnwoman(shelly)
1291 days ago.
mommyagain ~ Thank you, I actually asked the midwife I spoke with about meconium (my son inhaled it when he was born) and she said if it was due to late term labor that she would be fully prepared to deal with it herself. She would bring oxygen and suction stuff, etc. But if it was due to stress on the baby then it might be a different story. i am actually very excited about this, and wasn't until we started talking about this as an option! I appreciate any advice and personal experiences that may help me. :) blessedagainwith10
1291 days ago.
MTNWOMAN: I've had 5 home births and from my experience they all went great. As for your question: I've had 1 complication arise and the midwives are knowledgeable enough to know when extra care is needed. In my case an ambulance was called when meconium was found when my water broke - the possibility of baby ingesting that would be dangerous & a hospital setting was best... All ended up just wonderful in the end. In conclusion.. if any complications do arise - the midwives will make the call & suggest you to go to hospital. Hope this helps. mtnwoman(shelly)
1291 days ago.
Just curious. I am quite sure we are going to use a midwife and do a home birth this go around, but I just wanted to find out if any one has had a BAD experience with doing this. I have only heard such good things that it makes me wonder what ISN'T being said. It all just sounds too perfect! lol. What are some real dangers of doing a home birth vs. hospital? I know how bad it is in the hospital and never want to go through that again so I can't imagine a home birth being worse, but I want to be fully informed before going this route. Thanks! DeklansMommy
1487 days ago.
I just have to say, for anyone coming here and wondering what it's like to have a midwife versus a Doctor, just ask me! I've had both, and am a nurse myself. For a normal, healthy momma/baby/pregnancy, I would recommend the care of a midwife to ANYONE, hands down. My midwife took time with me, answered all of my questions (yes, I still had quite a few even though I had already had a baby), and offered the most wonderful, personalized birth experience I could have imagined. They rock! lisaandandrew
1610 days ago.
Fridays membrane sweep didnt work either!!
1614 days ago.
I had my 1st membrane stretch today, she was unable to do the 'sweep' part. I have another one Friday.
However, I had crazy bad cramps approx 1 hour after. everything calmed down.