This past week, my grandmother gave me a copy of Inspire, a quarterly magazine published by Borgess Hospital.
She thought of me because the issue included an article featuring nurse midwives called, Behind Women For Life; Celebrating the Role of Certified Nurse Midwives.
I visit my Grandma every Thursday with my children. We’ve been very close forever. She supports my efforts to inform families about home birth. She attended my first home birth and watched her first great-grandchild, Ella, be born. We talk about my work at BBH frequently. Love her so much!
I was grateful, and learned a lot from the article! For instance, I had no idea that CNMs provide life-long care to women, from before pregnancy, such as pap-smears, to long after pregnancy, up to menopause.
After reading it, I couldn’t help but feel a bit…envious.
As much as I love my midwife, I’m a bit jealous of the women who are able to form long lasting relationships with their midwives. My home birth midwife is a CPM, and didn’t provide personal care for me after the process of birthing was over. I’ve always been bummed that we couldn’t spend more time together, whether it be a personal or professional relationship.
She felt like going to nursing school would have gone against her inner constitution. And I totally respect that. Personally, if I were to become a midwife, I’d have a really hard time going to nursing school and immersing myself in the western medicine field.
In an effort to better understand the roles of the different types of midwives, I am going to highlight Certified Nurse Midwives and Certified Professional Midwives. This will help you determine which midwife to hire.
What are the differences between Certified Nurse Midwives and Certified Professional Midwives?
Here’s what all midwives have in common:
All midwives subscribe to and believe in the Midwifery Model of Care, which states…
“The Midwifery Model of Care is based on the fact that pregnancy and birth are normal life events.
The Midwives Model of Care includes:
- monitoring the physical, psychological and social well-being of the mother throughout the childbearing cycle
- providing the mother with individualized education, counseling, and prenatal care, continuous hands-on assistance during labor and delivery, and postpartum support
- minimizing technological interventions and;
- identifying and referring women who require obstetrical attention
The application of this model has been proven to reduce to incidence of birth injury, trauma, and cesarean section.
The Midwives Model of Care definition above is Copyright © 1996-2001, Midwifery Task Force, All Rights Reserved.”
Certified Nurse Midwives, (CNM) provide high-quality care for women of all ages – from expecting to menopause. Nurse Midwives generally work in hospitals, but are not limited to do so unless their agreement states otherwise. CNMs work independently in hospitals and refer high-risk clients to an obstetrician when necessary. CNMs can legally attend home births in some states. One becomes a Nurse Midwife by attending nursing school with an additional midwifery training through Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME).
The Certified Professional Midwife, (CPM) credential, issued by NARM (North American Registry of Midwives), is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), the accrediting body of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE). CPMs are independent practitioners and assist women in giving birth at home as well as birth centers. Certified Professional Midwives care for women during their childbearing cycle, from pregnancy to postpartum.
In the end, in my opinion, all that really matters is that you hire a midwife! <wink> Make sure you interview as many midwives as possible to decide which midwife will share your values.
Lastly, be sure to check this out! The Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) has put together some incredible videos about midwives lately.
Watch Every Woman Deserves a Midwife and Midwifery Care: What’s In It For Women? They’ll have more videos coming up, so subscribe to their YouTube channel here: I Am A Midwife YouTube Channel. I give them two thumbs up for quality, professional and informative social media marketing! The birth world needs it!
Now it’s time to hear from you! Was your midwife a CNM or a CPM? (or maybe a direct entry or lay midwife?) Where you happy with the overall care you received? Tell us your story in the comments below.