What is a midwife... and why would I want one?


 

midˌwīf/ 
     noun
     1. a person (typically a woman) trained to assist women in childbirth.

     verb
     1. assist (a woman) during childbirth.

We currently have 3 Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM) at Lone Tree OBGYN: Susan McConaughy, Mary Healey, and Barbara Slocum. They are educated in two disciplines: midwifery and nursing. What does this mean? It means these providers completed a degree in nursing before returning to school to earn graduate degrees focusing on women’s health. Additionally, they had to pass a national certification examination administered by the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB) to receive the professional designation of CNM. 

But what can a Certified Nurse Midwife do?
Midwifery care encompasses a full range of primary health care services for women from adolescence beyond menopause. Our services include primary care, gynecologic and family planning services, preconception care, care during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period. Midwives provide initial and ongoing comprehensive assessment, diagnosis and treatment. We conduct physical examinations; prescribe medications including controlled substances and contraceptive methods; admit, manage and discharge patients; order and interpret laboratory and diagnostic tests and order the use of medical devices. Midwifery care also includes health promotion, disease prevention, and individualized wellness education and counseling. Our services are provided in partnership with women and families in our Lone Tree and (coming soon) Castle Rock office and area hospitals. 

Wait….I thought midwives delivered people in fields…or a kiddy pool in their living room?
Lone Tree OBGYN only employs CNMs and safely delivers our patients at area hospitals. There are numerous other types of midwives and we have included those definitions below. It is important for our patients to understand the difference in levels of education, title, and legal scope of practice. All "midwives" are not equally educated!

  • Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM)- nurses who have completed a graduate-level nurse-midwife program and passed a certification exam from the American Midwifery Certification Board
  • Certified Midwife (CM) - non-nurses who have complete a graduate-level midwifery degree program and passed a certification exam from the American Midwifery Certification Board.
  • Certified Professional Midwife (CPM)- practice privileges of CPMs vary by state.
  • Direct-Entry Midwife- No national certification or licensing is available for direct-entry midwives and each state has its own legal requirements for education and licensing (if any).
  • Lay Midwife- Lay midwife refers to an uncertified or unlicensed midwife who often has an informal education, such as apprenticeship or self-study, rather than a formal education. Some states do have licensing for lay midwives, while other states don’t.
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