The certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) at Valley Obstetrics and Gynecology provide lifelong care for women including pregnancy, birth and beyond. Many women choose midwives because they enjoy building a strong relationship with their caregiver. Other women appreciate midwives’ natural approach to prenatal care, labor and birth.
What is a certified nurse-midwife?
CNMs are advance practice nurses who have advanced education in midwifery and are certified by the American Midwifery Certification Board. In the United States, the profession dates back to the 1920s, and today there are thousands of Certified Nurse Midwives practicing in all 50 states. CNMs provide prenatal care, labor and birth, care after birth, family planning and pre-conception care, yearly gynecological exams, health maintenance and disease prevention counseling, and peri-menopausal management as well as primary care.
Believing that pregnancy and birth are normal life processes, midwives tailor their care to the individual needs of each patient. They:
- Offer guidance on proper nutrition, exercise, sleep and travel during pregnancy
- Encourage women to make labor and birthing choices unique to their personal needs
- Prefer to minimize technological interventions during labor and birth
- Stress education, counseling and continuous hands-on care during labor, birth and postpartum
- Support a variety of labor options, including the freedom to move around, massage, a deep tub or shower, a birthing ball, moist heat, essential oils and pain medication
- Are qualified to administer medications, order labor epidurals and perform some medical procedures
When additional support is needed
Sometimes births become complicated, and additional support is needed. Certified nurse-midwives are trained to recognize and manage complications early and collaborate with doctors to ensure optimum care for women and their babies.
Beyond delivering babies
Many people think of midwives only in connection with childbirth. On the contrary, midwives provide a wide range of services for all ages of women – from puberty through menopause.
Yearly gynecological exams: Many women choose midwives for their yearly gynecological exams and other gynecological problems. Midwives also make an excellent choice for young women transitioning from pediatric care to adult medical care.
Premarital counseling, Family planning and pre-conception counseling: Midwives are trained to provide personalized attention to the needs of couples as they begin planning a family.
Health maintenance and disease prevention counseling: From caring for a woman’s general medical needs to treating vaginal infections and counseling about sexually transmitted infections, certified nurse midwives often become primary care providers for many women.
Peri-menopause and menopause counseling: Women today have more options than ever for managing menopause symptoms. Certified nurse-midwives can help them unravel the choices, from hormone replacement therapy to alternative medicine.
For a list of FAQ’s regarding Nurse Midwives and the care they provide, please see our Certified Nurse Midwife FAQ page.