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The 5 W's of a midwife

Who: Who Can Be A Midwife?

With the proper training and certifications, anyone can be a midwife.

There are three different kinds:

Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)

  • Need to be a nurse first
  • Need to take and pass boards to receive license
  • Need to pass a series of tests every 5 years

Certified Midwife (CM)

  • Need to go to a certified program
  • Need to take boards
  • Need to pass a series of tests every 5 years

Certified Professional Midwife (CPM)

  • Need some sort of degree, but it doesn't need to be medical
  • Certified through North American Registry of Midwives
  • Need to retest every 3 years

What: What Is A Midwife?

The short version - A midwife is someone who helps a woman through her pregnancy, labor, delivery, and postpartum.

The more detailed version, according to the International Definition of the Midwife:

"The midwife is recognized as a responsible and accountable professional who works in partnership with women to give the necessary support, care and advice during pregnancy, labour and the postpartum period, to conduct births on the midwife's own responsibility and to provide care for the newborn and the infant. This care includes preventative measures, the promotion of normal birth, the detection of complications in mother and child, the accessing of medical care or other appropriate assistance and the carrying out of emergency measures. The midwife has an important task in health counselling and education, not only for the woman, but also within the family and the community. This work should involve antenatal education and preparation for parenthood and may extend to women's health, sexual or reproductive health and child care. A midwife may practise in any setting including the home, community, hospitals, clinics or health units."

Source: International Confederation of Midwives

When: When Is A Midwife Involved In Your Care?

Many patients come to midwives as referrals. A Certified Nurse Midwife and a Certified Midwife can provide care for any woman from their teenage years through menopause. The services they provide range from primary care, through pregnancy, labor, delivery and postpartum care. A Certified Professional Midwife provides care and support to women and families during pregnancy, the birth, and postpartum.

Where: Where Does A Midwife See You And Where Is She Able To Be During Labor And Delivery?

Certified Nurse Midwife and Certified Midwife: All settings – hospitals, homes, birth centers, and offices. Deb is allowed to be in a surgery suite with a patient if that's what's needed.

Certified Professional Midwife: Homes, birth centers, and offices.

Why: Why Some Families Choose To Use A Midwife

How: How Is A Doula Different?

  • They've gone through their own program
  • They are paid by the patient to be a support person
  • Their fee can range anywhere from $500 to $1500
  • They can't deliver

Meet our midwives

Learn more about the differences between certified nurse midwives, certified midwives and certified professional midwives

Schedule a birthplace tour

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