Midwives -Roles, Kinds, And More!

Midwives are medical professionals who focus on pregnancy, childbirth, neonatal care, and postpartum health. Some midwives offer routine reproductive care such as pelvic examinations, Pap tests, and birth control counseling. Midwives are typically more holistic and supportive of natural pregnancy and birthing practices. People typically choose a certified nurse midwife Jackson Heights, NY, if they want unmedicated labor or wish to give birth at home. 

Typically, midwives are not physicians. In hospitals, they frequently collaborate with obstetricians and gynecologists (Ob/Gyns) to ensure you have access to all necessary treatment. A midwife is recommended for low-risk pregnancies or those with modest complications.

Pregnancy and childbirth are highly individual experiences. You have options regarding the type of care you prefer. Therefore, it may be useful to understand the differences between midwives and obstetricians.

What is a midwife’s role?

It depends on their credentials, certifications, educational background, and location of practice. Certified midwives and certified nurse midwives can provide most services. Non-certified midwives provide fewer services.

The following are some of the health services a midwife may provide:

  • Prenatal appointments and routine monitoring of the pregnancy.
  • Sonograms and prenatal bloodwork.
  • Providing maternity and neonatal care.
  • After birth treatment.
  • Provide information on nutrition, breastfeeding, fertility, and other aspects of reproductive health.
  • Contraceptives and family planning.
  • Pap smears and mammograms.
  • Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and other vaginal infections and diseases are screened for.

A certified nurse midwife may practice in hospitals, clinics, birthing centers, and private residences. Non-certified midwives are restricted in where they can practice. Ask your midwife about their credentials and your hospital or birthing center about the regulations for midwife care.

What are the various kinds of midwives?

There are several varieties of midwives:

  • Certified nurse midwives (CNMs): CNMs are registered nurses with a graduate degree in midwifery. In addition to pregnancy and childbirth, they can provide general reproductive care, prescribe medications, order lab tests, and diagnose conditions. They are competent to work in hospitals, private residences, and birthing centers. The American Midwifery Certification Board certifies CNMs. All fifty states and the District of Columbia are serviced.
  • Certified midwives (CMs) are midwives who hold a master’s degree in midwifery but have not completed nursing school. CMs hold a bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing. They are certified by the American Midwifery Certification Board and have the authority to prescribe medications. CMs are only permitted to practice in nine jurisdictions.
  • Certified professional midwives (CPMs): CPMs operate in birthing centers and private residences. They have completed coursework and are North American Registry of Midwives-certified. In some states, CPMs are not licensed to practice and cannot prescribe medications.
  • Unlicensed midwives: These midwives do not possess certification or a license to practice. They are either trained themselves or have received additional training, such as an apprenticeship. Unlicensed midwives typically operate in private residences.

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