American Nurses’ Credentialing Center
Upon Completion Students will be approve to sit for the Certified Dialysis Nurse (CDN) certification exam
What is a Certified Nurse Midwife?
A certified nurse midwife is a nursing professional whose role is to provide quality care to pregnant women and their children, both during pregnancy and after delivery. Nurse midwives, just like all other nurses, are nursing professionals licensed to practice, but who have additional training and experience specifically to provide care to pregnant women, fetuses, and newborns. In fact, the roles of midwives are more or less similar to those of an obstetric nurse, with the difference being that the midwife employs a more holistic approach when handling pregnancy and childbirth.
A number of reasons exist as to why an expecting parent may choose to seek the services of a midwife as opposed to an obstetrician to provide primary care. Foremost is the cost factor, specifically because midwives’ services tend to be much less expensive compared to those of an obstetrician. Secondly, women who benefit from the services of a midwife are less likely to resort to Cesarean section or any other unnatural procedure when their pregnancy come to term.
Also, while the work environment of most obstetricians means that they have to attend to multiple patients at any given time, hardly do we find nurse midwives attending to more than two patients at any given time. As such, expectant mothers receiving nursing care from midwives tend to have access to more personalized attention during their gestation period, and often receive immediate attention whenever a situation arises as opposed to waiting long hours to be seen by a physician.
Finally,the fact that midwives tend to have greater control over their pregnancy and childbirth is one of the greatest factors that compels most expecting women to seek their services. Additionally, midwives tend to be more approving of natural birthing scenarios, as opposed to obstetrician who tend to encourage expecting mothers to strictly adhere to medical practices. For instance, unlike midwives who generally favor hone and water births, obstetricians tend to be more inclined towards hospital births.
As a career, midwifery is one of the more rewarding and honorable undertaking that there is. As a nurse midwife, you will not only have a firsthand encounter with the miracles of childbirth, you will also have the opportunity to empower women to have more say concerning the childbirth options available to them. However, being a career midwife may also come with some amount of stress at times. For instance, you must always remain on the alert should any medical emergency arise during pregnancy or childbirth.
What Does a Certified Nurse Midwife Do?
Certified nurse midwives care for expecting mothers during their pregnancies as well as during childbirth. A nurse midwife’s main role is to ensure the health and safety of both the mother and child before, during and after birth. Yet still, this care is not exclusively for pregnant women as some nurse midwives can offer care services to women who aren’t.
A nurse midwife’s first duty is to conduct a concise examination and assessment of the patient. Typically, the scope of these assessments includes pelvic examination alongside other prenatal tests deemed necessary. Such tests are important since through them, the nurse midwife can detect possible problems or complications during the pregnancy. Also, nurse midwives are responsible for providing most of the routine prenatal care. These include regular checkups, arranging for ultrasounds, providing counsel on the appropriate diet and the healthy exercise regimen.
Certified nurse midwives are also responsible for preparing the expecting mother for labor and delivery. Here, there role is to provide the expecting mother with precise information relating to birthing options, such as hospital and home births. They also remain in touch to provide any assistance during and after labor and childbirth.
Note that as a certified midwife, you are allowed to provide care to women who aren’t expecting by providing such services as annual pelvic exams, breast exams, and preconception assistance.
Where do Certified Nurse Midwives Work?
Note that while most certified midwives are attached to hospitals or to physician offices, some areas give midwives the latitude to pursue independent practice.
How do I Become a Certified Nurse Midwife?
Proper and relevant education is a prerequisite to becoming a certified nurse midwife. For most nurse midwives, their careers begin by pursuing a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Others go on to earn their master’s and doctoral degrees in the same line of specialty. However, it is advisable that you take courses such as gynecology, obstetrics, women’s health and pediatrics.
Midwife – Common Duties
- Deliver babies
- Give prenatal and postpartum care
- Assist gynecologists and obstetricians
- Taking a nursing approach to child birth and pregnancy
- The Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA)
- American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM)
- National Association of Certified Professional Midwives (NACPM)
- The Association of Midwifery Educators (AME)
- Norh American Registry of Midwives
- Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC)
- American Midwifery Certification Board, Inc. (AMCB)