A Guide To Understanding 3 Common Types Of Midwives

If you are expecting a baby or trying to become pregnant and are considering the different options for prenatal care and delivery, it is important to recognize that you have a variety of choices outside the typical obstetrical care and hospital delivery. In recent years, the number of home births in the United States has been slowly increasing and the majority of home births have a midwife present. If you are interested in having a more natural delivery at home or you would prefer a medical setting but want a midwife to provide your care whenever possible, it is a good idea to be aware of the different types of midwives currently working in the United States, as listed below.

#1-Certified Nurse-Midwife

A certified nurse-midwife is also be known as a CNM and this person will probably have more education than other types of midwives. He or she must have at least a bachelor's degree in order to be accepted into the training program and will need to pass a rigorous certification process by the American College of Nurse Midwives upon completion. The training itself is regarded as a graduate program and will often allow a Registered Nurse to provide more patient care upon completion.

He or she will be able to prescribe some types of medication, such as birth control and provide the bulk of low-risk prenatal care for healthy women, typically in a hospital setting. You will be able to legally access care from a CNM in all 50 states, but as you see below, other types of midwifery are limited in many states.

#2-Certified Midwife

Although a certified midwife, or CM, has much of the same training that a certified nurse-midwife does, it is important to note that he or she is not required to maintain a nursing license. Instead, it is common for them to have previous education in other health care fields and attend the same midwifery classes that a CNM will. In addition, he or she will need to pass the same certification that a CNM will and eventually will provide the same type of care.

You will usually receive care from a CNM in a hospital setting, as their certification does not require training in a home setting as the certified professional midwife will, as explained below. Unfortunately, only three states currently allow certified midwives to legally work in this capacity.

#3-Certified Professional Midwife

A certified professional midwife will also be known as a CPM and he or she will be trained in different aspects of midwifery, including prenatal and postnatal care. A CPM is unique in that their training requires them to have experience delivering babies away from a hospital setting, so home births will be much more common when you see this person for your prenatal care. You will also find certified professional midwives working in birthing centers.

Their practices empower women to make more of their own choices about pregnancy and delivery, so it is often seen as a more interactive prenatal experience than you could expect in a typical medical setting. Currently, just 28 states allow the use of certified professional midwives.

In conclusion, you have many different choices when you are determining what type of professional will be providing your medical care during your pregnancy and delivery. By understanding the above information about the different types of midwives, you will be able to more easily make the right decision for you and your baby. For more information, talk to a professional like George L Stankevych MD.