Big sister with pregnant belly


Nurse-midwives believe that every individual has the right to safe, satisfying care with respect for human dignity and cultural variations. CNMs support each person’s right to self-determination, to complete information and to active participation in their health care. CNMs believe the normal processes of pregnancy and birth can be enhanced through education, health care and supportive intervention. Clients and their families are partners with the nurse-midwife in the provision of health care. Nurse-midwives believe that medical intervention should be used only when necessary. They also believe that each woman should be treated as an individual and in a holistic manner.

No, in fact, most midwife-attended births occur in hospitals. In 2006, 93% of all midwife-attended births were in a hospital setting according to the most recent information from the National Vital Statistics Report.

  • CNMs have low rates of Cesarean Sections.
  • CNMs have high rates of successful VBACs (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean).
  • CNMs are highly skilled in labor support and non-pharmacological comfort measures.
  • CNMs may also offer pain medication in labor, including epidurals.
  • CNMs work toward creating a safe and satisfying birth experience for women, with minimal intervention unless it is medically necessary.
  • CNMs offer holistic, family-centered care.
  • CNMs can diagnose and treat many common health care problems including vaginal infections.
  • CNMs are knowledgeable about birth control methods and can help women find the best method for them.
  • CNMs focus on patient education and spend time during each visit to provide information and allow time to answer questions.
  • CNMs consider the patient as partner-in-care and provide individualized, patient-centered care.

Physicians are trained in both medicine and surgery to care for disease processes. Nurse-midwives focus on pregnancy and birth as natural, healthy processes. CNMs assist women through the challenges and joys of pregnancy and birth in the context of their spiritual, cultural and personal values. Midwives believe that unless medically necessary, interventions should be kept to a minimum. If, however, there are any complications with your pregnancy, or if any develop while you are pregnant and under the care of a midwife, the midwife will work with his/her consulting obstetrician or you will be referred to an obstetrician.

Yes! CNMs perform a wide scope of services other than prenatal care and childbirth. They offer well-woman care throughout the lifespan. These services include contraceptive services and birth control counseling, annual exams and pap smears, gynecological exams and treatment, perimenopause and menopausal counseling and treatment, preconception counseling, and sexually transmitted disease testing and treatment.