Certified nurse-midwives: They deliver more than babies

March 1, 2017

Which medical professionals offer top-quality care for women?iStock-537424238.jpg

If you thought of primary care physicians, internists, OB-GYNs, physician assistants and nurse practitioners, you're right. But that list isn't quite complete. There's another group of professionals caring for women of all ages, through every stage of life. They are certified nurse-midwives (CNMs).

A wide range of services

Midwives are probably best known for helping women give birth. But CNMs also care for women from the time of their first menstrual periods through menopause—and beyond.

Each CNM is a licensed registered nurse who graduated from an accredited college or university, obtained an advanced degree in midwifery, and passed a national certification exam.

This background, along with extensive hands-on clinical training, not only qualifies CNMs to care for laboring moms and deliver babies—it also enables them to offer a full range of primary care to women, such as:

  • Providing well-woman exams, including doing Pap tests and breast exams.
  • Providing information about health screenings, tests, and vaccines.
  • Counseling women about family planning.
  • Treating sexually transmitted infections.
  • Writing prescriptions for treatments and medications, including pain control medicines.
  • Offering health education on topics such as basic nutrition and parenting.
  • Helping women navigate menopause.

Certified nurse-midwives practice in every state—in birth centers, health centers, homes, hospitals and private practices. They're ready to partner with women for many decades of primary health care services.

Source: American College of Nurse-Midwives

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