Midwives help women with all stages of pregnancy and delivery. They provide prenatal care, attend and help with the birth process, provide postpartum care, and some provide routine gynecological services. Nurse midwives emphasize prenatal education, answer questions, address concerns, and explain different birth options. The World Health Organization has endorsed midwifery as an approach to improving the health of women worldwide.
Types of Midwives There are three types of midwives and they are distinguished on the basis of their educational background and certification.
Certified nurse midwives (CNM) have the most formal education. They complete their education to become a registered nurse and then pursue extra schooling in one of more than 40 advanced educational programs accredited by the American College of Nurse-Midwives. After completing their education, they must pass a certifying exam. Most CNM’s work in hospitals or birthing centers.
Certified Midwives may be nurses or have other educational backgrounds. They receive their preparation through various means including correspondence courses, formal schooling, and apprenticeships. Some states license this type of midwives. They must pass a certifying examination.
Lay midwives are neither licensed nor certified. Their background is quite variable. If there are serious medical complications with mother or baby, their ability to deal appropriately with the situation is limited. Since there is no licensure, there is no state board to oversee their conduct. Some of them have a very limited ability to prevent or handle emergencies.
YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN