- About Midwives
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What is a Midwife?
The term “midwife” means “with woman”. Midwives are health professionals trained to provide women’s health care, prenatal care, labor and delivery assistance to women, after birth care, and care of the newborn. Midwives have been giving care to women since the beginning of time and can be found practicing in all countries. Midwives are trained to care for normal, healthy women and view pregnancy as a normal physiological stage in a woman’s life. They strive to help women have a healthy pregnancy and birth through education about their bodies and how to maximize their health during pregnancy. Midwifery care is focused on supporting what is normal and minimizing unnecessary interventions. Midwifery care is woman-centered; our goal is to ensure that each woman has the birth experience she desires, whatever that means to her.
In the state of Washington, there are two kinds of midwives: certified nurse-midwives and licensed midwives. We are the Washington state affiliate of the American College of Nurse-Midwives, made up of certified nurse-midwives.
Take a survey to see if a midwife is right for your delivery at: delivermybaby.org.
What is a Certified Nurse-Midwife?
A certified nurse-midwife (CNM) is someone who has been trained as a registered nurse, and then obtains a graduate degree in the field of nurse-midwifery, focusing on women’s health, pregnancy, birth, and postpartum care. CNMs attend deliveries in hospitals, birth centers, and homes.
Nurse-midwives have prescriptive authority in all 50 states and can provide gynecological, family planning, and primary care to their patients. In Washington, CNMs are independent health care providers who work in collaborative relationships with obstetricians, should complications arise.