Sometimes the word “midwife” confuses people because there are many different types of midwives. CNMs are unique because we are both nurses and midwives. All CNMs have a nursing background and a graduate degree in nursing (more to come on the education and certification of CNMs in a few minutes). CM, CPMs, and DEMs all have their own unique education and certification processes. The term lay midwife has been used to designate an uncertified or unlicensed midwife who was educated through informal routes such as self-study or apprenticeship rather than through a formal program(MANA,2012).
Mary Breckinridge studied the nurse-midwives in England and France before she established FNS. She brought some of the British midwives to FNS to work alongside other public health nurses to provide quality healthcare to the underserved in remote areas of eastern Kentucky (American College Of Nurse-Midwives, 2011a).The Maternity Care Association and the Lobenstine Clinic,with support from the Children’s Bureau,established the first nurse-midwifery school in the U.S. Hattie Hemschemeyer was named Executive Director and was one of the program’s first graduates in 1933 (ACNM, 2011a).
CNMspractice in all 50 states including the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto.In 2009, 1.3% of CNM/CM-attended-births occurred at home, 33% occurred in birth centers, and 96.1% were in hospitals. Medicaid reimbursement is mandatory in all 50 states and is 100% of the physician fee schedule under Medicare part B for CNM/CM care. However, only thirty-three states mandate private insurance reimbursement for midwifery care (ACNM, 2011c).
Midwifery is gaining popularity in this country every year. Other countries have shown a prevalence toward the practice of midwifery. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) the U.S. is among some of the countries that have utilized CNMs for decades. Iceland leads other countries with 165 CNMs per 10,000 people. Germany’s number is 108, United Kingdom is 103, the United States is 98 and France is 89. These are just a few of the countries who are growing in the number of CNMs(World Health Organization, 2011).
Certified nurse-midwives have a nursing background. They all hold RN licenses and have Master’s or a Doctoral degree’s and must pass a certification exam. The Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME) is approved by the Department of Education to accredit midwifery education programs and organizations (ACNM, 2011b).
CNMS are certified through the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB). A graduate degree from a nurse-midwifery education program accredited by ACME and an active RN license is required for certification.The certified nurse-midwife certification process is a stringent one. One must have an active Registered Nurse’s license before going on to obtain a Masters degree in midwifery. After the education portion is complete, they may then sit for the national certification exam. (ACNM, 2010)
Direct-entry midwives have no degree required and have the choice of completing the state licensure program, AMCB-certification, graduating from a midwifery education program, or completing NARM’s Portfolio Evaluation Process (PEP) pathway. NARM’s Portfolio Evaluation Process (PEP) is an educational evaluation process that includes verification of knowledge and skills by qualified preceptors. Completion of this process qualifies applicants to sit for the NARM skills and written examinations (NARM, 2011). As an alternative to the PEP pathway, some students attend a school of midwifery for DEM’s. Currently, there are 10 accredited programs in the U.S. (MEAC, 2012). In some states, only certified midwives (CMs) who are certified by the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB), are the only direct-entry midwives permitted to practice.
Notes: Midwives are skilled in normal, low-risk pregnancy and birth. CNM’s are licensed, independent healthcare providers with prescriptive authority and are considered primary care providers by Federal law (ACNM, 2011c).
Midwifery care specializes in health promotion, disease prevention, and individualized wellness education. These services can be offered in diverse settings such as clinics, private offices, homes, hospitals, birth centers and community public health care systems (ACNM, 2010). Nurse midwives believe in informed choice and encourage women to actively participate in the decision making process surrounding their pregnancy, birth and postpartum care. A midwife’s care is individualized and based on your needs with the focus of providing support for you and your family.
Notes: Midwives focus on the continuity of care as women have better outcomes when supported by the same provider. Midwifery means “with women” (Varney, 2004). Midwives are in partnership with the client and see their role as the educator rather than the controller. Midwives guide the client in decision making with informed consent rather than the key decision makers. Midwives use language to support and empower mothers. As mothers give birth, midwives do not deliver babies they attend births. Midwives see each woman as a unique individual and support their cultural needs. Midwives are present not just for the birth, but are present for the labor and are supporters for the woman’s needs at each stage of the birth process and beyond. Midwives seek the best balance of care and when medical or obstetrical complications arise, they collaborate with physicians and other health care members as needed to provide the safest care (Rooks, 1997).
Notes: Nurse-midwifery practice is the independent management of women’s health care that provides for collaboration, consultation and referral as indicated by the health status of the client. In some cases,when women develop medical, gynecological or obstetrical complications,the midwife consults with a physician. Inmost cases, the CNM can continue to care for the client. Collaboration is when the midwife and the physician jointly manage the care of a women or newborn that has become medically complicated with the goal ofsharing authority while providing quality care. Referral takes place when the CNM directs the client to a physician that needs care out of the scope of practice of the CNM (Varney, 2004).
This emphasis on collaboration and safety is key to the midwifery model (Varney, 2004).
The summary, Nurse-Midwifery in 2008: Evidence-Based Practice, provides an overview of research and statistics that describe midwifery practice in the U.S. up to 2008. The findings are very compelling and strongly support midwifery care for low-risk women (ACNM, 2008).
Neonatal and infant mortality in the United States is a major health concern. These are objectives for the Healthy People Initiative for 2020. According to the Department of Health and Human Services (2012), state risk factors such as the lack of prenatal care and education are associated with neonatal and infant mortality. Women who are pregnant that receive care preconception and between pregnancies for spacing have a reduced risk for infant and maternal mortality. They also have a reduction of complications associated with their pregnancy (USDHHS, 2012). Infant deaths and disabilities can be prevented with early identification of health conditions (USDHHS, 2012). Midwives reduce this risk by providing higher rates of prenatal education and providing care to minorities in underserved communities. They also decrease these risks by reducing the use of interventions, which may increase complications in the birth process in otherwise normal low risk women.
Thedata show us that choice of provider can strongly influence care. For low-risk women desiring more support and less intervention throughout their pregnancy and birth experiences, the midwifery model is the best fit for their care.
Today,women have many options available to them when it comes to childbirth care. Traditionally, women have chosen hospital births with an obstetrician/doctor. More and more women are choosing certified nurse-midwives who can deliver in their home, in free-standing birthing centers, or in the hospital setting. Often, women desire to be involved in their care, with less medical interventions, and to partner with their provider to manage their healthcare and pregnancy. However, they don’t want to sacrifice quality and knowledge of their care provider (ACNM, 2011b).
There are many things to consider in deciding where to birth. For low-risk women, birth at a birth center, hospital, or at home may be an option. A major consideration is the philosophy behind birth in the different settings. At birth centers and at home births attended by a midwife, birth is considered to be a normal, healthy, event. In these settings, a midwife’s role is to monitor for safety and support women through their birth experience. Women are viewed as powerful, capable, and partners in care. Drugs to manage pain are typically unavailable, although some birth centers may offer narcotics. Support measures such as breathing techniques, movement, acupressure, or music are used commonly for pain control. In the hospital setting, a doctor or CNM may attend births (varies hospital to hospital) but most hospital birth are attended by MD’s. In this case, there is an emphasis on use of technology and a focus on what can go wrong as opposed to what is going right. Interventions such as continuous fetal monitoring and placement of an IV are the norm. Epidurals and other pain control options are available and tend to be used more often than non-pharmacologic options (Goer, 1999).
A birth center is a place where a woman can go to receive prenatal care and education. The center also serves as a safe, home-like environment, where woman may give birth with the support of family and maternity care providers (midwives) with whom a relationship has been developed. Births in a birth center are appropriate for healthy pregnant women without complications, but if the need for extended care or treatment would arise, care is provided collaboratively with a consultant in the hospital setting (AABC, 2012).
Between 1985 and 1987 the national birth center study involving almost 18,000 women was conducted. The study compared outcomes of low risk women who gave birth in birth centers and studies of low risk hospital births. The results indicated that women who gave birth in a birth center were less likely to have a cesarean section, episiotomy, or use analgesia or anesthesia. Other findings indicated that clients of the birth center had infant outcomes as good as infants born in the hospital setting. Client satisfaction was also demonstrated as the majority of the women highly rated their likelihood to recommend a birth center to a friend or use it again for subsequent pregnancies (Rooks et al., 1989).
Both types of midwives must successfully complete the national American Midwifery Certification Board examination. After completion of the exam and other varying state requirements, CNMs and CMs are professionals legally authorized to practice (ACNM, 2010).
Certified Nurse-Midwives provide services to women in a variety of settings. These include outpatient clinics, private offices, community settings, homes, hospitals, and birth centers (ACNM, 2010). Midwives educate women on their options to decrease pain while in labor and if pain medication is requested, midwives can prescribe it (ACNM, 2006).
The American College of Nurse-Midwives website (www.midwife.org)can offer more information about midwives and the services they provide. The website is an excellent tool for finding a midwife in your area and also offers resources if you're interested in joining the profession of midwifery.The American Association of Birth Centers website (www.birthcenters.org) provides more information about services offered by birth centers. It's a great resource for acquiring further instruction for opening or maintaining a birth center. The site also offers information for expecting parents who may be interested in the birth center option. Childbirth Connection's website (childbirthconnection.org) offers expecting parents evidence-based information about pregnancy, labor, and birth. It also offers guidance on choosing a maternity care provider and a place for giving birth.
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Nurse-Midwifery SUPPORTIVE, QUALITY CARE FORWOMEN THROUGH CHILDBEARING AND BEYOND Sherry Benner Melanie Bhambri Dorothea Humann Susan Mitchell
Who is a nurse-midwife?“A certified nurse-midwife (CNM) is an individual educated in the two disciplines of nursing and midwifery, who possesses evidence of certification according to the requirements of ACNM.” (ACNM, 2004)
CNMs and CPMs and CMs….oh my! Certified nurse-midwife The focus of this (CNM) presentation Certified midwife (CM) is on CNMs Certified Professional midwife (CPM) Direct-entry midwife (DEM) “Lay” midwife Licensed midwife (LM) (MANA , 2012)
History of Nurse-Midwifery in U.S. 1920’s: Mary Breckenridge 1st to bring nurse-midwifery to U.S. Founded Frontier Nursing Service in early 1920’s 1931: First nurse-midwifery school founded in U.S Lobenstine Midwifery School By mid 1950’s 7 educational programs for nurse-midwives Midwives gaining a reputation of providing quality, cost-effective care American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM) founded Photo courtesy of truthaboutnursing.org (ACNM, 2011a)
How prevalent are midwives? In 2009, more than 313,000 births were attended by midwives This represents: 11.3% of all vaginal births in the U.S. 7.6% of the total U.S. births (ACNM, 2011c) Photo courtesy of richmondmidwife.com
Increase in popularity and prevalence Population of midwives increased dramatically since the 1970’s Number of CNMs in the U.S: 1,723 in 1976 2,550 in 1982 Over 4,000 in 1995 Today, over 7,000 CNMs practice in the U.S. (ACNM, 2011a)
CNM: Licensure and Accreditation CNMs are licensed in all 50 states Licensing agencies: Boards of Nursing Boards of Medicine Boards of Midwifery/Nurse-Midwifery Departments of Health Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME) (ACNM, 2011b)
CNM: Certification and Education Certification American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB) Graduate degree from an accredited education program Active RN license required Education Bachelor’s degree Master’s (MSN) or doctoral degree (DNP) Mastery of clinical skills/core competencies (ACNM, 2010)
How does this compare with direct-entry midwives (DEMs)? Education (MANA, 2011) Portfolio Education Process (PEP) Apprenticeship Midwifery schools Licensure/Certification (MANA, 2011) Varies state to state American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB) NARM (North American Registry of Midwives) Accreditation (MEAC, 2012) Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC) 10 accredited programs across U.S.
What Does a Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM) do? Childbirth Care CNMs practice wherever women give birth Hospitals Birth centers Home Services include: Pregnancy Prenatal Care Labor and Birth Postpartum Care Newborn care for the first 28 days of life (ACNM, 2010) Photo courtesy of about.pregnancy.com
Providing care for women from adolescence through menopause Beyond childbirth midwives provide: Gynecologic care Family planning and preconception services Menopausal care (from pre-post menopause) Primary Care Nurse-midwives : Photo courtesy of Treat common ailments and disorders womenshealthvibe.com Provide physical exams Prescribe medications within their scope of practice Treat partners for sexually transmitted infections (ACNM, 2010)
Hallmarks of Midwifery Recognition of pregnancy, birth, and menopause as NORMAL physiologic events EMPOWERMENT of women as partners in health care Promotion of FAMILY-CENTERED care Advocacy of NON-INTERVENTION in the absence of complications Care to vulnerable populations, CULTURAL competence (Varney, 2004)
The care of women is a TEAM effort! CNMS and doctors COLLABORATE to provide the best possible care: Midwives focus on NORMAL, doctors focus on ABNORMAL. Midwives focus on HEALTH and wellness, doctors focus on DISEASE and treatment. Midwives consult or collaborate with doctors if a pregnancy becomes abnormal or if complications arise. (Varney, 2004)
Midwives collaborate with members of thehealth care team to ensure safety:“knowing when to treat, when not totreat, when to monitor and when torefer” (Varney, 2004). Photo courtesy of examiner.com
A 2008 summary of research onnurse-midwifery in the U.S finds: “ CERTIFIEDNURSE -MIDWIVES CARING FOR LOW RISK WOMEN IMPROVE INFANT MORTALITYRATES IN HOSPITALS AND BIRTH CENTERS WHEN COMPARED TO PHYSICIANS CARING FOR EQUALLY LOW RISK WOMEN” (ACNM, 2008).
High quality care and excellent outcomes Outcomes for physicians and midwives were compared CNM attended births: 33% lower risk of neonatal mortality 31% lower risk of low birth weight babies 19% lower infant mortality rate (ACNM, 2008)
Differences between midwife and physician care Based on 2008 summary CNM group: Higher rates of prenatal education More hands on approach Less technologic interventions Closer supportive relationship during labor and birth Physician group: Higher rates of expensive medical interventions such as invasive testing Higher cesarean section rates: 6%-34% few vaginal deliveries (ACNM, 2008)
So many choices! Providers of Care Places of Birth Obstetrician/Doctor Hospital, birth centers Hospital, birth CNM center, home birth Direct Entry Midwife Home birth, birth center *most birth center births attended by CNMS (ACNM, 2011b)
Places to Birth Hospitals Labor managed by doctor or midwife Higher rates of intervention Birth Centers Free-standing birth centers separate from hospital CNM, MD, or DEM may attend birth (varies by center) Home Birth Attended by CNM or DEM Prenatal, labor, postpartum , and newborn care provided by midwife (American Pregnancy Association, 2011)
What are birth centers all about? A birth center is: a facility other than a hospital or a clients home, where a woman can give birth safely appropriate for women with normal, uncomplicated pregnancies Birth centers provide: care to women before, during, and after pregnancy a home-like environment family-centered care (AABC, 2012)
Birth Centers are a SAFE alternative for low risk pregnancies The National Birth Center Survey shows: lower cesarean section rates outcomes as good as hospital births for low risk clients customers were highly satisfied Photo courtesy of bayareabirthcenter.com (Rooks et al., 1989)
Midwives: Myths and FactsMyth: Midwives are uneducated and non- professionalFact: Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs) and Certified Midwives (CMs) are educated professionals CNMs: are registered nurses who have completed an accredited nurse-midwifery education program CMs: have completed an accredited midwifery education program (ACNM, 2010)
Myth: "Midwives do home births right?“Fact: Certified nurse-midwives attend the births ofwomen in the home, hospital, and in birth centers.Myth: Women being cared for in labor by nurse-midwives must do it "naturally" and cannot receivepain medications or epidurals.Fact: Women cared for by nurse-midwives can receivepain medications and epidurals if they are available atthe womans chosen birth facility. (ACNM, 2006; ACNM, 2010)
“Our country is in dire need of amovement to reduce the medicalizationof routine childbirth and routine use ofunnecessary interventions for low-riskwomen in the United States. Midwives are absolutely essential to that movement.” -Lorrie Kline Kaplan ACNM Executive Director Photo courtesy ofnaturalchildbirthedu.com
For More Information:• About midwives: • www.midwife.org• About birth centers: • www.birthcenters.org• About pregnancy, providers, or places to give birth: • www.childbirthconnection.org
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ReferencesAmerican Association of Birth Centers [AABC]. (2012). For parents. Retrieved from http://www.birthcenters.org/for-parentsAmerican College of Nurse-Midwives [ACNM]. (2004). Position statement: Definition of a certified nurse-midwife. Retrieved from http://www.midwife.org/siteFiles/position/Def_of_Mid_Prac,_CNM,_CM_05.pdfAmerican College of Nurse-Midwives [ACNM]. (2006). What is a midwife? Journal of Midwifery & Womens Health. 51(5). pp.385-386. Retrieved from http://www.midwife.org/siteFiles/news/sharewithwomen51_5.pdfAmerican College of Nurse-Midwives [ACNM]. (2008). Nurse-midwifery in 2008: Evidenced based practice. Retrieved from http://www.midwife.org/ACNM/files/ccLibraryFiles/Filename/000000000045/nurse_ midwifery_in_2008.pdfAmerican College of Nurse-Midwives [ACNM]. (2010). Our scope of practice. Retrieved from http://www.midwife.org/index.asp?bid=17American College Of Nurse-Midwives [ACNM]. (2011a). Brief history of nurse-midwifery in the United States. Retrieved from http://mymidwife.org
References (cont.)American College Of Nurse-Midwives [ACNM]. (2011b). Comparison of certified nurse- midwives, certified midwives, and certified professional midwives. Retrieved from http://www.midwife.org/index.asp?bid=301American College of Nurse-Midwives [ACNM]. (2011c). Essential facts about midwives. Retrieved from http://www.midwife.org/Essential-Facts-about-Midwives American Pregnancy Association. (2011). Birthing choices: home care providers and birth locations. Retrieved from http://www.americanpregnancy.org/Goer, H. (1999). The place of birth: location, location, location. The thinking women’s guide to a better birth (pp.201-218). New York, New York: The Berkley Publishing GroupMidwives Alliance of North America [MANA]. (2011). Direct-Entry midwifery state-by-state legal status. Retrieved from http://mana.org/statechart.htmlMidwives Alliance of North America [MANA]. (2012). Definitions. Retrieved from http://mana.org/definitions.htmlMidwifery Education Accreditation Council [MEAC]. (2012). MEAC accredited programs. Retrieved from http://meacschools.org/accredited_schools.phpNorth American Registry of Midwives [NARM]. (2011). Entry level applicants. Retrieved from http://narm.org/entry-level-applicants/
References (cont.)Rooks, J. P. (1997). Midwifery in America: Philosophy, objectives, and body of knowledge. Midwifery and Childbirth in America (pp. 130-131). Philadelphia: Temple University Press.Rooks, J. P., Weatherby, N. L., Ernst, E. K., Stapleton, S., Rosen, D., & Rosenfield, A. (1989). Outcomes of care in birth centers: The national birth center study. The New England Journal of Medicine. 321(6). pp. 1804-1811.U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [USDHHS]. (2012). 2020 leading health indicator topics: Maternal, infant and child health. Healthy People 2020. Retrieved from http://www.healthypeople/2020/topicsobjerctives2020/objectiveslist.aspx?topicid=26Varney, H., Kriebs, J. M., & Gegor, C. L. (2004). Basics of management of care. Varney’s midwifery (4th ed.). pp. 29-32.World Health Organization [WHO]. (2011). Nurses and midwives. Retrieved from http://who.int/whosis/whostat/2011/en/index.html
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