What is a Certified Nurse-Midwife?

Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs) are educated in both midwifery and nursing. They earn graduate degrees, complete a midwifery education program accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery education (ACME), and pass a national certification examination administered by the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB). Midwives must be recertified every five years and meet specific continuing education requirements.

When considering a health care provider who will best meet your needs, keep in mind that certified nurse-midwives focus not only on maternity care, but also on the full range of a woman’s health needs. CNMs are your partner in women’s health throughout life—from your teenage years through adulthood and beyond. They provide:

  • Primary care
  • Gynecologic and family planning
  • Preconception care
  • Care during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum

Midwives provide initial and ongoing comprehensive assessment, diagnosis and treatment.

  • Conduct physical examinations
  • Prescribe medications (such as antibiotics and birth control)
  • Admit, manage and discharge patients
  • Order and interpret laboratory and diagnostic tests (like screenings for sexually transmitted infections, glucose and lipid screening)
  • Order the use of medical devices 

Midwifery care also includes health promotion, disease prevention, and individualized wellness education and counseling.

Midwifery Care for Teens
For teenagers, CNMs provide education, support, and information through this phase of rapid growth and change. Your midwife can partner with you and your family to help you make safe, smart decisions when it comes to your body and your health. Your midwife is available to discuss the many changes that occur as you go through puberty and begin having your periods.

Midwifery Care during Menopause and Aging
Your teenage and childbearing years aren’t the only times your midwife will help you through changes in your women’s health needs. Certified Nurse-Midwives are also ideal healthcare providers through menopause and beyond. Your midwife can help you recognize the signs of menopause and will assist you in learning how to deal with any discomforts if needed. After menopause, your midwife will continue to partner with you in your health care, helping you remain in good health as you age.  

Midwifery Care during Pregnancy & Birthing
Talk to Thompson’s midwives about how best to prepare yourself for a healthy pregnancy and birth. They can offer resources on helpful topics, such as quitting smoking, avoiding alcohol, preparing for labor, becoming a parent, and baby-proofing your home.

Every woman is different. Our midwives will work with you to determine your current health status and how best to prepare for pregnancy. If you are having trouble getting pregnant, your midwife can review your situation and help identify why you may be having difficulty.

During your pregnancy, your regular check-ups are good times to talk with your midwife about your health, your emotions, and the normal changes that come with pregnancy. At each visit, we will review you and your baby’s health. As you get further along in your pregnancy, we will help you plan for labor and birth. We will build and review your birth plan together.

Most babies are born without any problem. All that is needed is careful education, support, and monitoring through pregnancy and birth. However, sometimes a problem occurs and procedures during pregnancy or childbirth may be needed. If this occurs, certified nurse-midwives have the education and expertise to prescribe pain medication, induce labor, or bring in another member of the healthcare team to help if needed.

Certified Nurse-Midwives may work closely, or in collaboration, with an Obstetrician & Gynecologist, who provides consultation and/or assistance to patients who develop complications or have complex medical histories or disease(s). Often, women with high risk pregnancies can receive the benefits of midwifery care from a Certified Nurse-Midwife in collaboration with a physician.