What is a Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM)?
Certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) are licensed healthcare practitioners educated in the two disciplines of nursing and midwifery. CNMs provide primary healthcare to women including:
- Prenatal care
- Labor and delivery care
- Care after birth
- Gynecological exams
- Assistance with family planning decisions
- Preconception care
- Menopause counseling and symptom management
- Counseling in health maintenance
- Counseling in disease prevention
What is the difference between a CNM and other midwives in Utah?
Throughout history, the ancient word "midwife" has been used to describe women who are "with women" at birth. Contemporary usage associates this word with a philosophy of care that focuses on the needs of the woman, offers a variety of options, and minimizes unnecessary intervention. Today, the majority of midwives are Certified Nurse Midwives, or CNMs. Still, a variety of titles are used to label midwifery practice.
As CNMs, we blend the supportive care that women deserve with the scientific knowledge needed for safe practice. We have close collaboration with the local medical community and are dedicated to well-woman care.
In our practice, every CNM has a bachelor's degree in Nursing and a master's degree in Midwifery. After successfully passing a national certification exam supervised by the ACNM, we are licensed by the state of Utah. We are also required to maintain continued competency by attending educational presentations annually.
How do I know that I will get safe care from a midwife?
The American College of Nurse-Midwives believes that midwives should be licensed to practice medicine and provide their clients with a safe mechanism for consultation, collaboration and referral if needed.
In Utah, CNMs have been practicing medicine since 1965. The Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing regulates nurse-midwifery practice under the Nurse-Midwifery Practice Act. Utah CNMs have had prescription writing authority since 1982. All of the CNMs in our practice are licensed as RNs and CNMs with prescriptive practice.
We have established mechanisms for consultation, collaboration and referral with the Maternal Fetal Medicine specialists at Intermountain Medical Center. We work closely with our consultant physicians in the identification and management of any unusual or high-risk pregnancy complications.
Where will I have my baby?
Some people assume that CNMs deliver babies at home, but that is not the case in Utah. We have privileges for birth attendance at Intermountain Medical Center, where we have been delivering babies since its opening in 2008. The nursing staff at Intermountain Medical Center supports the philosophy of midwifery while providing the highest level of medical care available in the region.
Why should I choose a Nurse-Midwife if I'm not pregnant?
CNMs offer a variety of high quality healthcare services for women. For each patient, we take a complete family and personal medical history, then perform a thorough and gentle examination. We also suggest or order age-appropriate laboratory and screening exams. Birth control counseling, healthy lifestyle teaching, prescriptions and follow-up exams are also offered in our practice. Midwives care for female adolescents, women of childbearing age, and women experiencing menopause.
We are very interested in promoting healthy lifestyles for all women:
- We may advise vitamins, calcium supplements and suggest diet or lifestyle changes.
- You will be encouraged to ask questions and we will spend the time necessary to answer these questions to your satisfaction.
- We emphasize teaching about risk factors and self care practices that aid in disease prevention.
- Should you be diagnosed with a medical condition that requires specialized treatment, we have referral relationships with many excellent healthcare providers in various specialties.
Even the U.S. government's top medical scientific organization, the Institute of Medicine, has recommended that certified nurse-midwives be relied on more often in delivering primary healthcare.