Midwives are dedicated to providing you with the personalized health care experience you deserve. When looking for a midwife who will best meet your needs, it is important to understand the different options available to you in the United States.
Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM®)
CNMs are registered nurses with graduate education in midwifery. They have graduated from a masters nurse-midwifery education program accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME). This education includes a university degree as well as hands-on clinical training by practicing CNMs. They also have passed the national certification exam of the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB). CNMs provide general women’s health care throughout a woman’s lifespan. These services include general health check-ups and physical exams; pregnancy, birth, and postpartum care; well woman gynecologic care; and treatment of sexually transmitted infections. CNMs are able to prescribe a full range of substances, medications, and treatments, including pain control medications. CNMs work in many different settings, such as hospitals, health centers, private practices, birth centers, and homes. Most midwives in the United States are CNMs.
Certified Professional Midwife (CPM)
CPMs prepare for a national certification exam administered by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) in different ways. There are two primary pathways for CPM education with differing requirements: apprenticeship training alone or an accredited formal education program. The health care services provided by CPMs are not as broad as those of CNMs and CMs. CPMs provide pregnancy, birth, and postpartum care for women outside of the hospital—often in birth centers and homes. CPMs are not able to prescribe most medications.
Here at New Beginnings, our staff is composed of both experienced Certified Nurse Midwives and Certified Professional Midwives, and all are licensed to practice in the state of Idaho. We are dedicated to providing evidenced-based midwifery services to women of all ages.
Why is choosing a caregiver one of the most important maternity decisions I will make?
It is the position of New Beginnings Birth Center and Women’s Health that every family has a right to:
- Experience childbirth in an environment where human dignity, self-determination, and the family’s cultural context are respected.
- Every woman has a right to an informed choice regarding place of birth and access to safe home birth services.
- Access to Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs) and Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) who are maternity care professionals and who are qualified to provide ongoing assessment of appropriate birth site selection over the course of the antepartum, intrapartum and postpartum periods.
- Access to CNMs and CPMs who are also qualified to provide antepartum, intrapartum, postpartum and newborn care in the home.
- Access to CNMs and CPMs who are part of an integrated system of health care that includes collaboration among all health care providers, which is essential and fundamental to supporting a safe, seamless, transfer of care from home when necessary.
If you are a well and healthy childbearing woman (as are most pregnant women in the U.S.), you can choose a Midwife or a doctor as your maternity caregiver. This link and other pages in this section can help you find the right caregiver for you.