Happy National Midwifery Week 2014!
The American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) is the professional association that represents certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) and certified midwives (CMs) in the United States. With roots dating to 1929, ACNM sets the standard for excellence in midwifery education and practice in the United States and strengthens the capacity of midwives in developing countries. Our members are primary care providers for women throughout the lifespan, with a special emphasis on pregnancy, childbirth, and gynecologic and reproductive health. ACNM reviews research, administers and promotes continuing education programs, and works with organizations, state and federal agencies, and members of Congress to advance the well-being of women and infants through the practice of midwifery.
Myth #1: Having a midwife is old fashioned.
Midwifery has been practiced throughout history, but has changed and advanced especially in the last few decades. Through their specific focus and advanced education, today’s midwives are among the most modern, forward-thinking health care professionals. Midwives provide a personalized approach to women’s health, during every stage of care throughout life.
Myth #2: Midwife care is inferior.
Of all the midwife-attended births in the United States, 95 percent are with certified nurse midwives (CNMs) and certified midwives (CMs). In order to practice midwifery, both CNMs and CMs are required to hold a master’s degree and pass a certification exam. Though their education has equipped them with the knowledge and resources to deliver comprehensive care to expectant mothers, midwives collaborate with an obstetrician physician leaders throughout care.
Myth #3: Midwives only deliver babies at home.
Midwives deliver care in a variety of settings. Approximately 90 percent of CNM- and CM-attended births take place in a hospital.
Myth #4: A midwife only assists in natural births.
Midwives are here to help each woman understand her options. While your midwife has the skills to provide physical and emotional support during a natural birth, he or she is also there to accommodate your unique needs, including the use of epidurals and other forms of pain relief, upon request.
Myth #5: Midwife services are only used during pregnancy and birth.
Certified nurse midwives are lifetime partners in health and wellness, providing care and support throughout each stage of a woman’s life. In addition to providing care to a woman during pregnancy and birth, midwives also provide primary care related to women’s health such as gynecological exams, screenings and vaccinations, fertility counseling, family planning and menopausal care.