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Nurse-Midwife Service Team

A Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM) is a health care professional educated in nursing and midwifery, qualified to care for healthy women throughout their childbearing experiences and to provide well-woman gynecologic services.

View our DHMC Nurse-Midwife Service Team.

About Nurse-Midwives

Thinking of using a midwife, but unsure as to the type of care they provide? These are a few common questions about midwives and the role they play in women's health. If you have additional questions, please contact us.

What is the philosophy of CNMs?

Midwives believe the normal process of pregnancy and birth can be enhanced through education, health care, and supportive intervention. They do not view their clients as sick patients needing high-tech intervention, but as partners who actively participate in their health care.

What type of education and experience do CNMs have?

CNMs are registered nurses who have completed graduate-level midwifery education and are board-certified by The American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM). They are health professionals who are fully licensed by the New Hampshire Board of Nursing to deliver comprehensive midwifery care including prenatal, birth, and postpartum care, gynecologic examinations, and family planning services.

Can I receive routine gynecologic care from Nurse-Midwives?

Yes! Besides maternity services, CNMs offer comprehensive well-woman care including Pap smear screening, breast examinations and mammography, contraceptive counseling, and menopause management.

Will epidural anesthesia and other pain medications be available to me during labor?

Absolutely. Women may opt to receive pain medicine during their labor and birth with their midwife. However, many women find that they need nothing more than position changes, gentle massages, warm Jacuzzi soaks and reassuring words from the midwife at their side!

Why would I need to see a physician during my prenatal, birth or postpartum experience?

CNMs care for essentially healthy women and newborns, and are experts in detecting deviations from normal prenatal, birth, and postpartum processes. While rare, some women develop medical complications related to pregnancy or childbirth that require the attention of other medical professionals. Should any such circumstances develop, the midwife will collaborate with other physicians and specialists to ensure that you receive the medical attention you require. If intervention extends beyond the scope of midwifery practice, such as cesarean surgery, your midwife will remain by your side to provide support and to answer any questions.

Can I continue to see my midwife after my childbearing years?

Definitely! Midwives pride themselves on their approach to meet the specific needs of women in the post-menopausal years. Women receive individualized education and counseling to make informed decisions regarding their health care options during menopause and beyond. Health care practices such as hormone replacement therapy and its alternatives, mammography, bone density screening, and cholesterol screening are discussed and selected based on individual preference and need.

Basic facts about Certified Nurse-Midwives

  • Nurse-midwifery practice is legal in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
  • Over 50 percent of CNMs list physician practices or hospitals as their principal employers.
  • The majority of CNM-attended births occur in hospitals. In 2001, 97 percent of CNM-attended deliveries occurred in hospitals, 1.8 percent in freestanding birth centers and 0.9 percent in the home.
  • Nurse-midwives have prescription-writing authority in 48 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, and Guam.

Source: American College of Nurse-Midwives

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