What do CNMs do exactly???

  1. Hi yall. So im currently in school getting my bachelors in respiratory therapy. Bu my dream is to be able to take care of mothers and babies through pregnancy and then actually be able to deliver the babies. So I plan to go back and get my bachelors in nursing after i graduate, and then go and get my masters in midwifery. So here's my question:

    What exactly do yall do?? From the research i've done, i came up with the idea that you're basically OBGYNs without the doctors title. Is that about right?? If not, can someone please explain what is it that we do?? Specifically if you choose to work in a hospital. Also, if anyones a traveling Midwife (if there is such a thing), can you tell me how that experience is and how that works?? Thank yall :-)
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  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   LibraSunCNM
    No, we are not "OB/GYNs without the doctor's title." Doctors generally subscribe to the medical model of care for pregnancy and childbirth, whereas midwives subscribe to the midwifery model of care:

    What is a Midwife? – Our Moment of Truth
    Philosophy of Care

    In a nutshell, you could say midwives are trained to view pregnancy and childbirth as essentially normal, but are also trained to pick up on and either treat or refer abnormal situations, and doctors are trained to view it as a pathological state that requires a lot of medical intervention. This is painting the issue with a broad brush, but that's the nuts and bolts. Some midwives are extremely medically-oriented and interventive, and some doctors are extremely progressive and practice more like the midwifery model of care, but those are the general differences between the two philosophies.

    Doctors are surgeons. They can perform cesarean sections, as well as all kinds of GYN surgeries. Midwives are not surgeons, although they may get additional training to be able to be the first assistant during cesarean sections.

    Doctors go through four years of med school, then four years of OB residency. Midwives have a bachelor's degree in either nursing or something else, and a master's degree in midwifery.

    Midwives also care for women throughout the lifespan, providing well-woman GYN care, contraceptive counseling, menopause management, and may have extra training to do things like colposcopy or prescribe medical abortions.

    Midwives work in private practices, solo practice, directly for hospitals, and in various types of clinics. 95% of midwives who do deliveries do so in hospitals, the other 5% work either in freestanding birth centers or doing home births.

    Note: all of the above refers to licensed certified nurse-midwives or certified midwives, NOT certified professional midwives, who are very different. The top link I listed describes the differences among midwives.

    Does that help?
    Last edit by LibraSunCNM on Oct 19 : Reason: misspelling
  4. by   Jordan1927
    Yes it did. Thank you very much!!!!
  5. by   LibraSunCNM
    As a caveat to my earlier post, I just want to add this in for clarification: when I said "doctors are surgeons," hopefully you understood what I meant, which was that OBGYN doctors are surgeons. Obviously not all doctors are surgeons! There are, however, still some regular family practice doctors out there, mostly in more rural areas, delivering babies, who aren't surgeons, but that is a rare find.

    Carry on.

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