anyone's response will be useful =)

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    Hello!

    Future nursing student here (starting next fall), interested in someday specializing in anything to do with pregnancy, birth and babies. Not in the "awww babies!" way but in the "can't learn enough about pregnancy/birth/newborns after taking developmental psych. way). I'm just not sure what type of specialty I should look into because there seems to be so many different credentials out there for this field.

    I see myself working step-by-step with an expecting family or woman, preparing for their newborn, talking to them about their options, checking the fetus's growth, talking to the mother about nutrition, etc. I'd also like to be there for the birth and then for a little time after as well, maybe a few days-months?

    I'm not sure how I feel about home-births but I know they can be absolutely safe and beneficial. I just think I'd rather work in some type of clinic/hospital.

    Is there a job out there like this?? If you have any experience or advice, please share. I don't mean to sound ignorant about this but I have been hearing so many different things about widwifery/ obgyn nursing that I figured I would just ask real people =).
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  3. 15 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    There are a lot of threads on allnurses that will give you lots of info.

    I'll start you out by directing you to the nurse-midwife section:

    Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNM)

    Do some searches on "midwives" "L&D nursing" "OB nursing"
    lots of good discussions here.
    midwifetobe85 likes this.
  5. 0
    Thank you! Do you think it would a good idea to try to shadow a CNM or L&D nurse? Any pointers for how I could go about setting that up? I'm starting a part-time BSN program this fall and plan on working as a CNA while in school (the program is set up so that you can work). Can CNA's work in L&D or alongside a CNM or OB nurse?

    Thanks again!
  6. 2
    Hey hellosun! I just graduated from a BSN program and am now applying to midwifery school. Definitely interview and shadow both CNMs and OB nurses, the roles are quite different. Here are a few videos that might be helpful:

    Pregnancy Tips : What Does a Labor & Delivery Nurse Do? - YouTube

    Pregnancy Tips : What Is a Nurse Midwife? - YouTube

    I am a Midwife Because...Part I - YouTube

    I am a Midwife Because...Part II - YouTube


    I would call private practice offices and speak with the secretary about wanting to shadow an OB nurse and a CNM, he/she can pass on the message to them. Also, I volunteered at a local hospital in the special care nursery and spoke with the volunteer coordinator about wanting to shadow a midwife. She knew that one of the midwives would be interested and so she set up a meeting for us. That led to multiple shadowing experiences. Also, if you google midwifery practices near you and you can get email addresses that may be another way to reach them. Contact the head of your nursing program and ask for the OB instructors/CNM faculty members emails. (Or maybe you can find this info on your school's website and just email them directly.) They may not be practicing but they could probably give you some good advice or direct you to practicing OB nurses/CNMs for shadowing.

    Also, I agree with queenanneslace - definitely look through the nurse midwife section on this, its very useful. Hope this helps!
    Melodies of Legend and cjyff like this.
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    midwifetobe85 - Thank you for your post! I watched all of the videos and will continue to do more research.

    Congratulations on graduating! Do you mind me asking what led to you applying to midwifery school? Did you have any clinicals in L&D? How are the programs you are applying to set up? Sorry for all of the questions, I just haven't met anyone else yet following the same path.

    Thank you for all of the info! It really is so helpful to have this site and all of the advice/support everyone contributes is fantastic. I feel welcomed to the field already.
  8. 0
    Quote from hellosun
    midwifetobe85 - Thank you for your post! I watched all of the videos and will continue to do more research.

    Congratulations on graduating! Do you mind me asking what led to you applying to midwifery school? Did you have any clinicals in L&D? How are the programs you are applying to set up? Sorry for all of the questions, I just haven't met anyone else yet following the same path.

    Thank you for all of the info! It really is so helpful to have this site and all of the advice/support everyone contributes is fantastic. I feel welcomed to the field already.
    Hi hellosun, thanks! And I'm happy to answer your questions! I actually knew I wanted to be a midwife before applying to nursing school. I had already graduated w a BA in French when I realized my passion for midwifery and went back to school. I did a 1-year accelerated BSN for students who have a degree in another field.
    In all nursing programs, you will do at least one OB (L&D and/or postpartum) rotation. My first one was a good experience. I was assigned to one postpartum patient on whom I conducted a complete postpartum assessment and took both mother's and baby's vitals. I also was able to insert my first Foley catheter for a young girl w an epidural and also be present for her birth. All nursing students will also have something called a senior practicum, which is your longest placement on one type of floor. You can typically request a particular type of placement depending on your interests (OB, peds, ICU, ED, etc). Not everyone will get their preferred placement but I was lucky and was placed on a maternity unit. It was a combo L&D and postpartum floor. I was there twice a week from Feb-May when I graduated. I spent most of my time on the postpartum side and so my postpartum and neonatal assessments became quite strong.

    Midwifery education requires a two year masters program in nurse midwifery. I'm in MA and there's only one in state option - Baystate Medical Center. It's a good program but does not offer financial aid so Im not sure if its really an option. My main choice is Frontier Nursing University, which is a distance program and has an excellent reputation. The first year is online and the second year is made up of clinicals which are arranged with midwives in your area. Here's a list of all of the nurse midwifery programs - you can check out their websites for more info. http://www.midwife.org/rp/eduprog_all.cfm

    I'm happy to answer any other questions you may have!
  9. 1
    I realized that I didn't really answer what inspired me to be a midwife. Two things: 1.) I had a couple of midwives speak in my women's studies class about the emotional significance of birth for a woman and the need to empower her so that she will trust her natural birthing instincts. Something about that really resonated with me. 2.) I read Baby Catcher by Peggy Vincent (a CNMs autobiography). I highly recommend it.

    Also if you'd like to watch an excellent documentary on midwifery and the issues with our maternity system I HIGHLY recommend you watch 'The Business of Being Born' (its available on Netflix streaming).
    melmarie23 likes this.
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    Can CNA's work in L&D or alongside a CNM or OB nurse?
    It depends on the hospital - but yes, many hospitals hire CNAs - or PCAs - to work on L&D floors. It's a great way to get experience on the OB unit. Some hospitals have volunteer doula programs - and that's another way to get some experience around birth.
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    Where I've worked, the CNAs/PCAs have only worked postpartum (and then, only the mothers, not the babies). They don't do anything in L&D - it's total patient care, and the L&D nurse does everything that would be otherwise delegated to a CNA.
  12. 1
    Quote from queenanneslace

    It depends on the hospital - but yes, many hospitals hire CNAs - or PCAs - to work on L&D floors. It's a great way to get experience on the OB unit. Some hospitals have volunteer doula programs - and that's another way to get some experience around birth.
    Our CNAs cross train as scrub techs for c sections also.
    melmarie23 likes this.


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