The term midwife means “with woman.” Midwives have been attending births for centuries and are documented in ancient Greek and Roman texts. In today’s setting, certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) have degrees beginning with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and then a graduate degree (master’s/doctorate), followed by national certification and state license, allowing a CNM to practice as an advance registered nurse practitioner (ARNP) and CNM. CNMs provide care from your first period until after menopause, plus all of the important health events in between, such as: general health care services, annual gynecologic exams, family planning needs, treatment of sexually transmitted infections, care during teenage years, care for pregnancy, labor, birth, postpartum period and menopause care.
Women choose to partner with a midwife for their pregnancy and birth because:
Midwives are patient, watchful guardians of normal birth and practice judicious use of medical intervention
National and global research indicates that women who choose a nurse-midwife have lower rates of induction of labor, cesarean section, and perineal trauma, as well as higher rates of breastfeeding
Certified nurse-midwives have full medication prescription authority and order diagnostic procedures when medically indicated
Prenatal appointments with midwives tend to be longer than those with physicians, and midwives tend to spend more time by a woman’s side in labor
CNMs work with other members of the health care team, such as physicians and nurses, to provide the highest quality collaborative care. To this end, I have a practice agreement with the obstetricians of Fidalgo Medical Associates and work closely with them when collaboration is needed. While I have a deep respect for a woman’s choice regarding where she wants to give birth, I have chosen to offer birth exclusively at Island Hospital to allow for the widest array of medical and pain relief options for women in labor (including epidurals and coming soon…Nitrous Oxide!).