Helping patients understand a midwife’s role

A certified nurse midwife (CNM) is a board-certified nurse practitioner who works with mom and advocates for her wishes. The CNM works in a hospital setting, and mom benefits from the safety for herself and her baby. CNMs are trained to care for low-risk pregnancies. They work closely with obstetricians to determine the need for surgery or otherwise care for patients who become high risk. At Norton Hospital and Norton Women’s & Children’s Hospital, obstetricians are in the hospital around the clock, every day, should the need arise.

Natural, Unmedicated Birth

A midwife works with mom to develop an individualized birth plan. Midwives support unmedicated deliveries with limited medical intervention.

Midwives are skilled at helping manage pain with natural approaches such as adjusting positions and breathing techniques. A midwife is an advocate for the woman’s wishes, and if mom decides she needs medication, the midwife is just as supportive and can stay by her side.

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Doulas are Different

A doula typically doesn’t have formal medical training, but can provide guidance and support during labor, much like a coach. This emotional, educational and physical support is helpful to many women.

Certified Nurse Midwives Are Highly Trained

To become certified, a nurse midwife first must be a registered nurse and complete a master’s degree program to become an advanced practice registered nurse.

A midwife studies to complete a board exam to receive certification from the American Midwifery Certification Board.

More Than Babies

Midwives also provide gynecological care and can provide care throughout a woman’s life.

Certified nurse midwives provide compassionate care to women of all ages and needs, not just those in childbearing years.

Insurance Coverage Is Common

In Kentucky, Medicaid covers midwife services, and women should check with their provider about coverage.


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