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What you need to know about certified nurse midwives (infographic)

Everything you need to know about certified nurse midwives (CNM)! Click image for larger view.

More resources:
How to choose a midwife
What is a midwife?

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What is a midwife?

midwife

The tradition of having a midwife for childbirth is a long one, but make no mistake that today’s certified nurse midwives (CNM) are highly trained medical professionals.

A CNM is an advanced practice nurse with a master’s degree in nursing who specializes in the care of women across their lifespan. CNMs are considered independent practitioners, who have the authority to write prescriptions.

The main difference between a midwife and an OB-GYN is in the perspective of care for their patients. Midwives are trained as nurses first, in the health promotion model of care. This means that they are trained to encourage patients to make healthy lifestyle choices while taking into account physical, emotional, mental and spiritual factors of health. OB-GYNs are trained in the medical model, which focuses mostly on the physical aspect of care and treatment. They specialize in surgery and illness processes, and midwives specialize in education and management of normal pregnancy and birth.

Because they are not called out of the office as frequently for emergencies and surgeries, midwives often have the luxury of being able to spend a great deal of time with their patients. A midwife can typically offer a highly personalized, natural process of care for your pregnancy and birth, and will have a collaborative agreement with a physician, who can consult or assist if risks or issues emerge.

If you decide that a midwife is the best choice for you and your baby, Mercy Medical Center has an expert team of certified nurse midwives, who are now accepting patients. For more information, visit http://www.affinityhealth.org/Affinity/Services/Obstetrics-and-Gynecology/Midwives.htm

 

 

How to choose a midwife

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As a mom, I know that pregnancy is a time filled with plans and questions. The question, “Who will provide my pregnancy and delivery care?” is front and center for many moms-to-be. Many also wonder “Who will take care of me after I have my baby?” Mercy Medical Center has a full team of compassionate, skilled Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs) who can fulfill all of those needs.

Care for all life’s stages
A CNM is an advanced practice nurse who specializes in the care of healthy women across the lifespan. They are RNs who have gone on to receive a master’s degree in nursing and are considered independent practitioners with the authority to write prescriptions. CNMs are required to have a collaborative agreement with a doctor to whom they can refer high-risk patients.

During pregnancy, CNMs offer the same pain management options as an OB-GYN, as well as continuous labor support and other natural pain relief options. Because they are less likely to be called away to surgery and emergencies, CNMs can often spend more time with individual patients to address any concerns you might have about your pregnancy or birth. Continue Reading »

What is a water birth?

waterbirth

You already know that a warm bath can soothe sore muscles and help you relax. It makes sense, then, that for many moms a water birth—when your labor, delivery or both are done in a birth tub filled with warm water—makes the birthing experience less painful and more soothing.

You may not be an ideal candidate for water birth if:

  • You are having a multiple birth
  • You have experienced complications such as preeclampsia or premature labor
  • You have existing medical conditions
  • Are considered a high-risk pregnancy
  • Your baby is premature (less than 37 weeks)
  • Your baby is in the breech position
  • Your baby has first bowel movement while still inside (meconium stained fluid)

However, if your pregnancy has been healthy and your baby is well positioned, there are many benefits of water birthing.

While epidural and intrathecal pain control methods cannot be used during a water birth, you may not miss them. Studies have shown that having all or part of your labor in water reduces pain, in part by decreasing adrenaline production, allowing for a shorter labor, and by decreasing the pressure on your abdomen, which means better blood circulation and more oxygen to both you and your baby.

The water also helps reduce the incidence and severity of tearing, and the buoyancy makes it easier for you to move and find a position that is comfortable. The more relaxed and comfortable you are, the more you will be able to focus on the process of birth as it’s happening. Continue Reading »

Birth without fear: the benefits of hypnobirthing

hypnobirthing

There is a plethora of information offered to pregnant women regarding birthing a baby. Friends, family, even strangers feel the need to tell women about their birthing stories. Some of them are unpleasant stories, but many are about strength, peace, support and the hardest but most wonderful event of a woman’s life. No woman ever forgets her birth story.

One increasingly popular way of giving birth is hypnobirthing, a method that focuses on eliminating fear in the birthing process. Fear causes tension, which stops the body from performing a normal physiologic function. When a woman is overwhelmed by fear during childbirth, stress hormones increase the heart rate and force blood to the arms and legs in the “fight or flight” response. With blood concentrated in the arms and legs, less blood circulates to the uterus, causing uterine pain and hindering the natural labor process.

For those interested in hypnobirthing, Barb Krohn, RN, currently teaches a five-class series at Mercy Medical Center. These two-and-half-hour classes teach special breathing, relaxation, visualization, meditative practice, attention to nutrition and positive body toning. Parents-to-be are provided with a CD to teach them self-hypnosis and positive affirmations. Participants in the class also receive a book that outlines the theory of hypnobirthing, suggestions for comfort during labor and special circumstances, and frequently asked questions and answers.

In my years of practice as a certified nurse midwife, I have worked with women who attended hypnobirthing classes, and I have seen these women and their partners focus hard to relax and work with their bodies to birth their baby. The hypnobirthing philosophy and education offered at Mercy Medical Center has been an excellent addition for pregnant women to guide them through their unforgettable birth story.

Register online here.

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