A CNM is a licensed, independent health care provider that has completed a graduate level midwifery education program and passed a national certification exam. CNMs are educated in both advanced practice nursing and midwifery. (American College of Nurse-Midwives, 2011)

What is midwifery?

Midwifery means “with woman” and has been characterized as an “ancient profession reborn in contemporary society” (Varney, 2015, p. 1). Hallmarks of modern midwifery care include:

  • The facilitation, support and nonintervention of natural processes
  • Family centered care that is holistic, individualized and based on the woman’s physical, psychological, and cultural needs
  • Prioritization and promotion of preventative health care
  • A belief in “the power and strength of women and the importance of their health in the well-being of families, communities and nations” (Varney, 2015, p.4)


What is the scope of care for a CNM?

CNMS care for women throughout their life span from adolescence to menopause. Examples of care provided by midwives, include but are not limited to:

  • Well woman gynecologic and primary care
    • Annual gynecologic exams
    • Routine health screening
  • Common problems or disorders
    • Diagnosis and treatment of gynecologic infections
    • Menstrual cycle pain management
    • Menopausal symptom management
    • Benign breast conditions
  • Family planning
    • Contraception counseling and care
      • Nonhormonal Methods
      • Hormonal Methods
    • Preconception care and counseling
  • Maternity care
    • Prenatal
    • Labor and Delivery
    • Postpartum
  • Evaluation and facilitation for referrals to their physician colleagues as indicated

Collaborative care between midwives and physicians has overwhelmingly proven to improve the health outcomes of women and their infants. Our midwife, Cassandra Elder, embraces the philosophy of the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada “that ‘every woman deserves a midwife and some need an obstetrician too’”(Santa Cruz, 2015).

Additional information on midwifery care can be found at www.midwife.org

To learn more about Cassandra, click here.


American College of Nurse-Midwives. (2011). About midwives. Retrieved from: http://www.midwife.orgSanta Cruz, J. (2015, June 12). Call the midwife: why a growing number of U.S. mothers are turning to midwives rather than physicians, for prenatal care, labor and delivery. Retrieved from: https://www.theatlantic.com

Varney, H. (2015). The history and profession of midwifery in the United States. In A. Harvey (Ed.), Varney’s midwifery (pp. 1-30). Burlington, MA: Jones & Barlett Learning, LLC.