A midwife may be the perfect partner to help you through pregnancy. Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs) offer a natural approach to low-risk childbirth. CNMS also have experience collaborating with OB/GYNs and maternal-fetal medicine specialists for high-risk cases. Northside Women's Specialists, an affiliate of MEDNAX, offers a range of OB/GYN and midwifery care in Atlanta and Alpharetta, Georgia.
So, what are some compelling reasons to choose a midwife in your birthing plan?
CNMs offer holistic medicine with modern training.
Midwives view pregnancy and childbirth as a natural event, and apply a “wait and watch” philosophy until interventions are appropriate. While CNMs are known for using fewer technical and invasive procedures early on, CNMs have the knowledge and training required for a clinical approach when necessary. CNMs complete bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing/nurse midwifery, and are certified by the American Midwifery Certification Board. They are qualified to treat women through all seasons of life – before, during and after pregnancy.
Midwifery often allows for more personal interaction between the provider and patient.
Many women consider CNMs to be more hands-on with their patients. Prenatal appointments with a CNM often last longer as midwives take time to build supportive relationships with each patient. CNMs offer education in areas beyond pregnancy, including exercise, nutrition and emotional wellbeing. They also walk patients through the birthing process to help women feel more in control during all stages of pregnancy.
CNMs focus on patient choice.Through individualized care and education, CNMs are committed to helping patients play an active role in the decisions surrounding their birthing experience. Midwives believe in allowing birth to progress naturally, while keeping patients informed of their options. They are trained to provide alternative comfort measures during labor, including hydrotherapy and massage, as well as other pain management options, such as narcotics and epidurals. Patients of CNMs often report feeling more at ease and less stressed about labor due to the emotional and physical support.
Research shows midwifery during a low-risk pregnancy results in positive outcomes.Studies comparing prenatal care by midwives versus physicians found that midwife-led care has benefits among women of similar risk groups. Women cared for by a midwife experienced:
- Higher chance for normal vaginal birth and lower rates of cesarean
- Fewer interventions such as induction and augmentation
- Reduction in incidences of third and fourth degree perineal tears
- Lower use of regional anesthesia
- Higher success of breastfeeding
Find a CNM
If you are interested in learning more about CNMs, the American College of Nurse-Midwives locator can help you find a provider in your area.
As of August 2016, there were 11,475 CNMs in the United States. Since 1991, the number of CNM-attended births has more than doubled. The most recent public data shows that midwives attended 12.1% of all vaginal births and 8.3% of total U.S. births in 2014. Most midwives serve in a hospital setting or as part of a physician group. In all states, midwives are able to prescribe prescriptions, including pain medications.
About Northside Women's Specialists
The Northside Women’s Specialists team includes:
- Board certified OB/GYNs
- Maternal-fetal medicine specialists
- Genetic counselors
- Advanced nurse practitioners
- Certified nurse midwives
- Diagnostic medical sonographers
- Registered perinatal nurses
- Insurance benefits counselors
In 2016, Judy Fielder, CNM, was named Hometown Hero in the state of Georgia by the American College of Nurse-Midwives in recognition of her many years caring for women and dedication to midwifery care. She has practiced midwifery with Northside Women's Specialists since 1986. Meet the entire team at Northside Women's Specialists.