What is a Midwife?
Most midwives in the United States are health care providers who offer services to women of all ages and stages of life. With their advanced education and their focus on research and partnering with women, they are among the most modern, forward-thinking health professions in the United States today.
With all the changes happening in health care, the midwifery approach to caring for women has never been more important. Today’s woman expects the best care. She expects her provider to understand and value her individual needs. She wants a provider who will partner with her to make health decisions.
Midwives focus on what is most important to each woman’s unique situation and values and often work with other members of the health care team. It’s time to think about whether a midwife might be the right choice for you.
How to Find Midwife
Enter your location and find midwives who are certified nurse midwives (CNMs) and are also members of ACNM in your area. Visit the ACNM Find a Midwife Practice Locator.
Is Midwifery Care Safe?
Midwives approach women’s healthcare based on evidence and clinical expertise, while also considering a women’s own health care values. The American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) has joined with other national health care organizations to develop and endorse principles for client safety in childbirth based on scientific knowledge, coordination of care between a woman’s health care team, active involvement of clients and their families, and a commitment to improving the quality of health care. Together, these principles help promote the highest standards for quality and safety in maternity care in the United States.
Will my midwife provide the pain relief options and medical procedures I want to have during labor?
Most midwives favor an approach to pregnancy, labor, and birth that is based on normal bodily processes rather than on the use of medical procedures. Your midwife will partner with you on making decisions around pain relief techniques, such as the use of an epidural during labor, and make sure that you receive the type of pain relief you need and want. Whether you wish to use methods such as relaxation techniques or movement during labor, or try IV, epidural, or other medications, your midwife will work with you to help you meet your desired approach to birth. At the same time, your midwife will provide you with the information and resources about the different options and choices available if any changes to your birth plan become necessary or if you change your mind. To learn more about normal, healthy childbirth, visit: Our Moment of Truth Handouts for Women and click on Normal, Healthy Childbirth for Women & Families.
Will my insurance cover the care of a midwife?
The majority of states require private insurance companies to pay for services provided by certified nurse-midwives (CNMs), and Medicaid coverage for CNMs is required in all states. In states that do not require private insurance coverage, many insurance plans still cover CNM services. Before choosing any new care provider, check to be sure that your insurance will cover the service and make sure the provider accepts your specific insurance plan.