Is delivering with a certified nurse midwife safe?
Janelle Drogowski, WHNP-BC, is a certified nurse-midwife who practices at Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center. For more information on this topic, talk with your doctor or call
Ms. Drogowski’s office at (623) 584-0800.
Question: I want to deliver with a CNM, but my husband is nervous something could go wrong. Is it safe?
Answer: A certified nurse-midwife, or CNM, has specialized training in addition to certification as a midwife. A CNM is also an advanced practice nurse who may prescribe medications, use medical devices, provide diagnoses and recommend therapies. All CNMs have a master’s degree in their area of specialty and have extensive knowledge of the health care needs of a woman, particularly during childbearing years.
CNMs are unique because they offer the ideal combination of clinical expertise and a natural approach to women’s health and obstetrical care, and they provide this care in a traditional medical setting. When an expectant mother chooses a CNM to oversee her prenatal care and to manage the labor and delivery process, the patient will most likely deliver her child in a hospital. The CNM may collaborate with staff OB/GYN physicians at the hospital and can request their assistance at any point during the birthing process. The CNM and the physician complement one another by each providing specialized skills, the CNM with a midwifery perspective and advanced nurse training and the physician with experience in dealing with high-risk deliveries and potential complications. Ultimately, the CNM and available physicians may work as a team to provide the best available care for the patient.
Patients and their loved ones derive a great deal of comfort and confidence knowing that CNMs have additional training and are medical professionals in their own right, and that they can access physicians and other personnel for any necessary consultations and support. With a CNM, the expectant mother gets the natural birthing experience she desires and the availability of a larger hospital care team if needed.