Providence understands selecting a provider is a very personal choice, especially when it comes to delivering your children. The relationship created with your care provider throughout your prenatal and delivery experience can last a lifetime. That’s why Providence offers midwifery and obstetrics options to fit your personal care preferences.
Midwifery is a health care profession in which nurse practitioners offer care to childbearing women during pregnancy, labor and birth, and throughout their postpartum period. In addition, many midwives also provide well-woman care related to reproductive health, annual gynecological exams, family planning, and menopausal care.
The midwives' model of care is based on the belief that pregnancy and birth are normal life processes. They are nationally certified and licensed by the state. The midwife model of care includes:
- Monitoring the physical, psychological, and social well-being of the mother throughout the childbearing cycle
- Providing the mother with individualized education, counseling, and prenatal care, continuous hands-on assistance during labor and delivery, and postpartum support
- Minimizing technological interventions
- Identifying and referring women who require obstetrical attention
Midwife services at Providence
Providence offers midwife services at:
All midwives throughout Providence-Oregon are board certified nurse practitioners specially trained and licensed in midwifery.
About midwife certification
Certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) are registered nurses (RNs) who have specialized post graduate education and midwifery training and certification. Nurse-midwives care for women before and after pregnancy, deliver babies in hospitals and in homes, provide family planning and birth control counseling, and provide gynecological services such as physical and breast exams, Pap smears, pelvic exams, and preventive health screening. They are qualified to order tests and prescribe medicines. Nurse-midwives are licensed by the state in which they practice. Most nurse-midwives are nationally certified in their specialty area.
A certified professional midwife (CPM) provides prenatal care for low-risk pregnancies and delivers babies in birthing centers and homes. After training and apprenticeship under an experienced midwife, a CPM takes a written test and a skills exam before being certified by the North American Registry of Midwives. A CPM may be affiliated with a doctor in case an emergency delivery occurs, but they are not supervised by a doctor. In some states, a certified professional midwife is called a licensed midwife. Experience, training, and medical backup for emergencies are important factors to consider when contracting the services of a CPM.
Lay midwives provide prenatal care and deliver babies outside of a traditional medical setting, such as in a birthing center or home. Lay midwife training consists of an apprenticeship with an experienced midwife, workshops, and classes. Because a lay midwife does not have professional medical training and is not licensed or certified, he or she may have limited ability and technology for handling complications or sudden emergencies. Experience, training, and medical backup for emergencies (having a physician that can be called for urgent needs and consultations) are important factors to consider when contracting the services of a lay midwife.