World Health Organization and the International Childbirth Education
Association recommend that healthy pregnant women
seek out midwives as their maternity care
providers. All over the world midwives are "with
women" during the most significant experiences of
their lives: childbirth.
Global evidence shows that midwives
are recognized as the most appropriate maternity
care provider for most women. Naturally, referrals
to physicians are recommended whenever a medical
condition arises which creates a high risk
situation for mother or baby.
Women want more than technological
care during pregnancy and birth. Midwives trust
the birth process and affirm each individual
woman's ability to give birth.
Certified Professional Midwife
Certified Professional Midwives are
skilled professionals who provide the Midwives
Model of Care to women and families in a variety
of settings, including birth centers, homes and
hospitals. Preparation to become a CPM involves
specialized, competency-based education programs
and risk assessment training, that requires
out-of-hospital clinical experience.
The Certified Professional Midwife (CPM)
credential requires that all candidates
demonstrate successful mastery of both the
didactic information and clinical experience
components. The didactic component must include
either education in a program accredited by the
Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC)
or ACNM Certification Council (ACC), or completion
of PEP, a competency-based education program. Each
candidate must also complete a clinical component
that is at least one year in length and equivalent
to 1350 contact hours under the supervision of one
or more approved preceptors.
Competency-based education is based on the testing
and documentation of skills that are relevant to
real-life job conditions, as determined by
psychometric research within the profession. The
current CPM competency-based education program is
based on a national job analysis that surveyed the
largest number of professionals ever examined in
any study of midwives. The Certified Professional
Midwives’ credentialing process was evaluated by
independent researchers at Ohio State University
as a credential that exemplified the established
standards for educational and psychological
testing, as determined by the American Educational
Research Association, American Psychological
Association, and the National Council of
Measurement in Education.
North American Registry of
Created in 1987 by the Midwives Alliance of North
America, the North
American Registry of Midwives is an international
certifying body whose function is
to develop and maintain certification standards
for the Certified Professional Midwife
credential. The certification program includes
providing oversight for regular
job analysis updates, the key to maintaining a
psychometrically sound certification credential.
It also includes the NARM Written Examination,
administration of the application process, and
skills assessment. Those candidates who meet
rigorous educational and credentialing standards
are awarded the Certified Professional Midwife
credential. Recertification every three years is
required of all CPMs.
The Midwives Model of Care is based
on the fact that pregnancy and birth are normal
You are about to
experience the birth of your baby!
Women in the United
States are learning that pregnancy and childbirth
are normal, healthy processes, not diseases. And
they are finding out that they and their families
can benefit from the care of a midwife.
The Midwives Model of
Care includes prenatal visits and "hands-on" care
throughout labor, birth and right after. It
results in less chance of complications, fewer
interventions, and a healthier birth for you and
Women are discovering
that the hospital is not the only option for safe
birth. Women are most likely to labor best in a
place where they feel free, safe and private, with
attendants whom they know and trust.
Many women find that
they feel most comfortable at home or in a birth
center, with the ongoing attention and nurturing
care of a midwife or doctor trained in gentle,
natural, safe childbirth - someone who is an
expert in normal birth and provides the Midwives
Model of Care.
What to Expect
from a Caregiver
Who Provides the Midwifery Model of Care:
- Gentle, nurturing care that
respects you, your family and your beliefs.
- Respect for your informed
decisions about medical tests, recommendations and
- Willingness to support your birth
plan, including any family members and friends you
may want present at the birth.
- Freedom to move, eat, bathe - to
do what helps you during labor and birth; your
midwife doesn't "prohibit" or "allow," but
patiently supports and guides you as needed.
- Respect for the birth process as
it unfolds uniquely each time. Although amazing,
being pregnant and giving birth are actually
normal life processes for which a woman's body is
well-designed. Each woman's experience is unique.
- Respectful care regardless of
setting, although at present this kind of care is
most readily found in homes and birth centers.
- Prenatal visits that allow plenty
of time for questions and answers - 30 to 60
minutes for each prenatal appointment is common.
- Meaningful discussions to explore
and help resolve fears and concerns you or your
family may have.
- Caring attention to develop a
trusting and nurturing relationship with you and
your family that can help you to labor and give
birth naturally and safely.
- Plenty of information about
pregnancy, birth and the newborn, and about
breastfeeding and newborn care.
- Suggestions about ways you can
take good care of yourself and your baby.
- Encouragement and practical
suggestions for you to have good nutrition and
make healthy lifestyle choices.
- Full information about any
recommended tests, procedures or treatments so you
can make informed choices about your care.
- Regular and thorough check-ups for
you and your baby throughout your pregnancy,
during labor, and after the birth, to make sure
both of you are healthy and doing well.
- Recommendations for diagnostic
technology when appropriate.
- Planning with you for the
unexpected and for the rare emergency.
- Referrals to other health care
specialists or to a different birth setting if
- Expertise in normal, natural
childbirth. Because they are experts in normal
pregnancy and birth, midwives are experienced in
the variations of normal birth and recognize the
early signs of conditions that are not "normal,"
including as medical conditions or complications
that may occasionally arise during pregnancy or
the birth process.
Confidence in Your
- Help with discovering your own
body's ability to give birth, in its own way and
in its own time.
- No routine treatments or arbitrary
timetables that can interfere with your body's
healthy process of laboring and giving birth.
- Truly individualized care, privacy
and natural childbirth.
- Support for doing the work of
giving birth. Rather than someone else
"delivering" the baby, you are empowered to give
birth to your own baby yourself!
Natural Techniques for Comfort
- Help you cope with the discomfort
of labor. Midwives have found that encouragement,
massage, relaxation, laboring in water, changing
positions and other approaches are often very
- Encourage the progress of labor
and help you give birth to your baby gently and
- Help you avoid risks (to yourself
and to your baby) that are associated with many
standard medical techniques and hospital
A Care Provider Who
Will Stay with You
- Attentive, sensitive care and
emotional support in tune with your needs,
throughout labor. Research has shown that having a
"sympathetic female companion" with you all
through labor and delivery reduces the chance of
complications and the likelihood of an unnecessary
cesarean section. The Midwives Model of Care means
that your midwife stays with you and mothers the
- Post-partum care and help with
breastfeeding. After your baby is born, the
midwife will stay with you until breastfeeding
is established and both you and your baby are
resting comfortably. She will arrange a visit
after the birth to check you and your baby and
to answer any questions.
We expect participation and
responsibility from parents. We believe that
prenatal care is not what we do to you, but what
you do for yourself and your unborn baby; taking
vitamins, getting daily exercise, eating good,
wholesome food, and becoming educated about
childbirth. Midwives encourage women and their
families to make informed choices and take an
active part in their own health care. Pregnancy
is an ideal time for mothers to become educated
about nutrition, healthful life styles,
breastfeeding and infant care.
Babies are a Blessing from
Whoever receives one little child
like this in My name
— Matthew 18:4-5
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Birth Pool Rental
When labor gets intense, the best
comfort is water! The pressure of the water and
buoyancy combines to relieve some of the
intensity of labor. I have a heated Aqua Doula
Birth Tub that I rent to my couples for their
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