What Is a Nurse Midwife And When Should Expectant Mothers Engage with a Midwife?

By  | 
    Bethanie Genre, RN is a certified nurse midwife (CNM) and received a Masters from Stony Brook University.
    The popularity of nurse midwives and midwife-assisted births has grown as women are choosing a more personal and family oriented birth experience. A certified nurse has a Bachelor’s degree in nursing and masters of science in nursing with an emphasis on women’s health and midwifery. Midwives offer another option for a woman’s obstetrical care and long-term gynecological care. Their responsibilities include caring for women during the course of their pre-natal care, labor and birth, and annual well-woman yearly exams. They also have prescriptive authority and can prescribe birth control, antibiotics and other medication needed.
    Certified nurse midwives and obstetricians work in collaboration to give women more quality-focused care and additional birthing options beyond an induction of labor. Midwives spend adequate, quality time during each appointment, examining the mother, talking about her nutrition, emotional state and desires for her pregnancy and delivery. They follow the same schedule of appointments as a physician, and also provide a month of postpartum care.
    Nurse midwives support each patient's labor choice including natural birth, water birth or a medicated birth―whether an epidural or other available anesthesia―and are a constant presence with the mother and family on the unit during the labor and birth. Even if a patient chooses to use a midwife during their pregnancy and labor and delivery, the physicians are readily available when needed. 
    Relationships are a critical part of a woman’s preference for a nurse midwife-assisted birth at a birthing center. Nurse midwives become coaches, partners and friends to the expectant mothers and their families. The close bonds that develop are an important part of the support many birthing mothers want and need. 
    The end goal is to help parents navigate pregnancy and birth confidently and successfully which will help them become more confident and better parents. The experience can have a huge impact on a woman's life and on the bonds of a family.
    To make an appointment with Bethanie, call 225.761.5239.