More and more women are seeking midwives for care during pregnancy and for birth. It is not a surprise since worldwide research has demonstrated midwifery care to be associated with higher satisfaction and healthier mothers and babies. Midwives are the experts in normal and acknowledge that being pregnant and birthing is something women are designed to do. What many are not aware of is that a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) is qualified not only to care for pregnant and birthing women, but also to provide ongoing care for women through all their life cycles.
In Washington, CNMs are also Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners (ARNP). ARNPs are independent health care professionals. CNM, ARNPs are qualified to provide women’s health care including annual exams, family planning, preconception counseling, problem visits for menstrual irregularities, infection checks, etc. Generally, CNM, ARNP visits are longer with more time devoted to listening, teaching and strategizing for improving and maintaining vibrant health and well being.
Listening is the cornerstone of midwifery practice. Midwives are fully aware of the importance of each individual’s beliefs and values and acknowledge each individual as the expert in their personal feelings and experiences. Midwives realize the value of forming a trusting relationship to support quality care-giving. Therefore, listening as one shares their perceptions promotes a chance to sort through one’s thoughts and feelings to be able to identify what the real issues are at any given time.
Teaching is another emphasis midwives have. Midwives believe in the importance of presenting evidence-based information. Midwives want to help dispel beliefs and practices which do not promote health and well being. Midwives provide information on the risks and benefits of options so that a decision can be made. Midwives approach health from a holistic perspective and often include alternative health care information.
Perhaps the most important aspect of midwifery care is strategizing how to achieve and maintain vibrant health. It is often said, we know what to do to be healthy but somehow simply knowing what to do does not make it happen. Through the in- depth communication of an individual with her midwife, barriers can be identified and steps can be determined to lead to the path of vibrancy. In addition, knowing someone is both invested in one’s success and supporting all of one’s efforts makes a huge difference.
If the description above is not the way you receive your women’s health care at this time, you may want to consider scheduling an appointment with a CNM, ARNP. And remember CNM care is for all your life cycles.