Understanding The Qualifications Of Midwives
How qualified are midwives, really? When considering healthcare options, you may find yourself wondering whether a midwife is a good resource. It may not be well known, but midwives can have a variety of educational backgrounds and a wealth of support for patients.
Midwives can provide a range of services which makes it necessary to have proper education and skills to perform them. Midwives have the ability to perform physical exams, prescribe medications, and order laboratory tests. They are also able to provide prenatal care, gynecological care, labor and birth care to help with multiple stages of the life cycle. Their education and skill allow midwives to counseling to women of all ages and provide health education.
Skills of midwives
Although midwives have many skills, here are the most common ones
Continuity of care
Midwives specialize in pregnancy in labor, but are also well informed in other areas of health. It may not be well known, but midwives can be utilized in all stages of the lifecycle. In fact, we love serving our patients through all phases of life!
Midwives are known to look at the big picture of what’s going on with your health. We aren’t afraid to consider natural methods of care, as well as western medicine.
Identify and assess during all stages of pregnancy:
As many may know, midwives are well known for their expertise during the pregnancy stages. Midwives are able to help during the antepartal, intrapartal, postpartal, and newborn stages of pregnancy which can make them a great medical asset.
To use judgment, skill and intuition in competent assessment and response.
A midwives skill and background allow them to be great health educators and counselors. The education and knowledge of various life stages allow them to make assessments and enable them provide certain treatments. (Link to previous blog that talks in more depth about education.)
Appropriate equipment and treatment
What makes midwives different from other medical professionals is that they are able to assess and treat in some cases.
Medical consultation, collaboration, and referral
As mentioned before, midwives can be great sources of health education and consultation. A midwife uses here education, experience, and guidelines to provide the best care.
A midwife needs to be able to give the highest quality of care and their educational background helps them build the credentials and skills necessary. There is a wide range of degrees and certifications that a midwife can have and most require a bachelor’s degree. Below, we outline the different certifications a midwife can have.
- CNM – Certified Nurse Midwife
Certified nurse midwives are educated in both nursing and midwifery. CNM certification is awarded based on the requirements of the American College of Nurse-Midwives.
- CM – Certified Midwife
This certification is fairly straight forward. Certified Midwives are educated in midwifery and are also based off the requirements put forth by the American College of Nurse- Midwives.
- CPM – Certified Professional Midwife
The standards for a CPM are set by the North American Registry of Midwives. This is the only credential that requires individuals to know and experience out- of-hospital facilities.
- DEM – Direct Entry Midwife
Direct entry midwives include licensed midwifes (LM) and registered midwifes(RM). This certification includes individuals who practice midwifery through self-study, apprenticeship, or a midwifery school or university.
- Traditional Midwives
These individuals are midwives who for religious, personal, or philosophical reasons, choose not to become certified or licensed.
There is a variety of certifications and educational backgrounds that a midwife can have. The combination of skills and qualifications are what makes midwives a great asset when it comes to your health. Be sure to utilize midwives for their holistic view and continuity of care since they have the skills necessary to do so.
To help answer the question, midwives are well qualified individuals who use their education, experience and other guidelines to provide great care at all ages. Want to learn more about our midwifery program? Talk to our team!