Here’s a common myth about midwives: they only do home births. Actually, 94.2 percent of births attended by certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) and certified midwives (CMs) occur in hospitals. Only 5 percent of midwife-attended births happen in birth centers or at home.

Midwifery Care

CNMS/CMs are licensed and highly skilled health care providers. They earn graduate degrees and are nationally certified. Some work within hospital or medical center environments, while others may have an individual practice.

“Midwifery care within hospital settings lowers infant mortality rates and health care costs.”

While midwives are well-known for attending births, midwifery care also encompasses a full range of primary health care services for women from adolescence beyond menopause. These services include gynecologic and family planning services, wellness exams and basic nutrition counseling.

Midwifery in hospitals

As experts in normal births, CNMs/CMs create an experience tailored to a woman’s preferences and health needs. They believe in low tech, high touch–using fewer interventions and relying heavily on their clinical experience to promote a healthy, normal birth.

To provide the highest quality of care, the midwifery philosophy also incorporates: individualized methods of care and healing guided by evidence-based models; continuous and compassionate partnership with the woman and her family; appropriate use of interventions and technology for current or potential health problems; and as needed, consultation and collaboration with other members of the health care team.

Midwifery care within hospital settings also lowers infant mortality rates and health care costs by ensuring appropriate use of expensive technology and reducing the use of unnecessary interventions.

With the midwifery model of care, women can be active participants in the birth experience they desire within a hospital setting.