Nurse-Midwifery - FAQs

General Nurse-Midwifery Questions

What is a nurse-midwife?
Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs) are licensed healthcare practitioners educated both in nursing and in midwifery, and certified by the American Midwifery Certification Board. CNMs can provide all aspects of women's healthcare for women of childbearing age, including prenatal care, labor and delivery, postnatal care, gynecological exams, disease prevention, preconception and family planning.

Is a nurse-midwife right for me?
Nurse-midwifery provides complementary care to more traditional medical options and an alternative to the routine OB experience. At St. Joseph's, our focus is on giving you the tools and education you need to help your body do what comes naturally. If you seek an empowering and uniquely personal childbirth experience, nurse-midwifery may be for you. Midwives provide a personal touch, spending additional time with patients both during prenatal care and labor and delivery.

Complicated Pregnancies And Nurse-Midwives Questions

What happens if there are complications with my pregnancy or delivery?
An overwhelming majority of women are able to deliver their babies with no complications or interventions. However, there are situations that can arise during your pregnancy that will require a specialist for evaluation and treatment. High-risk care and resources are available within minutes in case of emergency.

If I choose to deliver with a nurse-midwife, does that mean I can't have pain medication during my delivery?
Absolutely not. We will do all we can to help you have the birth experience you desire. We will help you during labor with proven techniques that have helped thousands of women have a natural childbirth. If you would like an epidural or other type of pain medication, we will support your decision and continue to care for you during your labor and delivery.

If I have had a previous cesarean section, can I have a midwife for my next pregnancy and birth? 
Yes. If you desire a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC), St. Joseph's midwives are in a unique position to provide you this opportunity. Because St. Joseph's has 24-hour coverage by attending OB/GYNs and anesthesiologists, we are a destination hospital for women who desire to have a VBAC.

Contact St. Joseph's Nurse-Midwife Program

For additional information or questions, please call 602.406.3715.