Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs) are becoming more common for women and mothers across the nation.
Overall employment of Nurse Midwives is projected to grow 45% from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations.
If you’re interested in this career path, it’s beneficial to understand what CNMs do and their role in health care.
Nurse Midwives are primary healthcare providers for women of all ages and provide all types of gynecological, prenatal, and post-pregnancy care.
According to Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science, common tasks and duties include:
- Confirming and dating pregnancy
- Providing prenatal and postpartum care
- Caring for women during childbirth including monitoring the mother and fetus during labor, assessing labor progress, managing complications, assisting with pain management, performing episiotomies if needed, and delivering the newborn and placenta
- Providing education for new parents on infant care
- Supporting new mothers that are breastfeeding with education and training
- Preparing pregnant women for what to expect during the birthing process
- Performing preventive health screenings and tests
- Diagnosing and treating gynecological disorders such as sexually transmitted diseases and infertility
There are many different paths in the Midwifery field. According to Western Governors University, various roles include:
- CNM: Certified Nurse-Midwives are Registered Nurses who have additional certification as a Midwife. That double licensure gives them additional opportunity and training in the medical field. Specific Midwifery education is the same for a CNM and CM.
- CM: A Certified Midwife is someone who is certified as a Midwife, but doesn’t have a Registered Nursing license as well. The certification is identical for a CM and CNM, the only difference is the Registered Nursing license.
- CPM: A Certified Professional Midwife is certified and must have particular experience in home-birth or out-of-hospital settings. The certification requirements are much less than that of a CM or CNM. A Midwifery program may still be involved, but often it is less detailed and intense.
- Doula: Doulas are not maternity care providers, but provide informational and emotional support for a mother during childbirth. Doulas provide services to mothers while they are pregnant, during their labor and delivery, as well as after the baby is born. Some Doulas work directly for birth centers or hospitals, while others are hired directly by expecting mothers. Because Doulas don’t provide medical support, there aren’t direct legal requirements regarding their practice. Some doulas get formal training, though it’s not required.
The average CNM salary in the United States is $116,574, as reported by Salary.com.