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For as long as women have been having babies, midwives have been an integral part of the birth experience. And while their role has evolved since those early days, midwives remain a critical component of women’s health care—not only during pregnancy and delivery, but for routine gynecological care.
At CHI Franciscan Health, we’ve been offering midwifery services since 1980. We’ve recently expanded our Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM) program to nearly all of our service areas, in order to address the region’s growing need for women’s health care providers.
What is a certified nurse midwife?
The designation of CNM signifies an advanced registered nurse practitioner who is trained in both the nursing and midwifery care model and certified through the American Midwifery Certification Board. A license to practice as a CNM is given after successfully completing the program and passing an American Midwifery Certification Board certification exam. This training equips midwives with the necessary tools to provide the full spectrum of care to women of all ages.
The services covered by CNMs don’t begin and end with pregnancy and childbirth. Our CNMs also:
- Offer gynecological and primary care, including performing routine physicals along with pelvic and breast exams
- Provide in-depth health care education and counseling
- Order lab tests and diagnostic screenings such as mammograms
- Family planning
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Why choose a midwife?
Our highly trained team of certified nurse midwives (CNMs) provide exceptional care for both mother and baby, from prenatal care through delivery and gynecological services through the rest of your life. A certified nurse midwife provides you with experienced and specially trained guidance and support for a safe and comfortable childbirth experience.
Choosing a midwife to deliver your baby is an empowering choice that gives you the freedom to shape the experience you want. Our services are built on evidence, and delivered with love, on your terms.
CHI Franciscan Health provides the most expansive team of certified nurse midwives in the Puget Sound. Our certified midwife nurse team is dedicated to giving you the birth story you desire. Our team comes highly recommended and holds a 4 percent C-section rate among our births at the Midwifey Birth Center, much lower than the national rate that is approximately 30 percent.
Is a midwife right for me?
Whether you’re a first-time mom or are expecting your third child, you want an expert team for your maternity and childbirth care. We offer a network of skilled providers to help guide you through your maternity journey. Whether you choose an OB/GYN or CNM as part of that plan, this is a highly personal decision based on your individual needs and desires.
If you have a normal, low-risk pregnancy and an interest in natural, low-intervention birth utilizing both alternative and traditional pain management techniques, a certified nurse midwife may be a perfect fit for you. You can deliver with a CNM and choose to use an epidural when delivering in the hospital.
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