What is a Midwife?

Woman with MidwifeThe word midwife means literally “with woman”. Midwives have been around as long as women have been giving birth.

The midwife is recognized as a responsible and accountable professional who works in partnership with women to give the necessary support, care and advice during pregnancy, labor and the postpartum period, to conduct births on the midwife’s own responsibility and to provide care for the newborn and the infant. This care includes preventive measures, the promotion of normal birth, the detection of complications in mother and child, the accessing of medical or other appropriate assistance and the carrying out of emergency measures. The midwife has an important task in health counseling and education, not only for the woman, but also within the family and community. This work should involve antenatal education and preparation for parenthood and may extend to women’s health, sexual or reproductive health and childcare. A midwife may practice in any setting including in the home, the community, hospitals, clinics or health units.

What is a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM)?
A Certified Professional Midwife is a knowledgeable, skilled and professional independent midwifery practitioner who has met the standards for certification set by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) and is qualified to provide the midwifery model of care. The CPM is the only international credential that requires knowledge about and experience in out-of-hospital settings.

The Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) credential requires that all candidates demonstrate successful mastery of both the didactic information and clinical experience components. The didactic component must include either education in a program accredited by the Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC) or ACNM Certification Council (ACC), or completion of PEP, a competency-based education program. Each candidate must also complete a clinical component that is at least one year in length and equivalent to 1350 contact hours under the supervision of one or more approved preceptors. Recertification every three years is required of all CPMs.

What is the Midwifery Model of Care?
The Midwives Model of Care™ is based on the fact that pregnancy and birth are normal life events. The Midwives Model of Care includes:

  • monitoring the physical, psychological and social well-being of the mother throughout the childbearing cycle
  • providing the mother with individualized education, counseling, and prenatal care, continuous hands-on assistance during labor and delivery, and postpartum support
  • minimizing technological interventions and; identifying and referring women who require obstetrical attention The application of this model has been proven to reduce to incidence of birth injury, trauma, and cesarean section.