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Choosing an Obstetric Provider: What is a Midwife?

Congratulations! You are pregnant! This is the time in your life when many important decisions must be made. One of the most important decisions is your choice in a healthcare provider. Many women believe that an OB/GYN is the only option if they plan a hospital delivery; however, many hospital births are actually attended by Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs). In this article, we will discuss the role of a Certified Nurse Midwife and debunk some misconceptions about their role in the birth experience.

Myth: Midwives only deliver babies at home or in a birth center

According to the American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM), 352,000 births in 2017 were attended by midwives and 94% of those births took place in the hospital. Unlike lay midwives, Certified Nurse Midwives are advanced practice nurses who have Master's level specialty education, clinical training, and are board certified by the American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM). They are expertly trained in the management of hospital births including labor induction, augmentation procedures, medication management, fetal monitoring, and even assist in cesarean deliveries in collaboration with the Obstetrician.

Myth: If I deliver with a midwife, I can't have pain medication

Certified Nurse Midwives are medical providers with the authority to prescribe pain medication and manage patients with epidurals. They also have the expertise to manage pain using various position changes and breathing techniques. Just like an OB/GYN, a CNM's goal is to provide women with a safe, healthy, and positive birth experience, whether medicated or not.

Myth: Midwives only deliver babies

Midwives do more than just deliver babies. Certified Nurse Midwives are trained and educated to provide all aspects of obstetric and gynecological care throughout the lifespan. This includes prenatal care, management of labor and delivery, postpartum care, well-woman exams, family planning, gynecological problems, and even menopause.

Myth: I have to choose either a doctor or a midwife for my care

The best patient care is accomplished when there is a team-based approach. Premier OB-Gyn incorporates the expertise of doctors, physician's assistants (PAs) and certified nurse midwives (CNMs) who work together as a collaborative unit. Patients see both the doctors and the midwife during the course of their pregnancy. This allows patients to benefit from the knowledge and expertise of both professions to achieve the highest level of safety, comfort, and satisfaction in their care.


Take Charge of Your Health

Do you have questions about Midwives? All of us here at Premier OB-Gyn are happy to answer your questions and make you feel as comfortable as possible. Book your appointment today!

Premier OB-Gyn is accepting new patients in both our Maitland, FL and Oviedo, FL  locations. We would be happy to see you! Please call 321-397-1212 or visit to book your appointment.

Valerie Ramsay, CNM Valerie Ramsay, CNM, is a board-certified nurse midwife at Premier Obstetrics and Gynecology in Maitland and Oviedo, Florida. She is proud to empower women and encourage them to be active participants in their own healthcare. She is extremely excited to be a part of the Premier OB-GYN family. Valerie graduated from Valencia College in Orlando with her associate degree in nursing, where she earned an award for the highest overall GPA. Valerie then pursued her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Polk State College in Winter Haven, Florida, where she earned cum laude honors. She received her master’s degree in nurse-midwifery from the University of Cincinnati in Ohio in 2019. Valerie has worked as a nurse in the obstetric field for the past 15 years and considers it her passion and personal calling. She chose to pursue midwifery because she felt a deep passion to care for women and their families. Valerie is happily married and is the proud mother of two beautiful children, Paige and Jacob.

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