Midwives have been around for many centuries. In fact, midwives have been in existence for as long as there have been babies born. Throughout the Bible and in ancient Greek texts, there have been references to midwives.
The knowledge of the midwife was passed from an experienced elder to her newest apprentice.
In the early 1900s, as knowledge in medicine grew, midwifery began to be seen more as a profession and training and licensing programs were developed.
In the United States during the 1920s, doctors started a public relations campaign to smear the nurse midwife description and what they do. They started pushing for pregnant women to go to the hospital to deliver their babies.
Rediscovering Midwives in the U.S.
It wasn’t until the 1960s that women in the US started re-examining natural birth and midwifery. But even then, people were considered hippies or really “out there” when they wanted to experience natural birth.
In the 1990s, as more managed-care plans and health care for low income women became more commonplace, so did midwifery.
Today a woman has a lot more options and is able to deliver a child on her own terms.
Certified Nurse Midwife Requirements
Because a CNM is considered an advanced nurse practitioner, there are more requirements beyond being just a registered nurse.
- Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing
- Master of Science in Nursing
- RN License
- Certification from the American Midwifery Certification Board
Nurse Midwife Salary
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average yearly salary for a CNM is approximately $100,000.
Nurse Midwife Description
A midwife usually works in private practice, hospitals, birthing centers, HMOs and with health departments. It midwife will take care of the following things while on the job:
- Teaches a woman her birth options
- Stays with the mother during labor and childbirth
- Watches for any type of complication during the childbirth process
- Prepares the mother for what to expect during labor, during childbirth and after the baby is born
- Teaches the mother the correct way to breast-feed and how to care for her baby
How To Be A Nurse Midwife
A midwife provides care before childbirth, during the birthing process and after the baby is born. But a midwife is not just the care provider for woman during childbirth but during her entire life.
They can prescribe medicine, conduct physical exams and even, review test results. Because they can perform many tasks that physicians to they become more popular.
If you want to pursue education or public policy in nurse midwifery, you can choose other degree programs if you choose to go in this direction.
Although challenging, a CNM Is a very fulfilling and lucrative specialty to pursue in the nursing field. If you are interested in gynecology, prenatal care and obstetrics, this could be the perfect career path for you.
The American Midwifery Certification Board reported in 2016 that there were 11,475 Certified Nurse Midwives in the United States. The employment of CNMs is projected to see a 31% increase over the next seven years.