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Pregnancy is one of the greatest joys a woman can experience. Just as every woman is different , each pregnancy is also different – but many of the questions remain the same. You’ll find that many of the questions involve choosing a birthing team and in particular whether to choose a Obstetrician- Gynecologist or Nurse-Midwife during labor.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A CERTIFIED NURSE-MIDWIFE AND AN OBSTETRICIAN-GYNECOLOGIST

Obstetrician-gynecologist, most commonly known as ob-gyn’s, are medical professionals who have successfully completed post-medical school training in general health and  women’s reproductive health. These professionals are knowledgeable in all aspects of pregnancy including but not limited to natural childbirth, caesarean sections (c-sections), and the vast number of pregnancy complications.  

Certified nurse-midwife, often referred to as a CNM, is a licensed experienced medical professional who has completed a midwifery graduate program and has been certified by the American College of Nurse-Midwives to practice throughout  the United States. They are trained to care for women during pregnancy, labor and delivery, and recovery.

The most significant differences between Obstetrician-gynecologists and Certified nurse-midwives are:

  • Certified nurse-midwives have a deeper focus on natural births. The goal of midwives are to reduce or eliminate the use of technological intervention.
  • Certified nurse-midwives cannot perform caesarean sections.
  • Certified nurse-midwives also not able to perform certain that would normally be done by an Ob-Gyn.

CERTIFIED NURSE-MIDWIFE AND MULTIPLE BIRTHS

If you are pregnant with twins that mean double the joy but that also means double thinking your birth team, especially if you were considering choosing a certified nurse-midwife.

Yes, you may still be able to work with a certified nurse-midwife but you need to be sure they are licensed and the necessary experience to assist in multiple births as many these professionals do not have the credentials to do so. You should also note that many certified nurse-midwives will refuse to provide prenatal care for expecting mothers carrying more than one baby after a certain number of weeks in their pregnancy and there are some states that do not even allow certified nurse-midwives to deliver or care for multiples.

This may sound discouraging to expecting mothers who hope to use a certified nurse-midwife but t there are many ways that an Ob-Gyn can help. Most certified nurse-midwives are willing to or have already partnered with ob-gyns to be present as backups in case complications arise during labor and delivery.

Regardless of who you choose to have on your birth team,  whether it be a certified nurse-midwife or an Obstetrician-gynecologist, be sure they make you feel comfortable with their experience and background and address all of your concerns.