Qualifications of Midwives
Today's midwives are university-educated professionals providing care for women within the context of modern health care systems. Midwives offer care throughout the pregnancy cycle, as well as routine gynecologic care for women of all ages.
All Cleveland Clinic midwives are registered nurses (RN) who have continued their education in graduate programs with a focus on women's health and midwifery. All midwives must successfully complete their graduate programs, and must pass a national certification exam to use the title "CNM" (certified nurse midwife). In Ohio, the Board of Nursing re-examines the nurse's qualifications before issuing a license to practice within the state.
Benefits of Midwifery
Today, midwives are educated, licensed professionals who provide quality, "client centered" health care within a mainstream health care delivery system. Midwives provide comprehensive maternity care from the first visit through labor and delivery and after birth. They lend a sense of compassion, mutual respect and companionship to the birthing experience. They encourage parents to participate actively in all aspects of their care and to prepare themselves physically and emotionally for the birth of their child.
Midwives recognize that birth is a natural process, not a disease. They strive to facilitate labors so that few, if any, interventions will be necessary. Midwives respect the decisions made by each family about the birth experience and make every attempt to abide by those decisions, as long as the safety of the mother and child are preserved.
Throughout the pregnancy, midwives and expectant mothers have the privilege of getting to know each other on a personal level. Midwives are always available to listen to the many concerns of an expectant family, and respond to those concerns. They encourage the involvement of the expectant father or other support person in all aspects of prenatal care, delivery and support after birth.
Midwives provide instructions on many aspects of childbearing, including mother and infant care, nutrition, exercise and breast-feeding. They offer advice on family-related issues, such as birth control methods, introducing siblings to a new baby and what to expect during the first few weeks at home with a newborn.
Cleveland Clinic midwives offer:
- Well-woman care through the reproductive years and beyond.
- 24-hour availability for all patients and their families.
- Involvement of the patient in health-care decisions so patients can make choices best suited to their needs.
- Labor support and management, including support of the woman and her family through the labor process. Special attention is paid not only to the physical status of the woman and her baby, but also the emotional status of the expectant family.
- Availability of full range of pain relief options, including natural childbirth, water therapy, analgesics, or epidural, according to the patient's preference.
- Monitoring of the labor process and status of mother and baby. If complications arise, the midwife has immediate access to the obstetrician on call. The midwife may consult with the physician, or refer the patient to physician care if deemed necessary by the team.
- Post-delivery care and attention to physical and emotional needs of the new mother as well as the adjustment of the whole family.
The Best of Both Worlds
Midwives provide you with personalized care throughout your pregnancy, labor and delivery. Midwives work together with Cleveland Clinic board-certified obstetricians. This teamwork assures you the best care possible. If a complication develops and the services of an obstetrician becomes necessary, you do not lose the support of your midwife. The midwife and obstetrician work together to provide you with "the best of both worlds." Cleveland Clinic midwives see patients at several locations around town. To see a Cleveland Clinic midwife please choose a location convenient to you. Other campuses not listed here may be adding midwife care in the future, so feel free to inquire.