Traditional Midwives today are known as Certified Professional Midwifes (CPMs). Most CPMs own or work in private home or birth center based practices. Providing continuous care for women throughout their childbearing cycle, CPMs generally carry a relatively low client load which allows for more personalized and comprehensive care than typical obstetrical practices.
The guiding principles of the practice of CPMs are to work with their clients to promote a healthy pregnancy and provide education to help them make informed decisions about their own care.
In partnership with their clients CPMs carefully monitor the progress of the pregnancy, labor, birth, newborn, and postpartum period. They recommend appropriate management if complications arise, collaborating with other healthcare providers when necessary. The key elements of this education, monitoring, and decision making process are based on evidence-based practice which includes thoughtful integration of the best available evidence, coupled with clinical expertise, and the client’s values and needs.
The CPM credential was developed in the late 1980s and was first issued in 1994 by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) to midwives with specialized training and expertise in providing safe, skilled maternity care in community birth settings.
A CPM is not a nurse and she/he does not practice nursing or medicine. While 35 states recognize the CPM credential and skill in caring for low-risk pregnant women in pregnancy and birth, many states, including Illinois and Georgia continue to lag behind. To learn more and see a more detailed map visit pushformidwives.org.