Have you considered asking a certified nurse-midwife (CNM) to assist in your labor? A certified nurse-midwife has been trained in two disciplines: midwifery and nursing. He or she carries a wonderful blend of reassuring support and medical expertise. Here are the answers to some common questions about midwives. If you have other questions, please email us.

What does a certified nurse-midwife do?

Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNM) have a degree in nursing with a specialty in midwifery, which is the care of women and babies throughout the lifespan. We do gynecology, well-woman gynecology, pre-natal care and delivery, and immediate newborn care.

A certified nurse-midwife’s care extends beyond the birth experience to include prenatal care, such as counseling the mother about breastfeeding and infant care. He or she can also offer the mother postpartum care in the form of support and information regarding the physical and emotional changes the mother is experiencing.

Certified nurse-midwives are able to administer drugs, perform medical procedures, and provide their patients with other technological interventions, but their basic philosophy is not to do so unless absolutely necessary. Instead, they encourage women to give birth naturally. The result is that fewer c-sections and episiotomies are reported in births attended by midwives.

How common are midwives?

Midwifery is a tradition that predates modern medicine and obstetrics. It is only in the last 100 years in the United States that attendance at births has been primarily in the hands of physicians. In the mid-twentieth century, midwives and homebirth had all but disappeared in the United States. Only a few midwives continued to attend births for low-income and minority families. Thankfully, midwives and homebirth made a resurgence in the 1960s and 1970s and its popularity continues to grow. All over the world, midwives are the primary care providers for women and their babies. Ninety-five percent of births world-wide are done by midwives.

What are the different types of midwives?

Midwives are qualified health care providers that go through comprehensive training and examinations for certification. Certification is offered by the American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM) and the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM). The practice and credentials related to midwifery may differ throughout the United States. Below is a description of each of the types of midwives:

Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM): an individual trained and licensed in both nursing and midwifery by the state of Indiana. Nurse-midwives possess at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education and are certified by the American College of Nurse Midwives.

Certified Midwife (CM): an individual trained and certified in midwifery by the state of Indiana. Certified midwives possess at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education and are certified by the American College of Nurse Midwives.

There are some self-taught midwives who are not licensed by the state of Indiana.

HealthNet only employs Certified Nurse-Midwives. 

What are the benefits of using a certified nurse-midwife (CNM)?

A CNM provides the mother-to-be and her family with intensive individualized attention, education, counseling, and obstetric care throughout pregnancy, labor and delivery, and recovery. Unless complications arise, midwives view childbirth as a natural and healthy process. They support the pregnant woman while letting nature takes its course.

CNM's focus on how the mother-to-be feels about her pregnancy and the actual birth experience. They encourage women to trust their own instincts, create highly personalized birth plans, and help provide them with the information they need to make decisions about their pregnancy, birth, and parenthood.

Research has shown that the use of a CNM and natural delivery may result in the following benefits:

  • Lower maternity care costs
  • Reduced mortality and morbidity related to cesarean and other interventions
  • Lower intervention rates
  • Fewer recovery complications

CNM's like to spend more time with patients. We focus on prevention and education. If someone comes to us we’ll spend a lot of time focusing on nutrition and what she can do to have an optimal pregnancy outcome.

How will my care be scheduled?

If you did not see an OB/GYN provider for your preconception visit, your first visit should be scheduled early in your pregnancy. At your first visit, you will meet with a member of the health care team who will help with any insurance questions, draw required blood tests and schedule you for a health history. You will be asked many questions about your health history and meet with one of the certified nurse-midwives or nurse practitioners for a visit. Usually the next visit will be for a complete physical examination including a pap smear test.

An OB/GYN physician will lead the plan of care during your pregnancy. Our physicians and certified nurse-midwives work together closely to offer the level of support you need. Your care team will review your health information. An OB/GYN physician will determine, based upon your medical condutions and needs, how often you will need prenatal checkups by an OB/GYN physician, certified nurse-midwife, or women’s health nurse practitioner.  

The typical schedule for prenatal visits is monthly until 28 weeks, every two weeks until 36 weeks, and weekly until birth. This schedule may vary, depending upon your needs.

Where will I give birth?

You will give birth at Methodist Hospital. Your baby may remain in the room with you at all times. 

We will follow your recovery while you are in the hospital. OB/GYN providers are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for any questions or problems that arise.

If you choose to have your baby delivered at another hospital or by another provider, HealthNet will help you transfer your records. Please note that different hospitals or providers may be part of different insurance plans (including Medicare and Medicaid plans). While HealthNet will reasonably help you in transferring insurance coverage, you will ultimately be responsible for making sure that that you have the appropriate insurance for such provider or hospital.

How much does it cost for care?

Because of the ever-changing cost of care and each individual’s situation, it is best to call the center nearest you to inquire about costs.

We accept all Medicare, Medicaid, Hoosier Healthwise plans (including MDwise, MHS and Anthem) and most commercial insurance plans. We also welcome patients with no insurance. If you do not have insurance, you may be eligible for a sliding fee scale discount. A financial screener at the center nearest you would be happy to assist you.