UofL Physicians – Midwives give expectant families more choices in the birth experience, empowering women to be even more a part of the decision-making process surrounding their labor and delivery. Midwives encourage women to become active participants in their health care and learn more about the full range of options for their women’s health care needs.
Part of UofL Health – OB/GYN & Women’s Health, UofL Physicians – Midwives is the first program of its kind in Metro Louisville, combining the expertise and comprehensive services of the UofL Hospital – Center for Women & Infants with the care and skill of a certified nurse-midwife.
Our certified nurse-midwives partner with you in women’s health needs and stand by you in tailoring the birthing experience you want. From preconception to taking your sweet bundle home for the first time, our nurse-midwives give guidance throughout the entire process.
Certified nurse-midwives, known as “CNMs,” are highly skilled advanced practice nurses with specialized training in delivering babies and providing prenatal and postpartum care to women. They are closely involved with mothers during labor and delivery and will stay with the mother during the entire labor process.
Providers with UofL Physicians – Midwives build a personal relationship with the mother so she is more relaxed and less stressed on delivery day, which can help make for an easier birthing experience. CNMs encourage a natural birth for mothers with low-risk pregnancies. They also are trained to help mothers deliver their babies by trying different positions and other alternatives, such as tub labor, to ease their pain and help lessen stress on the baby during birth. Our midwives encourage mom to deliver the baby in a way that feels right for her, and we are there to “catch” when the bundle arrives.
CNMs can order pain medication if it becomes wanted or needed and will perform episiotomies only if necessary. CNMs consult with general obstetricians or maternal-fetal specialists, so you can rest assured that the full range of comprehensive obstetrical services is right at hand if needed.
In addition to “catching” babies, and providing prenatal and postpartum care for mothers, certified nurse-midwives also can provide a full range of women’s health services. They also may provide family planning and birth control counseling, and normal gynecological services such as physical and breast exams, pap smears, and preventive health screening. Our nurse-midwives are able to prescribe medications, order lab tests and services to complement your care.
What is the benefit of using a midwife?
One of the main reasons women choose a midwife is to experience childbirth as naturally as possible. The term midwife reflects a philosophy of care – one that is directed toward women and their individual reproductive needs.
Our certified nurse-midwives offer expectant mothers a variety of options that reflect the belief that pregnancy and birth are normal life processes as illustrated by the Midwives Model of Care:
- Monitoring the physical, psychological and social well-being of the mother throughout the childbearing cycle
- Providing the mother with individualized education, counseling and prenatal care, continuous hands-on assistance during labor and delivery and postpartum support
- Minimizing technological intervention
- Identifying and referring women who require obstetrical attention
Research has shown that the choice of selecting a certified nurse-midwife can result in:
- Lower intervention rates, meaning fewer medical procedures for mother and baby
- Fewer recovery complications
- More opportunity for mothers to be fully present and in touch with giving birth
- Lower rates of infant morbidity and mortality
- Lower maternity care costs
Treatments and services
- Prenatal care (Group prenatal care options available!)
- Labor and delivery care
- Postpartum care
- Family planning
- Birth control counseling
- Routine gynecological services: physical and breast exams, pap smears, preventative health screenings
A certified nurse-midwife is a registered nurse who has graduated from a nurse-midwifery program accredited by the American College of Nurse-Midwives and passed a national certification exam. Known as a CNM, she is educated in both nursing and midwifery and can practice anywhere in the U.S. A CNM is not a direct-entry midwife, also called lay, licensed or professional midwife, because she has the additional education and training to earn her registered nurse designation as well as certification in nurse-midwifery.
A CNM is an advanced practice nurse with additional training in delivering babies and providing prenatal and postpartum care to women. A CNM is very involved in labor and delivery, sometimes never leaving the mother during the entire labor process, and will consult with a physician who may become involved in the delivery if needed.
At UofL Physicians, our certified nurse-midwives partner with general obstetricians and maternal-fetal medicine specialists, so the full range of obstetrical services is immediately available if needed.