The Difference is in Education

“So I often get the question as a nurse-midwife who practices in the hospital, what makes a nurse-midwife in the hospital different than a homebirth midwife? It sits in the title and the education and in the scope of practice. Meaning, things that you can do when you’re taking care of somebody.”

Homebirth Midwife (CPM)

“Most homebirth midwives in our country are not certified nurse-midwives. These are midwives who are highly skilled. They are trained only for home birth specific. They have a different skill set that is really honed in on home birth. When something in home birth doesn’t maybe go right, or your labor is very long, or you want pain medication, or there’s something that requires you to transfer to a hospital, your homebirth midwife can no longer care for you in that transition, unless she is also a certified nurse-midwife.”

Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)

And there are certified nurse-midwives who do home birth, although they’re hard to find. If you come into the hospital and the certified nurse-midwife assumes your care, she has a broader scope. She can do things like start Pitocin to really help contractions come. Have you been in labor for many days? She can do some other things like an ultrasound. She can give you an epidural or other pain medication. So the scope is broader.

The philosophy is the same and no matter which kind of midwife you choose, you’re going to have a birth where you are absolutely central to the decision-making in your care.

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