What is a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) and what is her educational background?
Certified Nurse Midwives are registered nurses with advanced education (a masters degree) and training in caring for women across the lifespan. Their scope of practice includes well woman gynecological care, comprehensive prenatal, birth and postpartum care of healthy women as well as family planning services and the urgent care of many gynecological problems. CNMs are licensed health care professionals who are able to prescribe medications and perform many procedures related to women’s health care. CNMS have specialized education and training in both high-level nursing and midwifery. Because of their extensive education, midwives function as primary healthcare providers for women and provide medical care for relatively healthy women, whose births are considered uncomplicated.
What is an LM/CPM?
A CPM is a Certified Professional Midwife, licensed and trained in midwifery only. CPM’s can only deliver in Out of Hospital settings -homes or birth centers. They do not require physician oversight. CPM’s are trained by other midwives and usually also attend accredited schools. The licensure requires PEP (Portfolio Evaluation Process). In some cases apprenticeship and PEP is adequate for a license. A CPM is a national certification, and an LM is a state certification. In order to gain a certification and license in California, LMs sit for a 7 hour NARM exam. A midwife can have both a CPM certification and an LM license.
Do you accept VBAC (vaginal delivery after cesarean) patients?
No, we currently do not accept VBAC patients. Please contact our back-up doctor OBGYN Kenneth James who offers support for VBACs at Saddleback Memorial Hospital. His information can be found on our Community Partners page.
When does a physician participate in my care?
Our collaborating physicians are available to assist in the care of our clients at all times. They are often called upon for consultation related to a variety of health care issues, including surgical procedures, treatment of abnormal pap smears, or any other pregnancy complications, if they arise. As your primary care provider, the CNM will remain closely involved with you, providing support and explanations of any extra procedures in regards to your care.
Is home birth an option?
Yes, home birth is a great option! All births attended by midwives can either be at the patient’s home or the birth center. We strongly believe that we are able to provide you with the best of both worlds and support a non-intervening approach to midwifery care in a home-like setting if you so choose. During the initial visit with the midwife, at a complimentary consultation with us, women desiring a home birth will discuss this option with the midwife.
Is natural childbirth my only option?
Many women seek midwifery care because they are interested in an un-medicated birth. Midwifery care offers women support and alternatives to traditional pain relief, including massage, warm water immersion (such as our birth tub, shower, birth balls, birth seats, etc) along with a constant supportive presence of birthing experts both in and out of the hospital setting. Since it is hard to predict how a woman’s labor will progress, we feel that it is important to have the option of a traditional approach if needed. The best option is to contact our office to set up a a complimentary consultation with one of our midwives so you can discuss all options available to you.
Do you require that I take a childbirth education class?
No, we do not require that our patients attend a childbirth education class, however, we have plenty of resources to refer you to very qualified instructors if you wish to take a class. Furthermore, we offer in-house hynobirthing classes, baby care classes and lactation consultations.
How do I choose my midwife at Beach Cities?
We are a collaborative practice of different midwives and therefore we cannot guarantee a specific provider will attend your birth. Because of this, we will make sure you have ample opportunities to meet with all the midwives during your prenatal care visits. Either BJ Snell or Vickie Alston attends approximately 90% of the births at our birth center. However, in the event that there is more than one birth at the same time, or either of the above-mentioned midwives is unavailable, we have three, per-diem midwives available to serve our patients. Please go to our website and click on the “Meet Our Midwives” link to read the bios on all of our midwives.