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What a Midwife vs. Nurse Midwife vs. Doula?

I grew up going to the hospital with both my mother and step-father whenever they would get called into work. I'd spend weeknights and weekends there hanging out with doctors and nurses, helping mom run CT scans on patients and moving from department to department.

I'm very comfortable in that environment and don't have any of the fears that most people have in hospitals. So it's not intimidation that directs me away from the Nurse Midwife profession, it's actually because a hospital is too limiting for me.

My desire to be a homebirth/birth center Midwife is so that I can provide mothers, babies and their families with as many options as possible while maintaining a safe and protected environment.

Within the home setting of birth, I want to have clinical responsibility for the well-being of the mother and baby. Throughout my life I've always strived for as much ownership as possible and it doesn't really get bigger than taking care of two lives.

I also want to be involved in the actual birth of the baby. I think of the baby in the womb as a being with unlimited potential. As the baby comes into the world he or she is immediately shown sights, sounds, sensations and boundaries. It takes only a second to ground that baby to this earth and I want to help with that process.

Nurse Midwives are able to provide uplifting support and care to women who want to birth in hospitals and Doulas are so very very important to birth. Both provide a service that is truly beyond words and I'm so grateful that women are beginning to have more and more birth options available to them.


Anonymous said...

As a CNM, I find it unsettling that you separate us from your category of "midwives." It is a false dichotomy to pit CNM v midwife. What are you really trying to say is the difference between CNM and non-CNM midwives? I strongly believe that any number of credentials makes one a midwife (CNM, CPM, LM- whatever). We are bound by a philosophy in birth that is very different than a medical model- despite where we practice- there are a number of CNMs that do home birth! And of those that do hospital birth- we are still "MIDWIFE" and identify as such.

Best of luck in your studies and happy new year!

Courtney said...

Very true and thank you for your comment.

This question was asked of me during my interview to get into Midwifery school and I answered it in a similar fashion to what I wrote here - at least I think I did, it was awhile ago and the interview was a long hour.

In this situation I was referring to CNMs who work in hospitals, not those that go to family homes. My answer came from thoughts of CNMs working within the hospital and therefore leaning towards the medical model of birth, depending on the restraints that are placed on them via doctors, insurance companies and their employing body.