Did you know Neighborhood has a Certified Nurse Midwife? Here’s a look at the types of care a midwife can provide.
Laura Poplewski, RN, MSN, CNM joined the Neighborhood Health Center OB-GYN department in 2017 as a certified nurse midwife. She recognizes that many people are unfamiliar with midwifery, so she provided answers to some common questions:
What is a Certified Nurse Midwife?
Being a midwife means helping women during all of life’s phases and transitions including puberty, pregnancy, labor, birth, postpartum, perimenopause and menopause. This includes supporting and educating women through life’s changes, providing GYN care with annual exams, which includes pap smears, or helping with concerns such as vaginal infections or breast problems. A midwife can also perform biopsies, ultrasounds, contraception insertions, can discuss options regarding contraception management, and can offer support for women throughout pregnancy, labor, birth, and the postpartum period.
Are there different types of midwives?
Yes. A certified nurse midwife is a registered nurse prior to getting a master’s degree in science and midwifery. Some certified midwives have nursing master’s degrees but do not have nursing backgrounds.
A lay midwife is different in that this type of midwife has not gone to school for a master’s degree, and is not a nurse. Lay midwives are trained by someone who attends births in home settings.
What's the difference between a doula and a midwife?
Doulas can be helpful with supporting a pregnant woman during the labor process, and comforting her through labor and birth; however, training is shorter for doulas and not as medically focused as that of midwives. So, a doula is a labor/birth coach who is typically not a medical professional.
What unique support can a certified nurse midwife bring to pregnancy care?
We work to limit intervention and bring a more holistic approach to medicine when possible. Midwives can attend births in the home setting, birth center, or hospital, although at Neighborhood Health Center we attend hospital births only.
Why did you become a certified nurse midwife, and would you recommend the career to others?
The profession is incredibly rewarding! If you are passionate about helping women, then midwifery could be an amazing fit. There is nothing like helping someone during such a transformative time and feeling the connection to a family by helping with the birth of their baby. It is also a wonderful feeling to know you helped someone with a GYN issue to improve their everyday quality of life. There is never a dull day!
To learn more about OB-GYN care at Neighborhood, click here.
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