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May 1, 2013 / amiller1012

Difference in types of midwives

Midwives exist in all parts of the world. In Sweden, they provide more than 80 percent of prenatal care. In Austria, the law requires that they be present at every birth. In the UK, they attend nearly 70 percent of all births. Even developing countries rely on midwives for childbirth.

The International Confederation of Midwives describes a midwife as a person who has an “important task in health counseling and education, not only for the woman, but also within the family and community. This work should involve antenatal education and preparation for parenthood and may extend to women’s health, sexual or reproductive health and childcare.”

There are several types of midwives: lay, certified, certified nurse, certified professional, direct-entry, and licensed. The differences between these qualifications are typically the level of education and amount of training.

Lay midwives are uncertified or unlicensed. They are usually self-taught or have learned through apprenticeship rather than formal education. It’s important to note that this term does not mean she has a low level of education, but rather chose not to receive certification or there was no certification for her type of education.

Similarly, an independent practitioner educated in the discipline of midwifery through self-study or apprenticeship is a direct entry-midwife. They, however, have met the standards of certification set by NARM, the North American Registry of Midwives.

Certified midwives are educated in midwifery and possess evidence of certification through the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM).

Certified nurse-midwives have the same qualifications, but have also acquired a bachelor’s degree and are educated in the study of nursing.

A certified professional midwife meets the standards for certifications set by NARM and is qualified to provide midwifery care. It is the only international credential that requires knowledge of and experience with out-of-hospital settings.

A midwife licensed to practice in a particular state or province (or other jurisdiction) is a licensed midwife. They consult other health professionals for patient care issues outside of the area of expertise.


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