FAQ’s

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What are Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs)?

Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) are midwives who specialize, by education and experience, in out-of-hospital birth. CPMs are credentialed by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) to provide out-of-hospital maternity care for healthy women experiencing normal pregnancies. The CPM credential, issued by NARM, is nationally accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), which is the accrediting arm of the National Organization for Competency Assurance (NOCA). The NCCA accredits more than 200 professional credentials such as nurse-midwives, nurse anesthetists, nurse practitioners, and critical care nurses. NARM certification for CPMs includes:

  • A rigorous educational and training process generally requiring a minimum of three to five years to complete
  • Verification of knowledge and skills through the successful completion a national board exam
  • A clinical skills assessment process
  • Continuing education and re-certification every three years
  • Clinical experience in out-of-hospital settings

CPMs follow the practice standards of the National Association of Certified Professional Midwives (NACPM), which include the development of collaborative relationships with other healthcare practitioners who can provide care outside the scope of midwifery practice when necessary. The NACPM standards limit the CPM scope of practice to the primary maternity care of healthy women experiencing normal pregnancies.

The American Public Health Association (APHA) recognizes the CPM training and clinical skills assessment process as the basis of a national certification program for licensing midwives who provide out-of-hospital maternity care services.

What is the Midwives Model of Care?

The Midwives Model of Care is based on the fact that pregnancy and birth are normal life processes. The Midwives Model of Care:

  • Monitors the physical, psychological, and social well-being of the mother throughout the childbearing cycle
  • Provides the mother with individualized education, counseling, and prenatal care, continuous hands-on assistance during labor and delivery, and postpartum support
  • Minimizes technological interventions
  • Identifies and refers women who require obstetrical attention

The application of this woman-centered model of care has been proven to reduce the incidence of birth injury, trauma, and cesarean section.

Copyright © 1996-2008, Midwifery Task Force, All Rights Reserved. For more information, visit Citizens for Midwifery.

Why Certified Professional Midwives?

CPM licensure provides many benefits:

  • Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) serve a disproportionate number of low-income, rural, immigrant and uninsured families. Regulation and licensure of CPMs ensures that there are enough well-trained midwives to meet the demand for out-of-hospital birth and to provide safe and affordable maternity care for underserved populations.
    1. Providing a mechanism for families choosing out-of-hospital birth to verify their midwife’s training, skills, and educational credentials
    2. CPM licensure protects and defends the rights of American women and families by:
    3. Ensuring continuity of care and offering liability protection to physicians who collaborate with midwives
    4. Providing access to:
  • Ensuring adherence to evidence-based practices and providing for transparency and accountability
  • A family-centered model of maternity care that offers individualized education, counseling, screening, and prenatal care
  • Continuous hands-on assistance during labor and delivery
  • Minimal use of costly technological interventions
  • Support of the physical, psychological, and social well-being of mothers and families throughout the childbearing cycle
  • Ensuring that every family can choose their birth provider and setting based on their religious, cultural, and philosophical beliefs
  • Ensuring the availability of qualified and experienced out-of-hospital maternity care providers in the event of an emergency that makes hospital care inaccessible (e.g. a hurricane or other natural disaster, or flu epidemic). Access to out-of-hospital maternity care is in keeping with the mission of the National Working Group for Women and Infant Needs in Emergencies to ensure that the health care needs of pregnant women, new mothers, newborns and infants are adequately met during and after a disaster situation.
  • CPMs follow the practice standards of the National Association of Certified Professional Midwives (NACPM), which include the development of collaborative relationships with other healthcare practitioners who can provide care outside the scope of midwifery practice when necessary. The NACPM standards limit the CPM scope of practice to the primary maternity care of healthy women experiencing normal pregnancies.
  • The American Public Health Association (APHA) recognizes the CPM training and clinical skills assessment process as the basis of a national certification program for licensing midwives who provide out-of-hospital maternity care services.

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