For a physician or midwife referral, call 404-265-DOCS
Midwives at Atlanta Medical Center
Among other birth options available at Atlanta Medical Center, nurse midwives can provide a unique and special type of maternal care.
What is a Midwife?
Midwives are primary health care providers who specialize in caring for women, particularly in reproductive health. Nurse-midwives work together with OB/GYN doctors and perform physical exams, prescribe medications including contraceptive methods, order laboratory tests, provide prenatal care, gynecological care, labor and birth care and provide health education and counseling to women of all ages. They either consult with or refer to other health care providers in cases that are outside of their qualification and experience (for example, high-risk pregnancies and pregnant women who also have a chronic disease).
Types and Qualifications
The American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB) administers the national certification examination for midwives.
- Certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) are registered nurses who have graduated from a nurse-midwifery education program accredited by the AMCB and have passed a national certification examination to receive the professional designation of certified nurse-midwife.
- Certified midwives (CNs) have a background in a health-related field other than nursing and have graduated from a midwifery education program accredited by ACME. They take the same national certification examination as CNMs but are not registered nurses.
(Sources: American College of Nurse-Midwives, MedlinePlus - National Institutes of Health)
Is a Midwife Right for You?
Women and couples choose midwife care during pregnancy for varied reasons. It is important to research your options carefully to make the best choice for your situation.
Some Pros and Cons to Consider
- Check with you insurance company before deciding. Many but not all cover midwife services.
- Midwives may spend more time with you than most doctors and offer both emotional and physical support during prenatal visits, labor, delivery, and the postpartum period.
- Midwives tend to favor natural approaches to labor and delivery and less invasive procedures. Cesarean-section rates for midwives are traditionally lower than the national rate.
- Midwives of any type cannot perform cesarean sections.
(Sources: Should You Use a Midwife?, Parents; Midwives, KidsHealth®. The Nemours Foundation)
Have a Back-Up Plan
Be prepared for the unexpected. Make sure you and your midwife have a back-up plan in case complications arise.
Choosing a Midwife
As with any healthcare provider, it‘s important to trust and feel comfortable with your midwife. Ask about the midwife’s background and certifications, and ensure that her philosophy and approach to health are in line with your preferences. Ask friends and your doctor for a referral.
For help selecting a physician or midwife, call our Physician Referral Service at 404-265-DOCS, use our online Find a Physician, or use the resources below.
American College of Nurse-Midwives
MedlinePlus - National Institutes of Health
Georgia Midwifery Association