5 things that may surprise you about Certified Nurse-Midwives

vvwh blog - midwife photoI’ve been a midwife for 10 years, and I love my job everyday – even when it’s exhausting and difficult. It’s an amazing experience to work together with women and their families through the transformative experience of welcoming a new family member and stepping into motherhood.

Midwives have been providing health care to women for centuries, but a lot has changed since the early days of midwifery. Today, certified nurse midwives are an important part of the healthcare delivery system, with rigorous certification standards. In fact, in 2012, midwives delivered 11.8% of all vaginal births in the U.S., and that number is on the rise!

Still, many misperceptions about midwifery exist. In honor of National Midwifery Week, which runs from Oct. 5 to 11, here are five things you may not know about certified nurse-midwives.  Continue reading

Honoring our Advanced Practice Registered Nurses

At the University of Michigan Health System, we are honoring all Advanced Practice Registered Nurses

A clinical nurse specialist works with a patient.

A clinical nurse specialist works with a patient.

(APRNs) this week. An APRN may be a Nurse Practitioner in the hospital or clinic assisting in the treatment of your illness, a Nurse Anesthetist in the operating room putting you to sleep, a Nurse Midwife delivery your baby, or a Clinical Nurse Specialist educating you on a new treatment plan or educating staff to provide your quality nursing care.

APRNs practice at the advanced level of nursing. They hold a master’s degree in nursing that includes about 500 hours of clinical experience at the advanced level, have passed a national certification exam and are licensed by the state in which they practice. APRNs are either nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, nurse anesthetists, or nurse midwives. Some of the more typical specialties for nurse practitioners are adult health, hematology/oncology, family health, psychiatric, pediatric health, neonatal health, women’s health, and geriatric health.

The scope of practice for an APRN is determined by the state laws where the nurse practices, which generally refer back to the scope and standards statements of the professional organization associated with the specialty. Continue reading

Tub Talk

Are you wondering about the benefits of using a tub during labor and birth?

I love being part of the peaceful stillness of a birth center room where a woman is resting quietly between contractions immersed in water.  With the lights dimmed, her eyes closed and her partner quietly whispering in her ear, there is a sacred beauty to this moment before she starts to breathe through another contraction.  Over half of the women the University of Michigan Certified Nurse Midwives care for will use the tub or a shower for relaxation during labor. We have done hundreds of waterbirths in the birth center over the past fifteen years, but now even more women are interested in this option.

Continue reading