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Defining midwifery

Last Modified: 5/22/2018

compendium_600_midwifery_10_15.jpg PreviewToday marks the beginning of National Midwifery Week (October 4 – 10) and, while we all have different conceptions of what these specialists look like in the scope of our family plan, Parkview is fortunate to have two great resources, Certified Nurse-Midwives Allison Thorpe and Kelly Horn. These team members offer a wonderful option for mothers seeking a more holistic touch to their birth plan within the safety of a hospital setting. We invited Allison and Kelly to join us and share a closer look at their profession, beginning with a deeper dive into the common terms tied to the experts in their field.

Our team.

Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs)

Nurse-Midwives have been practicing in the United States since the early 1900s. As CNMs, Allison and Kelly are educated in two disciplines: midwifery and nursing. They have obtained extensive education and have graduated with a master’s degree from a nurse-midwifery education program that is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME). Certified Nurse-Midwives are also required to pass a national certification examination to receive their professional designation.

CNMs encompass a full range of primary healthcare services for women, from adolescence or teen years to beyond menopause. While it’s often thought their services are limited exclusively to facilitating support during labor, Kelly and Allison also provide primary care, gynecologic and family planning services, preconception care, prenatal care, childbirth, care during the postpartum period, writing prescriptions and the treatment of male partners for sexually transmitted infections. These services are provided in diverse settings such as ambulatory care clinics, private offices, community and public health systems, homes, hospitals and birth centers. CNMs practice in accord with the Standards for the Practice of Midwifery, as defined by the American College of Nurse-Midwives.

Other common distinctions.

Certified Midwife (CM) 

A Certified Midwife (CM) is an individual educated in the discipline of midwifery, who possesses evidence of certification according to the requirements of the American College of Nurse-Midwives but was not required to obtain a degree in nursing.

Certified Professional Midwife (CPM)

A Certified Professional Midwife is a knowledgeable, skilled and professional independent midwifery practitioner who has met the standards for certification set by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) and is qualified to provide the midwifery model of care. The CPM is the only midwifery credential that requires knowledge about and experience in out-of-hospital settings.

Direct-Entry Midwife (DEM)

A Direct-Entry Midwife is an independent practitioner educated in the discipline of midwifery through self-study, apprenticeship, a midwifery school, a college, or university-based program distinct from the discipline of nursing. A DEM is trained to provide the Midwives Model of Care to healthy women and newborns throughout the childbearing cycle primarily in out-of-hospital settings. Licensed Midwives (LM) and Registered Midwives (RM) are examples of Direct-Entry Midwives.


Also known as a birth companion and post-birth supporter, a doula is a nonmedical person who assists a woman before, during, and/or after childbirth, as well as her spouse and/or family, by providing physical assistance and emotional support.

What makes our program special.

“Our Certified Nurse-Midwives are an important part of a healthcare team,” Kelly said. “And when we are able to collaborate and work closely with physicians as a team, women are able to receive the optimal combination of care with specialized services.” This best-of-both-worlds option is ideal for women seeking flexibility on delivery day. “No two pregnancies are the same. With a midwife by your side, your birth experience is unique … just like you.” Allison added.  

To find out if a PPG Certified Nurse-Midwife is right for you and your birth plan, call 877-PPG-TODAY.


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