What’s the difference between Registered Midwives and Certified Nurse Midwives?

What is a Registered Midwife (RM)?

Registered Midwives are professionals trained exclusively in midwifery through academics and apprenticeship, by direct-entry. These “Direct-Entry Midwives” are licensed to practice homebirth in Colorado. Only Registered Midwives are specifically trained to serve the homebirth population in Colorado. The majority of midwives worldwide are direct-entry midwives.

Registered Midwives offer complete homebirth services–providing personalized continuity of care from the beginning of pregnancy through delivery and the postpartum period for both mother and baby.

Registered Midwives focus on nutritional counseling, comprehensive prenatal care, emotional needs, and education in order to facilitate low-risk self-determination throughout the childbearing cycle.

Registered Midwives, on the average, spend a minimum of four times the contact hours with a woman at one-fourth the cost of a physician attended hospital birth.

Registered Midwives are trained experts in the normal pregnancy and birth process. They refer to and/or consult with physicians when it is medically necessary.

RMs are often erroneously called “lay” midwives, which implies they are self taught. However, most RMs are trained through a program approved by the Midwifery Education Addreditation Council (MEAC) or through several years of apprenticeship and academic study. Apprenticeship is an adult learning model of education that involves both theoretical and experiential education. To obtain their Colorado Midwifery Registration the midwives trained through an apprenticeship must present proof of having obtained an education equivalent to that obtained through a MEAC program.

What is a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)?

A Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) is an individual who is a nurse with a Bachelor’s Degree who completes a graduate nurse-midwifery program. CNMs are also trained to support normal pregnancy, labor and birth. They are able to do interventive procedures, such as drugs for pain relief and some operative procedures. Most CNMs in Colorado do not have homebirth training or attend births at home. For more information about becoming a CNM visit their website American College of Nurse Midwives