What is a Midwife?

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 includes

  • Monitoring the physical, psychological and social well-being of the mother throughout the childbearing cycle
  • Providing the mother with individualized education, counseling, and prenatal care, continuous hands-on assistance during labor and delivery, and postpartum support
  • Minimizing unnecessary interventions
  • Identifying and referring women who require obstetrical attention

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

Copyright © 1996-2008, Midwifery Task Force, Inc., All Rights Reserved.

There are four types of Midwives in the MMA:

Certified Professional Midwife (CPM)

An independent practitioner who has met the national standards for certification set by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM), has passed a certification exam and is qualified to provide the midwifery model of care. The NARM certification process recognizes multiple routes of entry into midwifery and includes verification of knowledge and skills and the successful completion of both a written examination and a skills assessment. The CPM certification requires training in out-of-hospital births. The MMA encourages its members to become CPMs, but it is not required for membership or for inclusion on the referral list. CPM credentials meet or exceed licensure requirements in over half of the United States. State licensure status of Certified Professional Midwives varies by state. Currently in Massachusetts, CPMs are not state regulated nor state licensed.

MMA Direct-Entry Midwife (MMA-DEM)

An independent practitioner educated in the discipline of midwifery through self-study, apprenticeship, a midwifery school, and/or a college- or university-based program distinct from the discipline of nursing. A direct-entry midwife is trained to provide the midwifery model of care to healthy women and newborns throughout the childbearing cycle, primarily in community settings, eg: home and birth centers. For members who are not CPMs the MMA requests specific education and experience requirements of MMA-member DEMs. State licensure status of direct-entry midwives varies by state. Currently in Massachusetts, direct-entry midwives are not state regulated nor state licensed.

Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM)

A midwife who has a degree in nursing prior to entering midwifery training, has graduated from an ACNM Certification Council (ACC) accredited graduate level educational program, and has passed a certification exam. CNMs are licensed in all states, though the scope of practice may vary from state to state.

Primary Midwife Under Supervision (PMUS)

An advanced apprentice midwife who is accepting her own midwifery clients under the supervision of an experienced, senior midwife.