I’m Not Pregnant, So Why Do I Need a Midwife?

July 16, 2018

By Steve Bove

Think fast! Which of the following obstetrical/gynecological services are not performed by a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)?

  • Annual physical exams
  • Prenatal care
  • Well-woman gynecological care
  • Labor and delivery support
  • Family planning
  • Health education and counseling
  • Menopausal management

Midwives have the knowledge and clinical skills to perform all of the obstetrical/gynecology services listed above.

Did we stump you? You’re not alone.

Midwives are licensed health care professionals who specialize in women’s reproductive health and childbirth – and although their medical approach and philosophy is somewhat different from that of OB/GYNs, the care that they offer are in many ways similar.

According to Christine Borden, CNM, a provider at Hackensack Meridian Health Medical Group – Healthy Woman OB/GYN, the midwife philosophy is that pregnancy and childbirth are normal life processes. With this in mind, midwives strive to minimize technological interventions. “We empower women to take control of their health and truly partner with our patients to create a personalized, holistic care plan,” says Christine Borden.

According to Borden, a widespread misconception about midwives, though, is that they are only present during pregnancy and childbirth. “I find a lot of patients are confused by what midwives actually do,” Borden says. “They will say, ‘A midwife? But I’m not pregnant.’”

The truth, however, is that midwives are able to offer the same attention and care to women who are not pregnant. “Certified nurse midwives provide reproductive/sexual health care from menarche (first menstrual period) to post-menopause (last menstrual period),” says Borden. “This includes prenatal care, labor and birth, vaginal and perineal suturing, postpartum care, lactation support, basic newborn care, annual exams, pap smears, birth control (including IUDs and implants), breast exams, basic primary care, and preventative health care. We also diagnose and treat vaginal infections, sexually transmitted infections, infertility, irregular periods, and pelvic pain.”

By forming a collaborative relationship with physicians and other health care professionals in the practice and the community, midwives are able to provide comprehensive patient care, Borden says, adding that while a midwife may not be the right option for every women, all women should at least consider it as an option.

“I consider myself a partner in your care. I am not going to force you to make any decision, but I will show you the facts and help you understand them. I’ll show you evidence, and then the decision you make from there is up to you,” Borden says.

To learn more about Christine Borden, CNM, and the midwifery services offered at Healthy Woman OB/GYN – with locations in Freehold, Colts Neck, Jackson, and Lakewood – call 732-431-1616. Click here to schedule an appointment with Christine Borden.