Login

Return to Learn > Become a Midwife > About the Midwifery Profession

About the Midwifery Profession


Midwifery as practiced by certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) and certified midwives (CMs) encompasses the independent provision of care during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period; sexual and reproductive health; gynecologic health; and family planning services, including preconception care. Midwives also provide primary care for individuals from adolescence throughout the lifespan as well as care for the healthy newborn during the first 28 days of life. Midwives provide care for all individuals who seek midwifery care, inclusive of all gender identities and sexual orientations. Midwives provide initial and ongoing comprehensive assessment, diagnosis, and treatment. They conduct physical examinations; independently prescribe medications including but not limited to controlled substances, treatment of substance use disorder, and expedited partner therapy; admit, manage, and discharge patients; order and interpret laboratory and diagnostic tests; and order medical devices, durable medical equipment, and home health services. Midwifery care includes health promotion, disease prevention, risk assessment and management, and individualized wellness education and counseling. These services are provided in partnership with individuals and families in diverse settings such as ambulatory care clinics, private offices, telehealth and other methods of remote care delivery, community and public health systems, homes, hospitals, and birth centers.



This information comes from the ACNM Standard Setting Document “Definition of Midwifery and Scope of Practice of Certified Nurse-Midwives and Certified Midwives” (2021). For the full text, please see click here.

Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs) and Certified Midwives (CMs)
are educated in graduate-level midwifery programs accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME). CNMs and CMs pass a national certification exam administered by the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB) to receive the professional designation of CNM (if they have an active RN at the time of the certification exam) or CM.
American College of Nurse-Midwives
8403 Colesville Rd. Ste. 1230 Silver Spring, MD 20910
Phone: 240.485.1800 Fax: 240.485.1818
All rights reserved