Cnm? Dem? Arnp? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 01-11-2003, 10:21 PM - Thread Starter
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What do all these letters mean? I know they are different types of midwives, but what else? Which would you choose?
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#2 of 3 Old 01-11-2003, 11:05 PM
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Certified Nurse Midwife - a nurse that completed school and then went to a midiwfery program. From what I know this also makes her an ARNP. Must practice under an MD and may do home or hospital birth.

Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner - a nurse that completed basic nursing school and then a speciality. There are pediatric, family health, and womens health among other specialties. CNM is an ARNP, but not all ARNP's are CNM's.

Direct entry Midwife- may or may not be a nurse. Just did Midwifery education and medical training specific to the prenatal, postpartum and newborn period. This may include some basic gynecology. Also known as Licensed Midwife, Certified Professional Midwife , and mistakinly called a 'lay midwife' by some but not the same. This is where you will find your more holistic and homebirth midwives that do not always have to practice with an MD.
Go to for lots more info. also
Good luck!

PS I had a LM ( DEM) for a homebirth that used to be an CNM but did not like practicing under an MD!!! Depends on what you want. Homebirth or hospital...
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#3 of 3 Old 01-12-2003, 10:16 PM
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I just finished a great book called Giving Birth (by Catherine Taylor I believe). It really outlines the differences between different types of midwives. Check it out at your local library.

I had a CNM (certified nurse midwife) with dd1 (born in hospital). If you are in a hospital, you will have a CNM or a doctor. All CNMs (at least where I live) live under the hospital/doctor rules. It is better (IMO) than having a doctor but some things are the same (short prenatal appointments, still use a fair amount of technology, etc.) We had a good birth and I was happy.

Our second daughter was born in a freestanding birth center with a certified midwife (not nurse midwife). This was so wonderful - I cannot describe though I will try. Hour prenatal appointments, she actually cared about me as a person, not just my belly. Connected on a much more personal level but with just as much (if not more) professionalism and health care info. With her, you could deliver at the birth center or at home.

This pregnancy (#3) we are using the same certified midwife but are delivering at home. I would suggest looking into certified midwives (have gone through midwifery school but not necessarily nursing school). This originally bothered me but only due to society teaching us that we must have a doctor to be "safe". So not true! I was much safer, more informed, better cared for (in every way) out of hospital than in. Even dh (who is very mainstream) agreed we would not go back to the hospital again (after our great birth #2).

Good luck deciding. I would try meeting with a few midwives and see who you click with.
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