Difference between CNM & CPM??? - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-04-2006, 10:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Can someone please explain the difference between a CNM and a CPM. I was looking at information on two midwives and a CNM and one a CPM. They both have nursing degrees and MW license so what's the difference?

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Keri

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Old 09-04-2006, 03:12 PM
 
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The main differences are likely to be in their education (there are also probably differences in the regulations they have to follow, other than state guidelines, because they're certified by different certification bodies).

A CPM is a certified professional midwife, certified by NARM (the North American Registry of Midwives) which is an offshoot of MANA (Midwives Alliance of North America). Any midwife can become a CPM, including some CNMs have done. It is the only certification in the US that requires competency and experience with out-of-hospital birth. The paths to becoming a CPM (the education, etc) are numerous - from Ina May "I started catching babies 30 years ago, and after a few picked up an OB textbook" to attending a midwifery college and receiving a bachelor's degree. To find out the requirements for the CPM, check out the NARM website (google it).

A CNM is a certified nurse-midwife, who is required to be a nurse first (though there are combination programs, where one goes straight into a midwifery specialty), and has all the education and background of a professional level nurse. CNMs are certified by the ACNM (American College of Nurse-Midwives). They are required to be competent in and have experience with hospital birth and all the accoutrements and medicines used therein. There is no requirement in the certification for experience with out of hospital or natural birth, though there are CNM education programs that have that focus, and there have been many CNMs who went on to be homebirth midwives (and vice versa, actually). The paths to CNM are much more well defined, and all require a bachelor's degree and then further education, equivalent to a master's. To find out the exact requirements for becoming a CNM, check out ACNM.

Does that help any?
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Old 09-04-2006, 05:05 PM
 
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A CPM does not necessarily have a nursing degree. Some might, but every CPM I know is a CPM specifically because becoming a nurse wasn't "who they are".
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Old 09-04-2006, 05:14 PM
 
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I'm going to midwifery school in a few years (my youngest is just 13m) and thought about becoming a nurse first, but decided not to since I plan on attending homebirths.
The only CNM I've met delivered in hospitals. obviously that isn't a rule, and does have exceptions...

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Old 09-04-2006, 05:17 PM
 
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Yeah, I know some CNMs who do homebirths.

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Old 09-04-2006, 06:49 PM
 
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CNMs aren't legally able to attend homebirths in some states. But yes, many do. My last birth (home) was with a CNM and CPM duo. My MIL, a CNM, has attended hundreds of homebirths. Sometimes it just depends on the midwife and where they practice.
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Old 09-05-2006, 11:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much for your replies.

Both are legal in TX and they both seem to have the same education and were both L&D nurses before becoming MW's, I guess that is why I am confused about the difference : Though I guess it doesn't really matter, I had only been familiar with CNMs so I had no idea what the differences were.

Keri

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