Your baby’s birth is an intensely personal experience. That’s why Prima Medical Foundation OB/GYN is a collaborative practice that fully integrates certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) in both the office and hospital setting. Our midwives practice the midwifery model of care which is based on the assumption that most pregnancies, labors, and births are normal biological processes that result in healthy outcomes for mothers and babies. The midwives work with low risk women to maximize health and wellness by attending to the emotional and social, as well as medical, aspects of pregnancy and birth.
Our midwives are registered nurses with a master’s degree in nursing or public health and are certified through the American College of Nurse-Midwives. Click here to view a list of our midwives.
At Prima, a certified nurse midwife’s responsibilities include the following:
- Providing prenatal care, including: ordering tests, lab work, and scans
- Performing annual well-woman exams, whether a woman is pregnant or not
- Prescribing certain medications including, but not limited to: contraception, hormone replacement therapy, STD treatment, and antibiotics
- Working with each woman and her family to provide patient-centered, evidence-based care
- Supporting the mother’s choice for comfort measures during labor, including narcotics, nitrous oxide, and epidural anesthesia, as well as non-pharmacological alternatives for pain relief and coping
- Surgical first assist for the OB/GYN during a cesarean section
Midwife or OB/GYN? What’s Right for You?
Both midwives and physicians are licensed and highly regulated healthcare providers, but their skill sets and philosophies are a little different. If you desire minimal interventions, shared decision-making, and anticipate having a vaginal birth, a midwife could be a good choice for you. A midwife-assisted birth is not recommended if the pregnancy is considered high risk, as in the following cases:
- Uncontrolled insulin-dependent diabetes or other medical conditions in the mother
- Pregnancy-related complications such as severe preeclampsia.
- Significant health problems in the developing baby
- Premature labor before 34 weeks
- Multiple pregnancy (twins or more)
There are many myths and misconceptions surrounding midwifery so it’s important to get the facts before you choose whether to have a physician or midwife-assisted birth.
Meet the Midwives
The Prima midwives host a quarterly “Meet and Greet” at Marin General Hospital. This is an opportunity to meet our team, learn about our services, ask questions, and take a tour of Marin General Hospital. To find out when the next Meet and Greet will take place, click here.