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LVHN Supports Certified Nurse-Midwives as Part of Our Health Care Team

Who you choose for health care during your pregnancy is important. As you look at pregnancy care offered by Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN), you will find certified nurse-midwives are part of the team. A certified nurse-midwife (CNM) may offer a viewpoint about birth and overall woman care that you like.

What is a CNM?

A CNM gives personalized care through your pregnancy, birth and postpartum (after birth) period. A CNM is skilled with vaginal deliveries and generally has low cesarean section (C-section) rates in low-risk pregnancies and childbirths. A CNM’s goal is to provide a safe and positive birth experience for you.

Certified nurse-midwife education

Certified nurse-midwives are licensed registered nurses with a master’s degree in midwifery. Some have earned an advanced (doctoral) degree. All graduate from a nurse-midwifery education program accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education. CNMs must pass the national certification exam of the American Midwifery Certification Board.

CNM approach to care

CNMs offer a holistic (whole person) approach to health care. They provide care for women who are pregnant. They also care for women who are not pregnant. Types of care include:

  • Prenatal visits
  • Prescribe medicine
  • Attend vaginal births
  • Assist with C-section births
  • Help with infant feeding
  • Well-woman care
  • Screen and treat sexually-transmitted disease
  • Birth control counseling and prescribing

Team care → positive experience

You may want a CNM who offers care with a very personal touch. Other women may want someone who is experienced in low-risk prenatal care and labor management. Certified nurse-midwives at LVHN can offer that and more as key members of the full service care team.

Another consideration: some high risk moms can be managed by a certified nurse-midwife in active collaboration with a doctor. It all depends on the condition of the mother and the baby.

Midwifery at LVHN

At Lehigh Valley Health Network, our certified nurse-midwives are employed by Lehigh Valley Physician Group (LVPG) or by LVHN. All work closely with the physician team, when needed.

For most pregnant women, LVHN's certified nurse-midwives follow the established maternity care pathway so blood work, ultrasound and other prenatal testing is standard and protocol-based.

“Low-risk women who have midwife-led care can be safely managed independently, have outcomes as well as those with physicians and are more likely to have a spontaneous vaginal delivery,” says certified nurse-midwife Sherilyn Gibbs, DNP, Chief of Midwifery in LVHN’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

To learn more about pregnancy care at LVHN, visit LVHN.org/welcomebaby.