What Does a Nurse Midwife Do?

MidwifeMidwifery might sound like an outdated term for a profession that no longer exists, but when you look at what a nurse midwife does, you’ll find that millions of people still act as midwives in this country. A nurse midwife handles responsibilities similar to those taken on by both a doctor and a nurse. They must have an undergraduate degree in nursing or another medical topic, a graduate degree in the field and a license or certification in the state. Before committing to this career path, make sure you can handle the duties associated with a nurse midwife.

Offer Care Throughout the Pregnancy

According to The Campaign for Nursing’s Future by Johnson & Johnson, midwife nurses offer a high level of care throughout the pregnancy. A pregnant woman may seek a midwife for assistance in combination with a doctor, but a woman may also forgo a traditional doctor in favor of a nurse midwife. You’ll talk with your patients about the foods they eat, the activities they do and how they feel throughout the early and later stages. You’ll also perform tests when needed and make your patients feel more comfortable.

Take Part in the Delivery Process

When searching for what a nurse midwife does, you might find yourself surprised that some women use midwives in lieu of doctors in the delivery room. A nurse midwife must go through a training period that shows them how to look for signs of problems and what to do during emergency situations, including a breech birth or when the umbilical cord wraps around the baby’s neck. Some nurse midwives work in birthing centers and hospitals and work with the doctor assigned to the case to ensure they can handle any potential problems.

Provide Care After the Child Arrives

The work that you do as a nurse midwife doesn’t end after the delivery. Most women remain in the hospital for several days after giving birth, and if there are any problems, the mother and child may remain for a longer period of time. You’ll help nursing mothers learn what they need to do to get the baby to latch on, provide care to the babies delivered by your patients and generally ensure that both mommy and baby are healthy enough to go home.

Act as a Medial Professional

Those looking into what a nurse midwife does will find that these workers are medical professionals and handle many of the same tasks as any other doctor or nurse. You need to keep detailed records on each of your patients to ensure that you know of any preexisting conditions and that you know exactly where each of your patients is in the stages of pregnancy. Nurse midwives also take vital statistics of patients, including blood sugar and cholesterol checks, heart rate and blood pressure. You’ll need to keep detailed files on doctors and other professionals working in your community as well, which lets you refer a patient to a specialist when needed.

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The number of women looking for alternatives to traditional hospital deliveries keeps increasing in this country. As the number rises, those women will need more certified nursing midwives. When you look into what a nurse midwife does, you can find out more about the duties and tasks associated with the job and what you’ll do when working as a nurse midwife.