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faq OB


Frequently Asked Questions: Midwifery

What is a Certified Nurse Midwife?

The midwives at Seattle OB/GYN are certified nurse midwives (CNMs). A CNM is a registered nurse with an advance graduate degree in midwifery. Each CNM is board certified and licensed in the state of WA. CNMs are trained to provide care for women throughout the women’s lifespan and focus on pregnancy and childbirth.

Do CNMs deliver in the hospital or at a woman’s home?

During pregnancy you should call your provider if you have any of the following:

  • Most CNMs (approximately 95%) delivery babies in hospitals and the Seattle OB/GYN midwives deliver at Swedish Medical Center First Hill Campus Hospital.

Will insurance pay for a midwife?

  • The billing process is the same for a midwife and a physician if your insurance is accepted at Seattle OB/GYN.

Can CNMs prescribe pain medication in labor?

  • The midwifery model of care is well-known for supporting unmedicated childbirth, but CNMs have the ability to prescribe pain medication, including epidural anesthesia during labor if you desire.  

Do CNMs and physicians work together?

  • Yes. At Seattle OB/GYN, CNMs and physicians work together and if a high-risk situation with a patient should occur, Seattle OB/GYN physicians are available at all times.

Can a CNM perform a c-section?

  • Midwives do not perform surgery but they do assist alongside the Seattle OB/GYN physicians if a cesarean section is needed.

Can I see a CNM for my annual exam?

  • Yes. CNMs provide care for women through normal, healthy life events from adolescence to menopause.

Can a CNM prescribe birth control or other medications?

  • Yes. CNMs can prescribe a full-range of birth control, medications and treatments.
  • CNMs can also ordered needed medical tests within their scope of practice.