What Does a Midwife Do? Learn from a Local Midwife (Sponsored Content)

Hi, my name is Ro Kunaszuk.  I’m a midwife; sometimes people are a little unsure of what that is or what midwives do, so I want to explain a few things:

Midwives are health care providers who offer a broad range of services to women of all ages.  We are dedicated to partnering with women (mid-wife: with women) to identify each woman’s needs and health care values in order to provide the best possible care.

Midwives are independent health care providers who work closely with physicians and nurses to provide high quality, personalized care to women of all ages.  Midwives are defined as primary care providers under federal law.

Midwives provide:

  • General health care services such as breast exams, blood pressure checks and treating minor illness (think UTI)
  • Annual gynecologic exams
  • Family planning needs (including prescriptions for birth control)
  • Treatment for infections
  • Care during the teenage years
  • Care during pregnancy, including birth
  • Care during peri- and post menopause

Types of midwives:

CNM-Certified Nurse Midwife:  Registered nurse with midwifery education also; licensed by the state and Board Certified by a national accrediting agency (ACMB); practice in many settings-hospitals, offices, health centers, private practice and homes.  I am a CNM who has a private practice and offers births in the hospital as well as care for problems and Annual Exams.

CM-Certified Midwife: Midwifery education, and undergraduate degree in something other than nursing.  Also Board Certified by the ACMB.  Not licensed in all states.

CPM-Certified Professional Midwife: Educated through a formal program or an apprenticeship; services are not as broad as those provided by CNMs; cannot prescribe medications; often practice in birth centers and home birth. Not licensed in all states.

Other Midwives-not certified by any agency; may or may not have had formal education; may not be licensed, unable to prescribe medications.  Usually focus on pregnancy and birth.

Midwifery care is SAFE!  Midwifery care is based on evidence and facts and years of collective experience.  Midwives also consider a woman’s own health care values.  We believe in open communication between the woman, her family, and the whole health care team.  A recent (June, 2014) publication by The Lancet states “Midwifery is a vital solution to the challenges of providing high-quality maternal and newborn care for all women and newborn infants, in all countries”.

Midwives work in close collaboration with the whole medical team and have much lower rates of vacuum assisted, forceps and cesarean births.  My rate for C – section is about 4% whereas the nation average is 37%; that is, when I care for a woman during labor, she has a 4/100 chance of needing a C- Section.

Midwives are able to provide many sources of pain relief throughout the labor and usually provide direct support for the mother.

In 2013, midwives attended 10.5% of all births in Pennsylvania -that’s 140,892 babies who came into the world with the help of a midwife! I have privileges at Einstein Medical Center Montgomery and bring my patients there to deliver their babies.

Midwives are able to see women who are not pregnant and provide GYN care and Family Planning services as well as primary care services like treating a bladder infection.

Most states require private insurance companies to pay for services provided by a midwife; Medicaid covers midwifery care in ALL states. I accept Blue Cross, Aetna, United Healthcare, Medicare & Medicaid in my private office Woman’s Wellness Center of Conshohocken, LLC.

I have been a board-certified midwife since 1995.  I obtained my Doctor of Nursing Practice degree, the highest academic degree, from Drexel University in 2009 with a specialization in Sexual Dysfunction.

I would be happy to speak with you and answer any questions.  Stop down and see me at the Woman’s Wellness Center of Conshohocken sometime!