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  • Writer's pictureSandy Glenn, LM MBC

Natural Birth Choices: You've decided that you want a Natural Birth. What's Next?

South Carolina is privileged to offer Certified Professional Midwives who are also Licensed by the state. Unlike hospital based midwives, they are autonomous. They are not employed by a physician or hospital and are not entangled in the many hospital protocols that can restrict a woman's' choices in labor. CPMs deliver for healthy moms and healthy babies.

A Professional Midwife will be with you for your prenatal care as well as attend your birth. Births with our CPMs can either occur in one of Carolina WaterBirth's suites, in Simpsonville, or at the family's home. Because the midwife and the family make decisions for themselves we have excellent birth outcomes; including cesarean section rates as low as 7% and a 95% breastfeeding success rate.

How do you qualify to use a CPM?

Most moms can qualify if they enroll early in their pregnancy. You must be in generally good health, willing to take a natural prenatal vitamin, exercise daily and have a health conscious diet. If this is your first natural birth, you will also take a pain management birth class and be enrolled in a doula program to help make your birth easier.

What does it cost?

If you have private insurance, you can expect to only pay your deductible and copay. Because CPM rates are considerably less than a hospital, your copay will also be reduced. With rising insurance cost and decreased benefits, many families are finding significant savings at Carolina WaterBirth. A self pay client also receives more discounts if they are paid in full within a month of their due date.

Another great benefit is the simplicity of your bill. At Carolina WaterBirth, your bill will include your prenatal care, birth, facility or home fee, postpartum care and newborn care. When you use a hospital, you may be responsible for each of those bills separately.

NACPM (National Association of Certified Professional Midwives) defines CPM

What is a Certified Professional Midwife?

<img>A Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) is a knowledgeable, skilled and independent midwifery practitioner who has met the standards for certification set by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM). CPM is the only international credential that requires knowledge about and experience in out-of-hospital birth.

How do CPMs practice? CPMs are trained and credentialed to offer expert care and support to women and their babies for pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period. CPMs practice as autonomous health professionals working within a network of relationships with other maternity care professionals who can provide consultation and collaboration when needed.

CPMs are guided by the <a>NACPM Standards for Practice</a>(pdf) and the Midwives’ Model of Care™*.

The Midwives Model of Care™ is based on the fact that pregnancy and birth are normal life events and includes:

  • monitoring the physical, psychological and social well-being of the mother throughout the childbearing cycle;

  • providing the mother with individualized education, counseling and prenatal care,

  • continuous hands-on assistance during labor and delivery and postpartum support;

  • minimizing technological interventions; and

  • identifying and referring women who require obstetrical attention.

The application of this model has been proven to reduce the incidence of birth injury, trauma and cesarean section.

Development of the Credential The CPM credential was developed by the <a>North American Registry of Midwives</a> (NARM) in collaboration with the <a>Midwives Alliance of North America</a> (MANA), <a>Midwifery Education Accreditation Council</a> (MEAC), <a>Citizens for Midwifery</a> (CfM) and diverse stakeholders from across the US. The credential issued by NARM is nationally accredited by the <a>National Commission for Certifying Agencies</a> (NCCA) which is the accrediting arm of the National Organization for Competency Assurance (NOCA). NCCA accredits many health professions.

Are CPMs legal? Twenty six states now recognize direct-entry midwives in statute, 24 through licensure. Before the advent of the CPM credential in 1994, individual states that licensed midwives each had their own requirements and standards. Since the availability of the CPM credential, the trend has been to use the CPM as the basis for state licensure. The credential also establishes a national standard for quality assurance within the profession.

Completion of this certification does not necessarily convey legality which is determined by state and territorial governments.

*Copyright © 1996-2001, Midwifery Task Force All Rights Reserved



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