Midwifery care in Virginia

At HCA Virginia, we understand that every expectant mother's preferences are different when it comes to maternity care and childbirth. That is why we offer midwifery care for women interested in natural or alternative delivery options.

For more information about our primary care services or for help finding a doctor, call our free, 24/7 Consult-A-Nurse line.

What is a certified nurse midwife (CNM)?

A CNM is a registered nurse (RN) who specializes in female reproductive health and childbirth. CNMs may offer prenatal care, childbirth services and postpartum support, all focused on using low-intervention and natural techniques.

Although they provide complete care for mom and baby, high-risk pregnancies will typically require the care of an OB/GYN and a maternal-fetal medicine specialist.

What does a midwife do?

Our CNMs offer education and support during your pregnancy to help prepare you for the hard work of labor and delivery. This includes guidance on laboring at home, when to come to the hospital and how to work with your body and contractions.

They will help facilitate your low-intervention birth through:

  • Alternative labor and birthing positions
  • Aromatherapy
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Personalized support
  • Wireless monitoring
  • Delayed cord clamping
  • Skin-to-skin contact after birth

Our CNMs are also able to prescribe a full spectrum of treatments and medications, including pain control medications.

Where can I find a midwife?

HCA Virginia provides midwifery care at the following hospitals' birth centers:

Frequently asked questions about midwifery care

You will find helpful information about midwifery care below.

What is the difference between a midwife and an obstetrician gynecologist (OB/GYN)?

Both midwives and OB/GYNs focus solely on the health of you and your baby. Both are also equally capable of providing a quality experience and outcome for you.

However, OB/GYNs generally have a four-year medical degree that they have completed following an undergraduate program. They have performed a four-year residency program and many elect to partake in a specialized fellowship program. Whereas CNMs are highly trained and have received registered nursing degrees, in addition to master’s degrees, in midwifery. Most midwives also have bachelor’s degrees.

Who can use midwives?

Our CNMs typically care for expectant mothers not experiencing high-risk pregnancies. CNMs will work with your other healthcare providers to discuss factors that may exclude you from receiving midwifery care.

What if I need to be induced or decide I want pain medication while using a midwife?

CNMs are able to provide induction services or augmentation of labor if necessary. Additionally, CNMs know that every labor experience and woman is unique, and they will continue to support you if you choose to receive pain medication.

What happens if I am using a midwife but have a complication during my birth?

If you experience an unexpected complication, your CNM and prenatal care provider will work together to ensure the safe delivery of your baby. Our midwives remain with their patients even if the need for medical intervention arises.