Conroe Women's Associates is a group of highly qualified obstetricians, gynecologists and certified nurse midwives providing comprehensive healthcare services for women throughout the Montgomery County community.
Our physicians, are highly trained in the latest gynecological procedures, including minimally invasive robotic surgery, endometrial ablations and hysterectomy alternatives. They specialize in the overall health and needs of women.
Our obstetricians specialize in high-risk pregnancies and are committed to providing you with the topmost level of care for you and your baby. Our providers have delivered thousands of babies in their career.
Our certified nurse midwives, are qualified health professionals skilled in supporting women's health from annual exams to low risk pregnancy care. They work with you in customizing a personalized birth plan within a hospital setting. All of our midwives deliver babies at HCA Houston Healthcare Conroe.
They are committed to providing you with the best experience in a more comfortable and relaxed environment. Our physicians and specialists are always available for collaboration should complications arise.
What Does a Midwife Do?
Midwives generally spend a lot of time during prenatal visits addressing a woman's individual concerns and needs, and will stay with her as much as possible throughout labor. They sometimes encourage physical positioning during labor such as walking around, showering, rocking, or leaning on birthing balls. Midwives also usually allow women to eat and drink during labor.
Certified nurse-midwives, like doctors, may use some medical interventions, such as electronic fetal monitoring, labor-inducing drugs, pain medications, epidurals, and episiotomies, if the need arises. However, a certified midwife, certified professional midwife, or direct-entry midwife may not legally be allowed to use these techniques without a doctor's supervision. And birthing centers may or may not be equipped for these procedures.
What Kind of Training Do Midwives Have?
Midwives today come from a variety of backgrounds. The subtitle a midwife uses will indicate the level of education and training.
Many American midwives are certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) who:
- have at least a bachelor's degree and may have a master's or doctoral degree
- have completed both nursing and midwifery training
- have passed exams to become certified and have fulfilled state licensing requirements
- may work in conjunction with doctors
Most births assisted by certified nurse-midwives occur in hospitals.
A certified midwife (CM) has also passed exams to become certified, but is not a registered nurse. Currently, only some states recognize this certification as sufficient for licensing.
A lay or direct-entry midwife may or may not have a college degree or a certification. Direct-entry midwives may have trained through apprenticeship, workshops, formal instruction, or a combination of these. They don't always work in conjunction with doctors, and they usually practice in homes or non-hospital birth centers. But not every state regulates direct-entry midwives or allows them to practice.
A certified professional midwife (CPM) is certified by the North American Registry of Midwives after passing written exams and hands-on skill evaluations. They're required to have out-of-hospital birth experience, and usually practice in homes and birth centers. Their legal status varies according to state.
Is a Midwife Right for You?
Several studies have shown that midwife-supervised births produce excellent outcomes with fewer medical interventions than average. Midwives' patients use electronic fetal monitoring less often and tend to have a reduced need for epidurals, episiotomies, and C-sections for successful deliveries. To some degree, this stems from the fact that midwives see only low-risk patients with uncomplicated pregnancies.
But some researchers attribute the need for a minimum of medical intervention to the midwives' natural approach to the management of labor and delivery, which may reduce a woman's fear, pain, and anxiety during birth.
Using a midwife without an obstetrician is not advisable for women with higher-risk pregnancies. Those expecting twins or multiples and those with prior pregnancy complications, gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, or chronic health problems of any kind before pregnancy should discuss their options with their primary health care provider or an obstetrician. Also, if any potentially serious complications arise during delivery, midwives should involve an obstetrician.
Certified nurse-midwives who practice in major medical centers and work very closely with obstetricians and perinatologists (specialists in high-risk pregnancy) may take patients with risk factors. But midwives in solo practice or who practice in limited medical facilities generally do not.