Tag Archives: Ask the Lexington Medical Center Clinician: What’s A Midwife?

Ask the Lexington Medical Center Clinician: What’s A Midwife?

Darci Putnam, CNM, MSN, is a certified nurse midwife at Lexington Women’s Care West Columbia, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice. She answers a lot of questions from community members about what midwives do.

Q: What’s a certified nurse midwife?
A: A certified nurse midwife is an advanced practice registered nurse who provides comprehensive health care for women throughout their lives. Lexington Women’s Care has a staff of CNMs at its West Columbia location.

Q: How does someone become a CNM?
A: The CNMs at Lexington Women’s Care West Columbia have earned a master’s degree in nursing and completed rigorous clinical training. CNMs also graduate from an accredited midwifery education program and passed a national certification exam.

Q: Do midwives only care for pregnant women?
A: No. Midwives offer care to women from adolescence through menopause.

Q: What kind of gynecologic care does a midwife provide?
A: We care for women in all stages of life. Midwives provide routine well-woman exams, family planning and contraception, preconception counseling and problem-focused visits.

Darci Putnam

Q: Does using a midwife mean natural childbirth?
A: No. CNMs support a patient’s wishes for her birth experience. We participate in many deliveries at Lexington Medical Center with mothers who use medication to control pain during labor and delivery, including epidurals. We also have patients who would like to have natural childbirth, and we work with them to achieve that goal. We realize that every patient is different and unique.

Q: Do you offer at-home deliveries?
A: Some midwives participate in at-home deliveries. But like many other CNMs across the country, Lexington Women’s Care’s midwives only deliver babies at Lexington Medical Center.