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Title page and Research Paper - Certified Nurse-midwifery...

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Certified Nurse-midwifery Running head: MIDWIFERY Certified Nurse Midwifery Kathryn Wilson Baylor University School of Nursing, Dallas, Texas 1
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Certified Nurse-midwifery Certified Nurse-midwifery The certified nurse-midwife (CNM) does much more than deliver babies. According to Share with Women in the Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health of September/October 2006, her job description includes prenatal and postpartum care, care of the newborn, routine female exams, birth control counseling, care of menopausal women, and health counseling. She can prescribe pain medications when attending a birth, and order medical treatment for common maladies. If the pregnancy or delivery is challenged by illness or a complication, the CNM will work with the physician to ensure the best and safest care for mother and baby. Primarily, the CNM offers support for women as a nurse and as a midwife. Midwifery is as old as mankind. In Genesis 4:1, the Bible records the first birth, recounting God’s assistance to Eve when she had no other woman to help her. More than 2,000 years later, Exodus 1:15-21 bears record of the heroic Hebrew midwives who refused to harm their charges at the orders of a malevolent dictator. There are historical accounts of midwives throughout the Bible, in Hindu, Greek and Roman literature, as well as among American Indians and European immigrants to America. Until the late nineteenth century, midwifery was a highly respected profession. New midwives were apprenticed to obstetricians or other midwives. They had no formal training. (Brucker, 2000) After the First World War, when scientific knowledge began to expand at an astonishing rate and women had their babies in hospitals with physicians, the common midwife came to be regarded as backward and even dangerous (see Ettinger, 2006). 2
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Certified Nurse-midwifery Physicians assiduously curtailed the influence and practice of midwives, requiring them to seek a different course for their profession. (Ettinger, 2006) In 1925, Mary Breckinridge began the Frontier Nursing Service (FNS) in eastern Kentucky to provide health care for rural women and their children in the Appalachians. Having lost two children of her own and witnessing insensitive care by hospital caregivers, she became a staunch advocate for women’s and children’s health care.
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