What is a Nurse-Midwife?

Triangle Physicians for Women is proud to be serving women and families in the Cary, Raleigh, Durham area since 1992.  As a collaborative practice combining the expertise of board certified OBGYNs and Certified Nurse Midwives, we have found the best of both worlds in caring for our patients. The practice hired its first midwife more than a dozen years ago and the response was so positive that we now have seven Certified Nurse Midwives on staff.  Dr. Vulgaropulos said, “The simple truth about our midwives is that our patients fall in love with them.  They render wonderful, nurturing services and provide invaluable assistance to our physicians.”  Learn more at Triangle Midwives.

Nurse Midwifery Services at Triangle Physicians for Women – The Best of Both Worlds

Jessy pregnant  Jessy baby

Though midwives have been around for centuries, there is still much confusion today about their roles and capabilities.  Probably the most frequently asked question we hear from those new to our practice is, “What exactly is a midwife?”  Hopefully, this article will not only answer that question but also will help people understand why we believe we offer the best of both worlds to our expecting couples.

The word midwife means “with woman.”  The term conjures up many different images, in part to the fact that they have been helping women through childbirth for centuries.  The women in the community trained to do this were referred to as midwives.  For decades, the knowledge these women possessed had been passed down to them through the generations.  They were the experts long before childbirth moved into hospitals with physicians in the early 20th century.

Formal midwifery education began in England in the 1800’s and then in the United States shortly after.  Many different types of programs and training have existed over the years that have contributed to the various types of midwives practicing in this country, adding to the confusion surrounding them.  However, the American College of Nurse-Midwives is currently trying to standardize the education and training for midwives so that all nurse midwives will eventually hold the title of Certified Nurse Midwife.

Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM) have, at minimum, a bachelor’s degree in nursing, with seventy percent actually having a master’s degree.  In addition, they must complete a certificate program in midwifery from an accredited institution, which includes a residency where they work with physicians and other CNM’s to receive their training.  The midwives at Triangle OB/GYN are masters prepared CNMs practicing full-scope midwifery.  Full scope midwifery involves providing care to the woman throughout her life cycle from puberty to post-menopause, including pregnancy and childbirth.  Our midwives see teens coming in for their first visit as well as manage women during their menopausal years.  If needed, the midwives consult with the physicians to determine a plan of care for patients needing surgery or more intense care.

Our physicians are on call along with a midwife 24 hours a day.  They are both aware of the status of every patient.  During a woman’s labor and childbirth, if all is proceeding normally, the midwife is in attendance and the physician is on call, but readily available.  If high-risk situations arise, such as a C-section or vacuum extraction, the physician will be present and will work with the midwife to complete the birth.

“Our Certified Nurse Midwives approach patients from a nursing perspective and medical doctors, whether male or female, tend to approach patients differently than nurses do with a much more direct medical orientation.  That means, I believe, that the patient gets the best of both worlds,” says Dr. Vulgaropulos.  In addition, “The midwives are more able than doctors to spend added time with our patients, offering counsel and emotional support.  And we’re fortunate that most of our midwives have had their own birthing experiences, which is a significant life experience to bring to the patient-caregiver relationship.”

For more information about our midwives, please go to the staff section of our website or call the office and one of them would love to speak with you and answer any additional questions you may have.

I have been going to TP4W since 2010/11 and could not be happier.

The staff, nurses, midwives, and doctors are all amazing. I have 2 sons, both delivered via cesarean by Dr. V. Every visit and every provider did everything in their power to give me the birth experience I wanted, and also ensure that myself and my babies were safe and healthy. Dr. V even did everything in his power to help me avoid my first c-section and VBAC with the second, but that turned out to be out of his hands and he was the absolute best surgeon. With my two pregnancies, I experienced a few scares and some unusual circumstances that would be too long and too private to write in a review, but every single hurdle was handled with grace, honesty, and professionalism. I am so thankful for the recommendation from a friend to come to this office. I can’t imagine ever going to another practice.

TP4W is amazing and I am so very thankful I found them 9 years ago!! Amazing partnership between midwives and doctors, sweet nurses and front end staff, and relaxing environment. I literally recommend them to all my friends! I look forward to my appointments and feel like I’m going to catch up with old friends.

I’ve always had wonderful experiences at TP4W. Everyone is friendly, knowledgeable, and thorough in their care. April delivered my son and I can’t say enough wonderful things about her. She is patient and compassionate. I had the best labor and delivery experience thanks to her. I do and will continue to recommend them to my friends and family!

TP4W is amazing and I am so very thankful I found them 9 years ago!! Amazing partnership between midwives and doctors, sweet nurses and front end staff, and relaxing environment. I literally recommend them to all my friends! I look forward to my appointments and feel like I’m going to catch up with old friends.

I have been seeing Dr. Grana for just about 4 years now and I must admit that she has been the very best OB I have ever had! She is so personable, friendly, and all around caring about her patients. I’ve never had any issues with the staff, the office is very clean, and if Dr. Grana is running behind, they let me know ahead of time. I highly recommend Dr. Grana and this office to anyone!

I was referred here by my family doctor. I had found out I was pregnant with my first child later last year and had the most difficult time scheduling an appointment at my last OB/GYN Doctor. I was on the verge of tears because I didn’t know what my next steps were and thank goodness I was referred to Triangle Physicians for Women. The service is amazing every appointment I’ve had and they are so organized and have made me feel so comfortable. I have to thank them for making this pregnancy so much smoother and less stressful than it would have been had I stayed with my previous doctor. I highly recommend this place!