Not Just Delivering Babies

Not Just Delivering Babies

When you hear the term “midwife,” what images come to mind?  Birkenstocks & boho skirts, maybe a pair of mirrored sunglasses on the dashboard of her traveling hatchback?  Delivering babies in bathtubs with Enya playing in the next room? How about her level of education? Quick & easy?

Young woman looking over lake


There is an important distinction between the image in your head and the two types of midwives:

1. Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs) are advanced practice Registered Nurses in nurse midwifery, the care of women across their life span, including pregnancy and the postpartum period, and well woman care and birth control.  They are educated and licensed as nurses first, and must also 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 hands-on training.  Many complete an additional Master’s graduate level education in midwifery.

2. Direct-entry midwives or CPMs are educated or trained as midwives through an apprenticeship or educational program without having to become nurses first. Most states (including North Carolina) have legal restrictions on how a CPM must practice.  


Although direct-entry midwives are valuable and appreciated across the world for the care they provide, the only midwife partners you’ll meet at Triangle Midwives and Triangle Physicians for Women are certified nurse midwives who only deliver your baby in a hospital (WakeMed Cary).  They have highly specialized years of medical training, beyond their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degrees, and also have Master’s Degrees in Women’s Health, Nurse-Midwifery, or other OBGYN specialties.  


Healthcare Master’s degrees.  All of them at our practice.


Hospital births.  All of them at our practice.


Heather explains the differences you’ll find with Triangle Midwives here:


Wellness & Prevention, for a Lifetime


This Master’s level nursing and full-scope midwifery education (as well as years of practical experience) equips our team with the unique knowledge to treat the obstetrical and gynecological needs of all women, at all stages throughout their lifespan. Our midwives place particular emphasis on wellness and prevention, in order to educate women to care for and respect their bodies.  Some topics that fall into “women’s wellness” include:


  • General health care services
  • Annual gynecologic exams
  • Family planning needs
  • Treatment of sexually transmitted infections
  • Care during the teenage years
  • Menopause care


Our midwives see teens coming in for their first visit, as well as manage women’s specialized needs 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.  So whether you’re 13 or 30 or 65 years old, you can trust that our gentle gynecological care is as skilled as any you’d receive at an MD physician’s office (and, coincidentally, we are also a physician’s office with our TP4W practice on site, here to escalate services whenever needed).

“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 one of our TP4W physicians, 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.”


So, how do our doctors and midwives work together?  


Our TP4W physicians are on call along with the Triangle Midwives CNMs, 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.

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.  We also hold a Midwife Meet & Greet every 2nd Tuesday of the month, from 6-7pm with light refreshments here at the office.

Hippie sandals

So, although that flower-child midwife image in your head may now have changed, keep in mind, we do still live in North Carolina, so sandals are still going to be our thing.