Sunday, January 16, 2011

Pet peeve

I need to clear something up.

I notice all of the time on message boards, news articles, or among conversations in person, that many people are under the assumption that DEM (direct entry midwife, a midwife who has not entered midwifery through a nursing degree first) and CPM (certified professional midwife, a term created by NARM) are synonymous. When asking about midwives or referring to midwives, it sounds like you now have two choices in the US: Certified Nurse-Midwife and Certified Professional Midwife. This is not true. CNM and CPM are not the only options, and DEM is not the same as CPM. (Though most CPMs are indeed DEMs, the reverse is not true).

All of these letters make things confusing.

A midwife can be a midwife without being a CPM. There are many, many fabulous and highly expereinced midwives in our country whose title is 'Midwife', not CPM or CNM or CM. And there are currently wonderful student midwives in this country who are apprenticing with a homebirth midwife who have no plans whatsoever to become certified. We need to stop expecting some certifying body to determine who is a midwife.

Please, please, please, people...stop referring to ALL non-CNM midwives as "CPMs". This is simply not true and it does a huge disservice to midwifery.

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