Midwifery is a health care profession in which providers offer care to childbearing women during pregnancy, labour and birth, and during the postpartum period. They also help care for the newborn and assist the mother with breastfeeding.
A practitioner of midwifery is known as a midwife, a term used in reference to both women and men, although the majority of midwives are female. In addition to providing care to women during pregnancy and birth, many midwives also provide primary care to women, well-woman care related to reproductive health, annual gynecological exams, family planning, and menopausal care.
A Certified Professional Midwife or Certified Nurse Midwife is a knowledgeable, skilled and professional independent midwifery practitioner who is qualified to provide the midwifery model of care. Midwifery can be practiced in and out-of-hospital settings.