A Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) is a knowledgeable, skilled and professional primary maternity care provider. Certified Professional Midwives are trained and credentialed to offer expert care, education, counseling and support to women for pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period. CPMs practice as autonomous health professionals working within a network of relationships with other maternity care providers who can provide consultation and collaboration when needed. All Certified Professional Midwives meet the standards for certification set by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM).
In the United States, Certified Professional Midwives provide unique and critical access to normal physiologic birth, which profoundly benefits mothers and newborns. Although qualified to practice in any setting, they have particular expertise in providing care in homes and free-standing birth centers, and own or work in over half of the birth centers in the U.S. today.
Certified Professional Midwives are a fast-growing branch of the midwifery profession in the United States. With the first CPM certificate issued in 1994, and with over 2454 certificates awarded as of January 2014, approximately 1 in 6 midwives in the U.S. today is a CPM.