by Kerin Asher-Galloway, R.N., C.N.M.
What is a midwife? Don't they only deliver babies?
Midwives come from a variety of traditions, cultures, and academic programs. The origin of the word midwife means to be "with-woman." Nowadays, midwives perform pap smears, physical exams, offer family planning options and perimenopausal counseling. They can provide primary care for most common health complaints for women of all ages.
Of course midwives also provide prenatal care, deliver babies, and postnatal care which includes lactation education. Midwives can deliver babies in the hospital, birthing center and in the home.
Kerin Asher, R.N., C.N.M. is a certified nurse practitioner and midwife. She practices gynecology and primary care medicine with Dr. Feder in Los Angeles.