Midwife Program

Certified nurse-midwives provide one-on-one support

A pregnant woman talks to a midwife in a patient exam room, representing the one-on-one support you get from certified nurse midwives at Scripps.

Certified nurse-midwives provide one-on-one support

Some women choose to use a midwife to aid in their pregnancy. Midwives are known for their patience and empathy, and for providing one-on-one emotional and educational support. A certified nurse-midwife is an advanced nurse-practitioner. 

All certified nurse-midwives at Scripps are:

  • Registered nurses
  • Graduates of a master’s level nurse-midwifery program
  • Accredited by the American College of Nurse-Midwives
  • Have passed a rigorous national certification exam
  • Have met strict requirements established by state health agencies

Certified nurse-midwives are available only at Scripps hospitals. They do not work at the physician offices.

The best of both worlds

A certified nurse-midwife does not replace your physician. Instead, she works with your obstetrician and any other specialists involved in your care. All midwives at Scripps hospitals work alongside the on-call Scripps obstetricians so that physician services are readily available in the event of a medical emergency.

By offering the support and care of a midwife along with the resources of a hospital-based birth, this collaboration further enhances the high-quality care you receive at Scripps. 

If you decide midwifery care is right for you, your certified nurse-midwife will partner with you throughout childbirth, including vaginal, cesarean and VBAC deliveries. In addition to assisting with delivery, your midwife will share information and answer questions, and check in on you after you’ve given birth.

Frequently asked questions about midwives

What is a midwife?

Certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) are licensed health care practitioners educated in nursing and midwifery and are certified by the American Midwifery Certification Board.


Can I still have anesthesia with a midwife?

Yes. Certified nurse-midwives provide support during labor regardless of your decision to use anesthesia. Scripps midwives support epidurals, local anesthesia and natural childbirth.

Before labor, they can provide you with education on how and when to use these different methods to help guide your birth plan. Whether you choose anesthesia or natural childbirth, the certified nurse-midwives’ mission remains the same: Caring for and empowering women and their families.

Do midwives help with VBACs?

A vaginal birth after cesarean, commonly referred to as a VBAC, is when a woman delivers a baby vaginally after a previous C-section. Scripps midwives collaborate with the physician to assist women with VBAC deliveries. Not all women can have a VBAC delivery, so it’s important to discuss this with your obstetrician.

Are Scripps midwives available at all Scripps locations?

Not yet. Midwife services are available to Scripps Clinic patients who deliver at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla, and to Scripps Coastal Medical Center patients who deliver at Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas. Midwives offer services only in the hospital, not in the physicians’ offices.