Build a relationship with a health care professional who focuses on wellness, education, and prevention. When you partner with a Certified nurse-midwife (CNM) at Essentia, you’ll enjoy holistic care from a provider who takes time to answer your questions, listen to your concerns, and provide health information and resources.

What’s a Midwife?

Certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) are advanced practitioners with education and training in caring for women throughout their lives. These specialists can provide:

  • Primary care
  • Reproductive health care, including family planning and gynecologic exams
  • Pregnancy and birth care
  • Postpartum care and newborn care

Conditions Treated

See the full list of conditions we treat, and select a condition to find providers and locations near you.


Pregnancy & Birth Care

In Fargo, North Dakota, as well as Detroit Lakes and Duluth, Minnesota, our CNMs provide complete care throughout your pregnancy, labor, and delivery. 

If you develop a complication that requires a doctor’s involvement, trust your CNM to coordinate your care with an obstetrician. They’ll work together to give you care that’s right for you and your growing baby.

Easing Labor Pain

Count on your CNM to help you manage labor pain the way you want. If you prefer a non-medicated delivery, your CNM can help you cope with labor pain using tools such as:

  • Aromatherapy
  • Birthing balls
  • Breathing techniques
  • Heat and cold therapy
  • Hydrotherapy in a whirlpool tub
  • Massage
  • Movement and positioning
  • Nitrous oxide
  • Relaxation techniques, such as guided imagery

CNMs also support women who chose to have a medicated labor and delivery, including an epidural.

Learn more about labor and delivery at Essentia Health.

Midwife Myths

Medical Insight: Midwife Myths Video Transcript

Essentia Health logo. Medical Insight.

TRACY BRIGGS: Hope Adams, a certified nurse midwife at Essentia Health St. Mary's in Detroit Lakes, can tell you a lot about midwifery. Not only because she is one, but because a midwife helped her to deliver two of her own children.

Building, The Birthplace

She sat down with us to talk about the most common misconceptions people have about her profession. Midwife myth number one. You must deliver at home with a midwife. HOPE ADAMS: I think a lot of people assume when they hear a nurse midwife that we deliver babies in the home. That's still the number one question that I get. TRACY BRIGGS: In fact, Adams says only about 2% of midwife deliveries are in the home. The rest deliver in the hospital. Midwife myth number two-- midwives only care for you during labor and delivery. HOPE ADAMS: We can do so much more than that. We can see patients from the teenage years through menopause. And so we really are able to form that bond with the patient and care for them throughout their lives. TRACY BRIGGS: Adams says midwives, most of whom have master's degrees and are highly trained, can do general health screenings, give vaccinations, test and treat for STDs, and they can prescribe some medications. Myth number three-- a midwife means you bring your bundle of joy into the world with no drugs.

Newborn baby lying on mom's chest.

However, Adams says the midwives job is to advise you and offer you what you want for pain management. It's up to you whether you choose relaxation techniques, epidurals, or nothing at all. Myth number four-- if your labor becomes high risk, the nurse midwife will leave as an OBGYN takes their place. Adams says not true. Should a patient need a c-section, the nurse midwife will stay with you and assist the OBGYN.

Baby lying with mom in a hospital bed.

All of these myths aside, Adams says the main thing to remember about midwives is their primary goal-- empowering women and being with them every step of the way during this most important part of life. With this Essentia Health Medical Insight, I'm Tracy Briggs.

Essentia Health logo. Medical Insight.

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