What's the difference between a CPM and a CNM?

The U.S. is unique from other countries in that it offers a variety of routes for becoming a midwife.
While the primary certifying organizations for midwives are nationwide, each state sets their own
regulations. This means there is a LOT of variety between midwives with different certifications in
different states.

Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM) are licensed and trained as Registered Nurses and Midwives. The entry-
level education required is a Master’s Degree in Nursing. CNMs can practice in all states, can prescribe
and administer medications in all states, can attend births in all settings (home, birth center, or
hospital), and can provide care from puberty through menopause. CNMs are licensed Advanced Practice
Nurses in Colorado, the same as any other nurse practitioner. Being licensed and carrying malpractice
insurance allow us to be contracted with insurance companies.

Certified Professional Midwives (CPM) are trained in midwifery only. Someone can become a CPM
without going to a school by completing an apprenticeship and undergoing the PEP (Portfolio Evaluation
Process). If schooling is part of the process, the school may or may not be accredited. Non-accredited
schooling requires PEP as well. The minimum education for a CPM is a high school diploma or GED.
CPMs can practice in some states, but some states will not recognize CPMs. In Colorado, the state has a
process for registering CPMs and by registering they agree to follow certain rules about their practice;
CPMs are not licensed in Colorado and don’t carry malpractice insurance. CPMs in Colorado can attend
home birth but not birth center or hospital births. In addition, CPMs cannot write prescriptions or
administer certain medications, and the care they can give is limited to pregnant, birthing, and post-partum women.

Do you offer payment plans?

We make every effort to get an idea of what out-of-pocket costs are going to be once we have a copy of your actual insurance card, information in our system, and are able to have our billing staff contact your insurance company for details. Once we have all the details on your plan’s coverage with us, we can give you our educated estimate as to what out-of-pocket costs you may incur. We’re always willing to work with you if out-of-pocket costs are going to be difficult to cover all at once. Just let us know and feel free to ask questions whenever you have them.

How do I get a Birth Certificate and SS Number for my baby?

We will file all the necessary paperwork to register your baby’s birth with the State of Colorado. The
Social security card will be automatically mailed to you and you can pay for and pick up your baby’s
official birth certificate with your county’s vital records office about 3 weeks after the birth.

What do I need to bring to the Birth Center?

The Birth Center is fully equipped with most everything you’d have in your bedroom at home but tailored specifically for medication-free birth. You’ll be able to use the built-in labor/birthing tub, birth balls, support sling, birth stools, private bathroom with shower, adjustable beds, adjustable lighting, Bluetooth speaker, heated towel racks, essential oil diffuser, and other equipment meant to help aid in the delivery process.

Items you’ll want to consider bringing from home are a nursing bra or tank, hair ties and a headband, a toiletry bag with toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, soap, makeup remover, and lotion; a swim top for mom & trunks for partner, a change of clothes for mom & partner for going home, healthy snacks and drinks, a great playlist, your preferred essential oils for massage/diffusing, your phone & charger, baby’s diaper bag, baby’s coming home outfit, a swaddle blanket, newborn scratch mittens, and your infant car seat installed. Postpartum essentials that would normally be purchased for an at-home birth like a perineal cleansing bottle will be provided for you at the Birth Center.

How often will I be seen?

First appointments are typically scheduled around 9 weeks gestation. An ultrasound is an option at this appointment. We see each client every 3-4 weeks until about 30-32 weeks when we start seeing you every 2 weeks. At 36 weeks, we will schedule birth center walkthrough to make sure you are familiar with the Birth Center facilities, and from there we will schedule weekly office visits until your baby arrives.

We will schedule a visit at the birth center 24-48 hours following your birth to check on both you and your baby. Then we will schedule birth center visits for 4-6 days and 10-14 days postpartum for both you and the baby, and 6 weeks postpartum for you. More postpartum appointments can be scheduled if needed.

Can I have a VBAC at the Birth Center?

Yes, you can have a VBAC with us! If it is your first time having a vaginal birth after your most recent previous birth was a cesarean birth, we will require a birth center birth. We will need to review your surgical records – to verify that you had a low-transverse incision and a double layer closure. We follow national guidelines for VBAC births.

What can you do for the pain of natural childbirth?

Labor and birth are intense experiences. However, our bodies are designed for the process. Being able to move freely, eat, drink, and rest helps you work with your body and make the process more manageable. Giving birth in the birth center allows these things to take place. In addition, we highly recommend laboring in water – either in a shower, tub or labor/birth pool. The warm water helps you to rest and relax – we call it a Midwife’s Epidural (see waterbirth). At the birth center, you also have the option of nitrous oxide or laughing gas, as a tool to help you through labor – it doesn’t take the pain away like an epidural but can certainly “take the edge off.”

In addition, we highly recommend the services of a professional labor support person (also called a doula). The support of a doula is an invaluable addition to the birth team. They can help with positioning, massage and counterpressure techniques, emotional support, and support of your partner which are all things that can make your labor much easier, and often make it faster. While your midwives and birth assistants must be primarily focused on safety for you and the baby, the doula’s sole focus can be on you and your partner’s comfort both physically and emotionally.

What kind of care do you provide for my baby?

We will assess and stabilize your baby as needed immediately following the birth, determine APGAR scores, etc. At about 1-2 hours postpartum we will do a full newborn exam, including weight and measurements. If you approve, vitamin K and antibiotic eye ointment will be administered at that time. We also provide well-baby care for up to 28 days postpartum including weight checks, jaundice levels, feeding pattern assessment, hearing screen, first hepatitis b vaccination (if desired), and the two newborn screens (PKU) which are typically done at the first and third postpartum visits. We can provide you with a list of excellent pediatricians in the Colorado Springs area for circumcision upon request.

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Beginnings Birth Center is nationally accredited by:

Beginnings Birth Center is a member of


Beginnings Bulletin: May 2018

We are so excited to announce that construction began last week on Beginnings Birth Center! Old walls are coming down and the new space is starting to take shape. The layout includes 3 birth suites, 4 exam rooms, a beautiful family – friendly waiting room, reception desk, education space, and kitchen.


“We have a secret in our culture, and it’s not that birth is painful. It’s that women are strong.” – Laura Stavoe Harm

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