There’s a variety of language/terms that I use in my posts and in order to make this site more accessible for allies and/or queer folks who aren’t familiar with the language I use, here’s a little helper sheet:

Trans:  Being transgender is largely understood to mean that your gender identity is different is some way than the one you were assigned at birth. It’s always good to ask people what a word means to them and how they identify. Gender is a constellation, and your gender is something that can only be defined by you.

Cisgender: The gender you were assigned at birth (male/female) does not differ from your gender identity. 

Queer: A reclaimed slur that now is largely used as an umbrella term for non-heterosexual or non-binary orientation/gender identity. Some people within the LGBTQI spectrum don’t like the term, that’s OK, we’re all different

Midwife: People get confused about the word “midwife”. Here’s some definitions straight from MANA


“A midwife is a person who has successfully completed a midwifery education programme that is duly recognized in the country where it is located and that is based on the ICM Essential Competencies for Basic Midwifery Practice and the framework of the ICM Global Standards for Midwifery Education; who has acquired the requisite qualifications to be registered and/or legally licensed to practice midwifery and use the title ‘midwife’; and who demonstrates competency in the practice of midwifery.

The midwife is recognized as a responsible and accountable professional who works in partnership with women to give the necessary support, care and advice during pregnancy, labour and the postpartum period, to conduct births on the midwife’s own responsibility and to provide care for the newborn and the infant. This care includes preventative measures, the promotion of normal birth, the detection of complications in mother and child, the accessing of medical care or other appropriate assistance and the carrying out of emergency measures.

The midwife has an important task in health counseling and education, not only for the woman, but also within the family and the community. This work should involve antenatal education and preparation for parenthood and may extend to women’s health, sexual or reproductive health and child care.A midwife may practice in any setting including the home, community, hospitals, clinics or health units.”

Types of Midwives:

Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM): 

A Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM) is an individual educated in the two disciplines of nursing and midwifery, who possesses evidence of certification according to the requirements of the American College of Nurse-Midwives. Nurse-midwives are midwives that have a bachelors degree in nursing and a masters or doctorate degree in nurse-midwifery, are legal in all 50 states and can provide full-spectrum pregnancy, birth and postpartum care as well as function essentially as a nurse practitioner: prescribing medicine, diagnose illnesses, provide gynecological care in a clinic and in many states providing medical and surgical abortion services/care as well as assisting in caesarean sections

Certified Midwife (CM): 

A Certified Midwife (CM) is an individual educated in the discipline of midwifery, who possesses evidence of certification according to the requirements of the American College of Nurse-Midwives.

Certified Professional Midwife (CPM): 

A Certified Professional Midwife is a professional independent midwifery practitioner who has met the standards for certification set by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) and is qualified to provide the midwifery model of care. The CPM is the midwife credential that often practices out-of-hospital births.

Direct-Entry Midwife (DEM): 

A direct-entry midwife is an independent practitioner educated in the discipline of midwifery through self-study, apprenticeship, a midwifery school, a college, or university-based program distinct from the discipline of nursing. A direct-entry midwife is trained to provide the Midwives Model of Care to healthy women and newborns throughout the childbearing cycle primarily in out-of-hospital settings. Licensed Midwives (LM) and Registered Midwives (RM) are examples of direct-entry midwives.





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