Cheryl Smitherman, CNM
Cheryl Smitherman was born and raised in Fort Worth Texas where she resides with her husband of 29 years and her three children. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from Texas Woman’s University in 1989 and was a public-school educator for 7 years. She achieved a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree from Texas Woman’s University in 1998 and has 17 years of experience as a Labor & Delivery Nurse, Women’s Services Educator, and Labor & Delivery Manager.
She obtained her Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree from Baylor University and was licensed as a Certified Nurse-Midwife by the Texas Board of Nursing in 2013. She became an Associate Professor in the undergraduate program at Baylor University’s Louise Herrington School of Nursing and opened a prenatal clinic in Arlington for underprivileged women where she provided prenatal care. She came to Denton County in 2014 where she has provided midwifery and women’s health care for the past three years.
Cheryl comes to North Texas Obstetrics & Gynecology Associates with a wealth of experience and a passion for women’s health. As an educator and Certified Nurse-Midwife, she believes in a collaborative partnership with her patients and their families. Her mission is to support women and their families through education and informed decision-making. Her belief is that all women deserve quality health care across the lifespan, and her mission is to provide patient-supported health care in a compassionate and healing environment.
What is a Midwife?
A Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM) is a health care provider who is licensed by the State of Texas as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN). There are four types of APRNs in Texas: Certified Nurse Specialists, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Practitioners and Certified Nurse-Midwives. All four categories have been trained as nurses and have received additional training in their specialty. Like other APRNs, CNMs have either a Master’s or Doctorate in nursing with special training in midwifery, have passed a national certification examination and have a license to practice.
A common misperception about “midwives” is that they only deliver babies, and if a midwife delivers your baby, it is done at home with no anesthesia. Although there are midwives who do just that, it is important to know that there are many different types of midwives who practice in many different ways and in many different settings. Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs) are nurses with specialized training in midwifery. Other midwives, such as Certified Midwives (CM) and Certified Professional Midwives (CPM) are educated and trained as midwives without having been a nurse first and are licensed in their state as a Licensed Midwife (LM) or
Registered Midwife (RM).
Although many midwives provide care in freestanding birth centers or homes, most of the care provided by midwives occur in hospitals and women’s health offices. It is also important to know that midwives are trained to provide health care to women throughout the life span, including: prenatal care, birth, postpartum care, newborn care, annual exams, birth control planning, perimenopause/menopause, gynecology care, common health problems, medication management as well as many other health issues. A midwife can do your annual check-up, provide family planning, answer women’s health and general health questions, discuss treatment options and prescribe all types medications, including pain medication, epidurals, antibiotics, antidepressants, hormones, etc.
The word midwife means “with woman.” Midwives believe that you need time and special attention whether it is during birth or any other time in your life. They specialize in providing support while providing health care through informed choices, shared decision-making and promoting your right as a patient to self-determination. Midwives strive to develop a partnership with you regarding your health care while providing health promotion, disease prevention and treatment, as well as education.
Midwives also work closely with physicians and other health care providers such as nurses, social workers, nutritionists, doulas, childbirth educators, physical therapists, and other specialists to provide comprehensive care.