Joining a Community of Care: Duke Midwifery Service

“Midwives, women, have been caring for other women through birth and death and everything in between, since the beginning of time.”
-Oral history with Amy MacDonald, certified nurse-midwife and founder and former director of the Duke Midwifery Service.

A midwife works in partnership with a person who is pregnant before, during, and after the birth of their child, helping to ensure healthy outcomes for families and communities. Today, certified nurse-midwives are licensed providers who work alongside other OB-GYN professionals, such as obstetricians and nurses. In addition to providing care before and during birth, they provide essential services for families after a baby is born, such as nutrition counselling, reproductive health education, and parenting education. In 2019, midwives attended 10.3% of all US births.

The Duke Midwifery Service (DMS) provided obstetric and gynecologic services to low-risk pregnant women and education to first-year residents, medical students, physician assistant students, midwifery students and nursing students. The Service was established in 1999 under the Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Duke University School of Medicine. As the service expanded, it employed certified nurse-midwives across regional inpatient and outpatient clinics. The Certified Nurse-Midwife’s (CNM) practice was supervised by Phil Heine MD, Director of Maternal of Fetal Medicine.