What is a CNM?

We are Proud to Have the Largest
Private Midwifery Practice in the Area

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Get to know our Certified Nurse Midwives

Headshot of Dr. Lesnick, one of NSA's Physicians and Midwives

Debi Lesnick, CNM
 Certified Nurse Midwife

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Headshot of Dr. Koconis, one of NSA's Physicians and Midwives

Gaye Koconis, CNM
 Certified Nurse Midwife

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Headshot of Dr. Minnich, one of NSA's Physicians and Midwives

Barbara Zimmerman Minnich, CNM
 Certified Nurse Midwife

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Headshot of Dr. Rigoni, one of NSA's Physicians and Midwives

Mary Rigoni, CNM
 Certified Nurse Midwife

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Midwife illustration

Sarah Sumagin, CNM
 Certified Nurse Midwife

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What is a Certified Nurse Midwife?

A Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM) is an individual who has been educated in two disciplines, nursing, and midwif​ery. Starting off as Bachelor’s prepared RNs, we have gone on to complete a graduate program in midwifery, earning our Masters degrees in the process. We have also taken and passed a comprehensive board examination, earning national certification as Nurse-Midwives from the American Midwifery Certification Board.

While there are CNMs who attend home births, all of our births take place at Northshore Evanston’s Women’s Hospital.

In addition to caring for women throughout their pregnancy, labor, birth, and the postpartum period, CNMs also provide a wide variety of gynecologic services. These services can range from family planning/birth control, annual exams and pap smears, to menopause counseling and care.

As NSAGO certified nurse midwives, we enjoy a close working relationship with all of our practice physicians, who are readily available to consult and collaborate on any issue that may arise. This relationship also allows us to co-manage challenging or higher risk cases, be they OB or GYN, which then allows our patients to benefit from the care and expertise of both the CNM and MD.

Mother and a midwife holding a new born baby

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A Certified Nurse Midwife in green lab gown holding a baby in front of a mother

How do Nurse Midwives differ from an Obstetrician?

A midwife is a medical professional with specialized training in women’s healthcare. She will offer you expert care and support throughout your pregnancy and beyond.

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The Scope of Midwifery

While most people think of midwives in terms of pregnancy, most nurse midwives focus on a wide range of healthcare needs throughout a woman’s life. Not only do they offer expert care during labor and birth, but they can also provide care for annual gynecological exams, family planning needs, general health, and menopausal care…. Read more


Midwives Vs. Obstetricians

Both midwives and obstetricians are skilled in providing care for women during pregnancy, labor, birth and postpartum. Midwives offer a natural, holistic approach to pregnancy and birth. In most cases, they spend more time with you than an OBGYN would, including time spent supporting you while you are in labor. They are experts in low-risk pregnancy and birth. They are not able to perform surgeries… Read more

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