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ABSTRACT

Since 1925, nurse-midwives in the United States have provided prenatal care to an essentially normal population and have contributed to decreased maternal and infant mortality and morbidity. The purpose of this investigation was to identify and describe the components of prenatal care provided by certified nurse-midwives. The components of prenatal care were defined as content (the services provided, the physical examination, and the subjects discussed) and process (approaches, attitudes, and the amount of talking). Data were collected by audio tape recordings of 40 prenatal visits between 23 certified nurse-midwives and their clients. Quantification of the components of prenatal care was accomplished by measuring the frequency and/or duration of events. The average return prenatal visit lasted 23.7 min. Aspects of nurse-midwifery practice were defined and measured. Analysis using the Pearson product moment correlation confirmed the presence of relationships between a portion of the components of prenatal care.