Want to learn more about this at Kettering Health?
From the moment you decide to try to conceive, you’ll need to start looking for a practitioner to care for you throughout your pregnancy and the birth of your baby.
For a growing number of women in the United States, the answer is a certified nurse midwife.
Expectant mothers can include a midwife as part of their care plan, thanks to the addition of Certified Nurse Midwives with Kettering Health Medical Group.
What is a nurse midwife?
Certified nurse midwives have a master’s degree in nursing or midwifery and a national certification from the American Midwifery Certification Board.
“We are nurse practitioners who have specialty training in obstetrics and gynecology,” says nurse midwife Darla Baker. “We support the normalcy of puberty, menopause, pregnancy, and childbirth.”
Midwives have been supporting women through the birth process for centuries. Over time, the midwife’s role has grown beyond assisting with childbirth, evolving into more comprehensive care for women.
For the first time in many years, patients can choose Kettering Health certified nurse midwives for full-scope OB-GYN care, including attending births.
They provide full obstetric and gynecologic care for women, from puberty through menopause, including well-woman gynecologic care; problem visits; annual screenings; family planning consultations and contraception; and pregnancy and birth care. Baker has privileges at Soin Medical Center, where they can provide natural birth experiences, as well as pharmacologic pain management. They do not attend home births or births at other area hospitals.
Why choose a nurse midwife?
“Women like working with a midwife because we provide patient-centered care. ‘Midwifery’ means ‘with woman,’ and we are here to support women, provide education, and encourage women to participate actively in their healthcare,” says Baker.
While many women seek midwifery care because they desire a low intervention or natural childbirth, nurse midwives can provide pain medications or an epidural at the laboring mother’s request.
Does a certified nurse midwife mean no doctor is involved?
Physicians, nurse midwives, nurse practitioners, and clinical nurse specialists work together to provide the best possible care for patients.
“Our patients will see one of the doctors initially for a pregnancy confirmation visit, if necessary, and at least once during their pregnancy,” explains Baker. “If a pregnancy becomes more complicated, they may see the physicians more frequently.”
While nurse midwives are highly trained to respond to many different emergencies, if a cesarean delivery is needed, a collaborating physician would perform the surgery quickly.
“As a nurse midwife, I will assist the physician in the surgery or be available in the operating room to support our patients. Our maternity centers have a board-certified obstetrician in the hospital 24 hours a day,” says Baker.
For more information on our nurse wives attending birth, visit ketteringhealth.org/midwives.
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