Midwifery Care

The term midwife means “with woman.” Midwives have been attending births for centuries and are documented in ancient Greek and Roman texts. In today’s setting, certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) have degrees beginning with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and then a graduate degree (master’s/doctorate), followed by national certification and state license, allowing a CNM to practice as an advance registered nurse practitioner (ARNP) and CNM. CNMs provide women with care from your first period until after menopause, plus all of the important health events in between, such as: general health care services, annual gynecologic exams, family planning needs, screening and treatment of sexually transmitted infections, care during teenage years, care for pregnancy, labor, birth, postpartum period and menopause care.

Women choose to partner with a midwife for their pregnancy and birth because:

  • Midwives are patient, watchful guardians of normal birth and practice judicious use of medical intervention

  • National and global research indicates that women who choose a nurse-midwife have lower rates of induction of labor, cesarean section, and perineal trauma, as well as higher rates of breastfeeding

  • Certified nurse-midwives have full medication prescription authority and order diagnostic procedures when medically indicated

  • Prenatal appointments with midwives tend to be longer than those with physicians, and midwives tend to spend more time by a woman’s side in labor

CNMs work with other members of the health care team, such as physicians and nurses, to provide the highest quality collaborative care. To this end, I have a practice agreement with the obstetricians of Fidalgo Medical Associates and work closely with them when collaboration is needed. While I have a deep respect for a woman’s choice regarding where she wants to give birth, I have chosen to offer birth exclusively at Island Hospital to allow for the widest array of medical and pain relief options for women in labor (including epidurals and nitrous oxide).

What is a midwife?

When a woman births, not only is a baby being born but so is a mother. How we treat her will affect how she feels about herself as a mother and as a parent.
Be gentle. Be kind. Listen.
— Ruth Ehrhardt, The Basic Needs of a Woman in Labour

Midwifery News