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Midwives Support Natural Birth Experiences and More

April 02, 2018

Each woman is unique in her journey through life’s stages, and choices about gynecologic and obstetric care are personal and important. Because of a desire to provide the most comprehensive options for women at every stage of life, Advanced Women’s Healthcare now has certified nurse midwives on their care team.

A Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse with specialized training in women's health and a concentration in pregnancy, labor, birth, and care after birth.

Midwives affirm the strength of women and recognize the importance of women's health in the well-being of families and communities. They provide full-scope gynecologic and obstetric care for women from puberty through menopause, including well-woman gynecologic care, family planning consultations and contraception, and prenatal, pregnancy, and birthing care.

Midwives support natural birth experiences, and have the ability to assist with cesarean birth as needed. They are also trained to administer pharmacologic pain management if a patient wishes to have it. “Whether an unmedicated birth, an epidural, or a cesarean, midwives support women in the life-changing, life-affirming process of birth,” says Darla Baker, APRN-CNM. “Midwives seek to support and facilitate a healthy pregnancy, understanding that pregnancy and birth are normal, healthy events.”

“My goal as a midwife is that we have a happy and healthy mother and baby,” says Rhonda Conley, APRN-CNM, “and that the birth experience is as close as can be to what the woman had planned or imagined her birth experience would be.”

Natural birth offerings include:

  • Nitrous oxide – In 2017, Kettering Health Network became the first healthcare system in the Dayton area to offer nitrous oxide as a pain management tool to laboring women. Patients administer nitrous oxide through a facemask during labor to help manage contractions. This can be a good option for women who are interested in a more natural childbirth experience but want an option to help relieve pain.
  • Labor tubs – Tubs are intended to help relax the mom and provide comfort through labor contractions. The labor tub is not a location where births occur, but a form of pain relief and other natural laboring options like position changes, birthing balls, and peanut balls, are also commonly used.
  • Birthing classes – All Kettering Health Network maternity centers offer birthing classes, with a specific class called Laboring Naturally for couples who want an unmedicated birth experience.  

Click here to learn more about birthing options at the Soin Medical Center Baby Fair on Sunday, June 3rd.