Natural Labor Options in Dayton

January 21, 2018

“Women want to have a voice in how their baby is brought into this world, and we are making every effort to support them in their decisions,” says Kettering Health Network Executive Director Network Women’s and Children’s Service Line, Miriam Cartmell MS, RNC-OB, NEA-BC. 

To continue to empower women in their birth experiences, Kettering Health Network maternity centers and affiliated OB-GYN practices have expanded natural birth options for laboring mothers.


                                                Midwives provide:

  • Full-scope gynecologic and obstetric care for women from puberty through menopause
  • Family planning consultations and contraception counseling
  • Prescriptive authority
  • Prenatal, pregnancy, and birthing care
  • Support for natural birth experiences with ability to assist with cesarean birth as needed

Kettering Physician Network Women's Health has a team of certified nurse midwives on staff who offer patients delivering at Soin Medical Center a custom birth experience in the safety of a hospital. A certified nurse midwife (CNM) is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) with specialized training in women’s health and a concentration in pregnancy, labor, birth, and care after birth.

Midwives support natural birthing experiences and emphasize low intervention, but are trained to administer pharmacologic pain management if a patient wishes to incorporate it into their care.

In addition to midwifery, Kettering Health Network has other resources to support women who wish to have a more natural childbirth experience. 

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. Nitrous oxide is a gas the patient self-administers through a face mask during labor to help manage contractions. 

“Nitrous is a good option for women who are interested in a more natural childbirth experience, but want to have an analgesic option,” says certified nurse midwife Andrea Carr, MSN, APRN-CNM. “It has a euphoric, calming effect, taking the edge off the contractions. Nitrous is used widely in Europe, and becoming more popular in the United States. Its effects disappear within five minutes of each use, and there is a low incidence of the drug crossing the placenta.”

Nitrous oxide is currently offered at Kettering and Soin medical centers.

Labor Tubs

All four of Kettering Health Network’s maternity centers will soon be offering labor tubs to patients.

Tubs are intended to help relax the mom and provide comfort through labor contractions, not as a location where births occur.

“Women may choose to get in the tub for a while and then get out to use other natural laboring options like position changes, birthing balls, and peanut balls, and then return to the tub,” says Southview Maternity Center Clinical Nurse Manager Jackie Lovelace. “Some may choose to use the tub in early labor and still choose to have an epidural later in labor.”

Childbirth Classes

All four Kettering Health Network Maternity Center locations offer a full scope of childbirth and infant education classes for expecting parents, including a class dedicated to natural childbirth.

“Laboring Naturally is a class for couples who want to achieve an unmedicated childbirth,” says Fort Hamilton Hospital Maternity Center Clinical Nurse Manager Nicole Lagedrost. “The class is in addition to the regular Childbirth Preparation series and focuses on relaxation and breathing techniques.”

“While we continue to expand our natural birthing options, we also place a priority on equipping all of our maternity centers and staff with the most upto-date technology and training,” says Cartmell. “When patients welcome their baby with us, they can take comfort in knowing they will be supported in their decisions and have the most advanced medical resources available to care for them and their child in any situation.”

Visit one of our maternity locations to learn more, or click here to learn about touring the maternity center closest to you.