When you think of a midwife, you probably immediately think of maternity care. However, certified nurse midwives also provide care to women throughout their lifespan. “A notable difference between a midwife and a physician,” explains Kristie Blake, APRN-CNM, certified nurse midwife with Kettering Physician Network Women’s Health, “is that midwives don’t perform surgeries. Otherwise, midwives provide a full range of services for both obstetric and gynecological care.”
Holistic care and collaboration
Midwives are trained in holistic philosophies of care that focus on the strength and empowerment of every woman. “We also really emphasize a collaborative relationship with our patients,” says Blake. She explains that part of the philosophy of midwives is to place a large value on patient involvement in decision-making about treatment.
Midwives are advanced practice providers who take care of women throughout their whole life. From puberty to menopause, midwives offer the same services as doctors for well-woman care, including postpartum care, birth control, prescriptions, pap smears, ultrasounds, bloodwork, and annual well-woman exams.
Natural birth options
Natural birth options offered at Kettering Health Network include birthing tubs and the use of nitrous oxide (Kettering and Soin Medical Centers) as an option for pain management. Women who use midwives as part of their birth plan also have a lower rate of cesarean delivery. If complications arise during birth and a cesarean is needed, a collaborating physician can perform the surgery while the midwife assists or acts as support.
For women who are seeking a midwife for obstetric care, it’s important to know that midwives specialize in natural childbirth options, but are equipped to administer pharmacologic pain management if a patient wishes to have it. “I love helping women realize how strong they are,” says Blake. “It’s incredible to see women change and realize their true potential while they’re growing a baby over nine months. I love delivering babies and helping women realize what they can accomplish.”
Want to learn more about the care midwives provide? Explore birthing options and learn about how you can have an empowered labor experience at Meet a Midwife on December 6 at 5:30 p.m. at Soin Medical Center. Click here to register or call (937) 558-3988.