Ladies, are you expecting soon?
Having a baby can be one of the most exciting and wonderful experiences in life, and it’s a time to see if you want a low-intervention birth.
To help women have labor options, Methodist Hospital launched its midwifery program in March with the goal of supporting families who are seeking low-intervention births -- and those who prefer the added safety that delivery in a hospital setting provides mom and baby.
Lauren Guehl, a certified nurse-midwife at Methodist Hospital, explained the benefits of using midwifery services during labor.
1) What exactly does a certified nurse-midwife do?
“Certified nurse-midwives are registered nurses who then go on to become nurse practitioners,” Guehl said. “And so we have specialized training in women’s health and pregnancy. Nurse-midwives do annual exams, Pap smears, birth control and ultrasounds. We order medications, draw blood work and then do prenatal care, pregnancy, labor and birth. A lot of people hear the word ‘midwife’ and they assume out-of-hospital birth or home birth. But actually, 90% of deliveries that are done by nurse-midwives are actually done in the hospital.”
Takeaway: Nurse-midwives perform annual exams, Pap smears, ultrasounds, order medications, blood work, and then do prenatal care, pregnancy, labor and birth.
2) What is the benefit of midwifery services within the hospital setting?
“Clients that choose to have their babies with nurse-midwives in the hospital kind of (get) the best of both worlds,” Guehl said. “They can use their insurance and have kind of a low-intervention approach to labor and delivery. We have a lot of patients choose inductions and we have a lot of patients that choose epidurals during their labor. Then we have a lot of patients that don’t. A lot of our patients are birthing in the hospital but also moving around, wearing what they want and laboring in any position that makes them happy, delivering in any position that makes them happy and really feel that they’re their partners in their own care.”
Takeaway: Patients can apply insurance toward midwifery services at a hospital.
3) What does the traditional patient journey look like for those who choose midwifery care for their pregnancy?
“The journey isn’t just pregnancy -- many of our clients have been seeing us for years during their annual exams, Pap smears, for their birth control, and then they choose to then stay with us throughout their care and their birth,” Guehl explained. “A client that chooses a nurse-midwife would see that nurse-midwife throughout their pregnancy care. We have a lot of clients that start with us at the very beginning of their pregnancy and then a lot of clients that are transferred to us during their pregnancy or even toward the end. Right now, we’re doing all of our births and deliveries at Methodist Hospital.”
Takeaway: All births and deliveries with the midwifery program will be performed at Methodist Hospital.
To schedule an appointment with a certified nurse-midwife, watch a virtual tour or enroll in prenatal classes at sahealth.com/maternity.
The midwifery program furthers Methodist Hospital’s commitment to provide a full spectrum of labor and delivery options for women across San Antonio.