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OB/GYNs and Midwives Offer the Best of Both Worlds

A mother holding her baby
At Phelps Health, midwives welcome approximately 20% of the babies born at the hospital.

Published on April 28, 2021

Read Time: Two Minutes

By Karen Ulrich, Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)

Those two blue lines show up on the home pregnancy test. Pregnant. Pregnant! Now what? Whether pregnancy was in your plans or an unexpected surprise, thinking about what is coming in the next few months can be overwhelming.

One of the most important decisions you will have to make is finding a healthcare provider for your pregnancy. At Phelps Health, our team of Women’s Health Center and Maternity staff and providers, including board-certified obstetricians/gynecologists (OB/GYN) and certified nurse midwives (CNM), are here to assist you on your journey.

While most people are familiar with the role of an OB/GYN, the role of the midwife is less well known. When many people think of a midwife, they think of a homebirth with no pain medication. However, the vast majority (about 95%) of midwife-attended births happen in a hospital.

Midwife care has been expanding in the US, with about 9% of births attended by midwives each year. At Phelps Health, midwives welcome approximately 20% of the babies born at the hospital.

The CNMs at Phelps Health are advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) who are certified by the American Midwifery Certification Board. CNMs provide full prenatal care for low- to medium-risk pregnancies, as well as general gynecologic care throughout their patients’ life span. CNMs specialize in low-intervention birth and work with families to meet their goals, which may include pain medications, including epidural, if desired.

Maternity care at Phelps Health is exceptional in part because of this collaboration between midwives and physicians. Maternity care that combines the expertise of physicians and midwives offers the best of both worlds.

At Phelps Health, the team of providers work with families to educate, encourage and support them through the journey of pregnancy and birth, as well as the postpartum period (time after birth).

While patients typically see one provider for most of their prenatal care, they will usually visit with another member of the team for one or more office visits. Many safety precautions are in place in the hospital, including physician consultation and emergency interventions. As a group practice, OB/GYNs and midwives work together to meet the needs of patients, which means either a physician or midwife (or maybe both) may help take care of you during labor.

This journey through pregnancy is exciting and sometimes scary. The team at Phelps Health is here to guide you each step of the way.

For More Information

Learn more about Women’s Health Center and Maternity services at Phelps Health.

Found in: Care Childbirth Gynecology Health Labor Midwifery Midwives OB/GYN Obstetrics Pregnancy Services Women’s Health Center and Maternity