Many women tend to think of midwives in a simple, supporting role capacity but a midwife is, in fact, a professional trained specifically in assisting women with every aspect of pregnancy, from prenatal care to delivery. HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital offers a Midwife Program in the Women and Infants Center to support mothers-to-be.
Midwives are advance practice nurses that are Masters prepared, specially trained in women’s health, prenatal care, childbirth, and postnatal care. They are Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM) which means they are able to provide all the care an OB/GYN does, in an uncomplicated pregnancy.
St. Elizabeth’s has partnered with Heartland Women’s Healthcare since 2016 to offer the Midwife Program to patients in our region. The team includes five midwives who plan and bond with pregnant moms way before its time for the delivery.
“This is patient care centered around each woman’s individual needs,” said Deb Meidel, RN, BSN, Nurse Manager of Women and Infants Center. “We want to make sure we are making women comfortable, delivering safe care, and abiding by their wishes for their pregnancy and baby’s birth.”
Patients in the Midwife Program have access to St. Elizabeth’s midwives to answer questions, bring comfort, and when ready, to skillfully deliver a baby. They are available to provide an immediate evaluation if time is of the essence before the patient’s doctor comes in. Collaboration and consultations is ongoing between midwife, physician and hospital labor and delivery staff. The program also offers more immediate care for pregnant women in the program who are not in labor. If a mother is concerned about an issue, she can call the midwife or the Women and Infants Center anytime of day.
In addition to the Midwife Program, St. Elizabeth’s provides quality care to pregnant women and their families. All rooms in the Women and Infant Center are private. SSM Health Cardinal Glennon pediatricians are available in the newborn nursery and emergency department for an added level of care when needed. The unit offers personalized pain management programs including nitrous oxide and dedicated anesthesia within the unit 24/7, numerous prenatal classes, lactation support and many other amenities.
Any patient of Heartland Women’s Healthcare Center has immediate access to be seen by St. Elizabeth’s team of midwives during their pregnancy.
Midwives are focused on communication and education through the entire pregnancy, to help prevent complications in childbirth. They also emphasize the physical, emotional and social needs and wishes of each patient so each mom-to-be gets the most satisfying birth experience possible.
For additional questions about the Midwife Program or other services at the Women and Infants Center, call at 618-234-2120, ex. 31260.