Midwife Care at Southern Maryland Women’s Healthcare
High Touch, Low Intervention Care
How will midwife care work at SMWH? Our midwives, Lauren and Susan, see both gyn and obstetrical patients, which means you may see them for your annual visits and contraception management, as well as for pregnancy. If you are pregnant, you may choose to identify yourself as a midwife patient, which means that you will see them for all or most of your visits and possibly for your delivery. We currently do not have 24/7 midwifery care; therefore, our physicians are on call when Susan and Lauren are not.
Our midwives are committed to the midwifery model of care. A phrase used to describe this model is High Touch, Low Intervention. That means they spend a lot of time with patients, educating and informing them. They limit intervention, tending to only recommend it when medically necessary. Utilizing this model, they focus on prevention of disease and improving pregnancy outcomes.
As a midwife, they believe that the phases of a women’s life; puberty, pregnancy, and menopause, are normal stages that most often can be managed with education, presence, and support. They are trained in facilitating “normal,” and to identify when a patient falls out of the norm. When a patient moves off the path of normal, they will collaborate with the physicians of the practice to coordinate care for you. Midwives do not manage patients who have multiple complications or are unstable. Additionally, midwives do not do surgery, so if you require a cesarean section, you will be delivered by a physician.
Perhaps you may equate midwives with natural childbirth, and yes, midwives, are trained to help women who choose to have their birth experience with no medication. However, midwives support women making informed choices, and if an epidural is your choice of pain management, they are supportive of that decision. You can feel confident that during every visit and during your labor and birth, they will strive to inform and educate you on the choices you have for your care, the risk and benefits of any specific intervention, offer any additional alternatives, and allow you to make an informed decision on the plan.
Midwives take care of patients who choose a wide variety of birth experiences. We encourage you to learn more about midwifery and its benefits, even if you are not considering a medication free labor and birth. You may go to the American College of Nurse Midwives website at www.midwife.org . There is much more to discuss regarding midwife care and how it will work at our practice. If midwife care interests you, make an Interview appointment with Susan or Lauren, so that they can discuss how they can work with you to give you the experience you desire.