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Nurse-Midwifery: Supporting Women During Pregnancy and Beyond

Nurse-Midwifery: Supporting Women During Pregnancy and Beyond

You’ve just found out that you are pregnant! Between the excitement of learning you are expecting and sharing the news with loved ones, you quickly become overwhelmed with questions. Who will provide your prenatal care? Who will deliver your baby? Will it be an obstetrician/gynecologist, nurse-midwife or both?

The choice is yours.

Midwife means ‘with woman,’ and the term typically is thought to refer to the midwives who traditionally attend home births. Certified nurse-midwives (CNMs), however, typically attend births in a hospital setting. This allows for close collaboration with obstetricians/gynecologists so that women who may be of higher risk or have complications during their pregnancy are able to be under the care and supervision of a physician while still having the support of a nurse-midwife.

CNMs are nationally certified, state-licensed advanced practice registered nurses who specialize in providing practical, hands-on obstetric assistance and guidance. They are credentialed to work with physicians in Louisiana to provide gynecological care to women of all ages, as well as obstetrical care for pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period.

According to the American College of Nurse-Midwives, there are many benefits to having a midwife assist in your prenatal care, including:

  • Decreased risk of needing a cesarean
  • Lower chance of having labor induced
  • Lower use of regional anesthesia
  • Lower infant mortality rates
  • Decreased risk of preterm (early) birth
  • Decreased perineal tears.

Education, preparation and support in helping women stay well, achieve healthy pregnancies and have safe birth experiences are core elements of a nurse-midwife’s care philosophy.

At Magnolia Obstetrics & Gynecology, we are excited to offer expectant moms the option of having a midwife to assist in their pregnancy and childbirth journeys. Certified Nurse-Midwives Jennifer Bonaventure and Amy Linn have joined the practice which also includes Drs. Jaime Edwards, Kimberly Guillory and April Sandifer and Certified Women’s Health Nurse Practitioners Diane Rabalais and Julie Santangelo Ponder.

Education, preparation and support in helping women stay well, achieve healthy pregnancies and have safe birth experiences are core elements of a nurse-midwife’s care philosophy.

“Educating, supporting and forming a trusting relationship with my patients during their pregnancies is my goal as a provider,” Linn asserts. “It’s difficult to put into words the joy I feel when a patient can have her baby the way she desires and has prepared for throughout pregnancy.”

Bonaventure couldn’t agree more.

“As a certified nurse-midwife, I work hard to make sure my patients get the care they need and deserve at any stage of life,” affirms Bonaventure. “I especially love to work with women toward achieving healthy pregnancies and ideal birth experiences. Taking time to build relationships with my patients and anticipating their needs before they arise define my approach to patient care.”

No matter what type of health care provider you choose, it is important to get proper prenatal care so that you can deliver a healthy baby. You will need routine check-ups throughout your pregnancy until your baby is born, and even afterward, so be sure to schedule a visit with a doctor or nurse-midwife as soon as you find out you’re pregnant or think you may be. Follow your health care provider’s recommendations. They are all important in helping you have a happy, healthy birth experience.

Preparing for Pregnancy?

If you’re thinking about having a baby, consider scheduling a preconception visit with your health care provider. These visits are the time to have a conversation about preparing your body for pregnancy and should be scheduled about three months prior to conceiving.

Your health care provider will:

  • go over your health history
  • discuss the aspects of pregnancy
  • recommend any steps you may take to help you achieve your best health before you become pregnant.

Caring for your body before conceiving a baby helps to increase the likelihood of a happy and healthy pregnancy.

To schedule an appointment with the providers of Magnolia Obstetrics & Gynecology, click here or call (985) 214-0809.