Why choose a certified midwife?

Did you know Lovelace Health System has a large midwifery service program? The Lovelace Medical Group Certified Nurse Midwives are a huge asset to obstetrics and gynecological care for our patients. But what exactly does a midwife do? How is a midwife different from an OB/GYN? “A certified nurse midwife has a masters degree in midwifery and can do most things a doctor can do, such as write prescriptions, perform epidurals, see patients for annual exams and more,” shares Candace Reid, Certified Nurse Midwife for Lovelace Westside Hospital. “I think most of us view ourselves as a guide throughout the woman’s lifespan starting from the time a woman begins menstruating. We really focus on education and informing women about various options they have throughout different stages of their life. We encourage women to express what they want and offer ourselves as a guide to help them through whatever process they are going through at the time.”

So if a midwife can do most things a doctor can do, what is the difference? “During a woman’s pregnancy and delivery, midwives are trained to determine when emergencies arise,” says Candace. “That is when a doctor comes into play. I love having our doctors because in cases of emergency, they are trained to handle those high-risk situations. They are educated about the complications of pregnancy, delivery and birth. Midwives view pregnancy and delivery as a normal time in a woman’s life, but also realize sometimes something unexpected can happen, and they can rely on a doctor’s help in those situations. Lovelace Health System has a collaborative practice, which is great because you get that partnership with a midwife and that individual attention, but if there is an emergency, there is always a doctor available. It is the best of both worlds! I have worked in a lot of other systems where you are either a midwife patient or a doctor patient and I could see the contention, but at Lovelace there isn’t that separation. It is a true collaboration, which makes a huge difference.”

Another great benefit of our midwifery program at Lovelace Health System is our low C-section rates. Consumer Reports recently published an article about how a woman’s risk of having a C-section may be partly due to the hospital they choose. In this article, Lovelace Women’s Hospital was listed in the large hospital category as one of the largest U.S. hospitals with the lowest C-section rates for the second year in a row. “There are many factors that attribute to this,” shares Dr. Abraham Lichtmacher, Chief of Women’s Services at Lovelace Health System. “Studies have shown patients who have good social support from a doula or midwife can help relieve stress and produce a more successful labor process and potentially reduce the need for a C-section.”

“As midwives, we treat every pregnancy as a normal event in a woman’s life,” shares Candace. “We do not rush the mother, we take our time during labor and delivery and support the kind of birth experience our patients want, whether that be a natural birth or even a water birth, which we offer at Lovelace Women’s Hospital. Everyone is on the same page to give the patient and her family the best birthing experience possible, which I believe shows in our low C-section rates for this hospital.”

To learn more about Lovelace Health System’s birthing centers, click here. To learn more about Candace Reid, click here.  

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