Thursday, July 12, 2012

Fate and the Midwife Plan

On Meritus Health’s website, Nancy Dwyer shared a glowing review of her midwife, Donna Lofton of Women’s Health Center at Robinwood. Here’s what I learned about Nancy’s midwife experience.

Nancy admits that she likes to ask questions to understand the what and the why. When she learned she was going to have a baby, she knew that she wanted the experience to be extraordinary—more than just a medical procedure. She also wanted active participation in decision-making, both during her pregnancy and delivery. Nancy knew she was a good fit for a midwife-assisted birth.

Although she knew how she wanted to bring her baby into the world, Nancy did not know who would help her get the job done. That is until she moved from New York to Maryland, experienced pre-term labor-like symptoms, and ended up in Meritus Medical Center’s emergency department (ED). Donna Lofton, CNM, was on call in the Family Birthing Center and explained to Nancy that she needed to slow down her pace. Her contractions were a signal telling her body to calm down. “Sitting there, I felt that I could ask Donna questions—that she was a person I could talk to, not just listen,” Nancy explained to me.

Donna prescribed bed rest versus medications: Nancy found herself a midwife. Two uneventful months later, on March 10 at 5:42 pm, Nancy arrived at Meritus Medical Center ready to have her baby. Call it fate; Donna happened to be the midwife on call that evening.

Nancy described how Donna was with her from the moment she settled into her patient room until well after her baby was born. She told me that although her baby came fast, and there was no time for an epidural, Donna helped her through the pain and explained what was going to happen step-by-step. Baby Daniel appeared on the scene less than one hour from the time Nancy arrived at the hospital.

Since 1925, midwives have built a reputation of providing compassionate care and respecting a woman’s dignity. For 25 years, midwives have served the women of Washington County. Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM) are registered nurses who have completed advanced educational training in a nurse-midwifery program approved by the American College of Nurse Midwives. Meritus Medical Center’s midwives are all certified nurse midwives and work collaboratively with physicians. Women get the benefit of both healthcare providers. Insurance coverage for midwifery varies from state to state. Nancy’s health insurance fully covered her midwife-assisted birth.

In addition to caring for Daniel, Nancy is pursuing a certified nursing assistant certificate, and later plans to become a registered nurse. When she decides to have another baby, she’ll call Donna.

By: Anne Gill

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