Having a Baby?
Posted 10/23/2017 by UHBlog
For thousands of years when a woman was giving birth, there was a midwife at her side. Nowadays, pregnant women can consult an ob/gyn or follow the age-old tradition of being under the care of a midwife from the onset of pregnancy right through her baby’s delivery – and everything in-between.
“A major benefit of using a nurse-midwife is the amount of time we spend with our patients before, during and after pregnancy,” says nurse-midwife Patricia Lupe, CNM, DNP. “We also develop a birthing plan together that meets a mom’s goals. If a woman wants someone to support her in making her own decisions about her baby’s birth, then midwifery is a good match.”
According to Lupe, the benefits of using a nurse-midwife are:
- Monitoring the physical, psychological and social well-being of the mother throughout pregnancy
- Providing the mother with individualized education, counseling and prenatal care, as well as hands-on assistance during labor and delivery and postpartum support
- Minimizing technological interventions
- Identifying and referring women who require obstetrical attention
As a nurse-midwife, Lupe says she finds that the rewards are endless. No matter how many babies she has helped bring into this world, she still maintains a reverential attitude about childbirth.
“I share my awe about the miracle of birth with moms during delivery and constantly tell these mothers how proud I am of their ability to bring forth a precious life,” she says. ”I want women to be empowered by what their bodies can do and use that sense of empowerment and accomplishment in a positive way throughout their lives.”
During delivery, Lupe helps ease the childbirth process by using massage, deep breathing, visualization, position changes, a warm Jacuzzi bath and birthing balls. She also promotes patience with the natural progress of labor and discourages intervention to speed the birth process.
“We look for alternatives to medications when possible,” Lupe says. “However, if medications are necessary – or if a mom asks for an epidural for pain – we will have it administered. We always listen to a mom’s wishes and act accordingly. Some women need an epidural to maintain control and enjoy their delivery.”
According to Lupe, not all pregnant women are good candidates for a nurse-midwife’s care.
“If a mom has a high-risk pregnancy, two cesarean births or serious chronic medical conditions, then using a midwife is not the best approach,” Lupe says.
Along with providing maternity services, nurse-midwives at University Hospitals offer non-surgical gynecological services that span a woman’s reproductive life right up to menopause. Nurse-midwives also educate their patients about fertility, contraception, pregnancy, nutrition and breastfeeding.
“We provide comprehensive health and wellness information and encourage women to become stronger advocates for their own health,” she says.
In Ohio, all nurse-midwives are registered nurses, the majority of whom have completed an additional two years master’s program in midwifery. To have a license to practice, nurse-midwives must pass a comprehensive certification exam administered by the American College of Nurse Midwives. At University Hospitals, nurse-midwives work with obstetricians, gynecologists and maternal fetal medicine specialists.
UH nurse-midwives provide labor and delivery services at University Hospitals MacDonald Women’s Hospital and at University Hospitals Elyria, Portage and St. John medical centers.
Patricia Lupe, CNM, DNP is a nurse-midwife at University Hospitals Elyria Medical Center. You can request an appointment with Lupe or any other nurse-midwife online.