Women's Health

The Midwife Philosophy: Care Is A Partnership

“Our philosophy is that pregnancy, labor and birth are natural and normal processes,” says Paula Morelli, CNM (Certified Nurse Midwife) with TriHealth Nurse Midwives, “and we approach them as such." It’s an important philosophy, because having a baby can be an intimidating proposition. But through partnering with a midwife, women and their loved ones can find peace of mind throughout the pregnancy and birthing process.

Paula and the other CNMs at Good Samaritan work closely with patients and their families to ensure the best possible outcomes through detailed communication and birth plans—but they also have to be prepared to deal with the unexpected. “Birth plans are one of the ways in which we partner with the women in our care, because each woman has her own ideas and vision of how she wants her labor and birth to progress,” Paula says. “And we try to facilitate that in the best way possible. But we also embrace the fact that things are sometimes beyond our control. The Certified Nurse Midwives at TriHealth work collaboratively with TriHealth obstetricians when medically necessary to ensure the safety of the patient and her baby.”

This facilitation and support aren’t limited to the planning that takes place prior to birth. The midwives are available throughout a patient’s pregnancy, and at Good Samaritan, that means going the extra mile. “We have a nurse midwife on call 24/7, and we’re there from a woman’s admission through birth,” Paula says. Studies show that the constant presence of a labor-assisting professional increases patient satisfaction and leads to more positive outcomes. “We’re very fortunate at TriHealth to have a CNM on call,” Paula says, “and it’s a commitment on our part. We recognize how important it is.”

This philosophy of support goes beyond mother and child to encompass the entire family. “Whatever that ‘family’ looks like, we encourage participation and help the family support the patient—during labor and also during the postpartum period,” Paula says. One important segment of the postpartum period that TriHealth recognizes as especially critical is the first couple of hours following birth. That’s why TriHealth’s policy of kangaroo care is especially important. “The woman has grown and birthed this baby, and she deserves to hold her baby and develop a bond,” Paula says. “That first couple of hours out in the world is a critical time, so TriHealth has instituted a policy of skin-to-skin contact for at least one hour after birth.”

But prior to birth, there’s much to discuss and plan. Midwives work with women throughout their lives, not just during pregnancy, and it’s a true partnership. “How can we help a woman deal with whatever her situation is?” Paula asks. “I don’t tell them what to do; I want to partner with her and let her know what her options are. I truly love what I do and feel very fortunate that our practice is set up as it is.” Beginning in February 2017, TriHealth will extend midwifery services to Bethesda North Hospital through a new practice location in Liberty Township.

MidWife Myths and Facts

  • Myth: Midwives only assist with at-home births.
    Fact: In 2014, nationally only 2.7 percent of midwife-attended births occurred in homes. The vast majority —94.2 percent—occurred in a hospital or medical center.
  • Myth: Midwives can’t prescribe medications or order tests.
    Fact:Midwives are licensed health care providers with prescriptive authority.
  • Myth: Midwives have no formal medical education.
    Fact: CNMs are advanced practice nurses with an RN license and Masters or PhD in advanced practice nursing. Midwives maintain state licensure, and national and hospital credentialing.
  • Myth: Midwives are just involved in the moment of birth.
    Fact: Midwives are identified as primary care providers, and they work with women of all ages throughout their lives.
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Last Updated: January 05, 2017