4 Reasons to Consider Choosing a Midwife

woman talking with her provider

Certified Nurse-Midwives Provide a Wide Range of Support

What does a midwife do, and why might you consider one for your pregnancy and delivery? Anne Lawson, MSN-CNM, BSN, RN, Director of Midwifery at Jersey City Medical Center, explains.

  1. You prefer a holistic approach. “Midwives focus on the pregnancy from a more holistic point of view,” Lawson says. “We talk about how nutrition, sleep, stress, relationships, jobs and mental health can influence a pregnancy.” The relationship can be long-term: Beyond pregnancy, Certified Nurse-Midwives can offer the full scope of gynecological care over a woman’s lifetime, including contraception, preconception counseling, annual exams and postpartum and postmenopausal care.
  2. You anticipate a low-risk pregnancy. “When a woman comes in for her initial visit, we take her history and make sure she doesn’t have any underlying medical conditions or history that would indicate risk,” Lawson says. “If we do identify something, we arrange for the patient’s next appointment to be with a physician.” A woman who is pregnant with multiples, has diabetes requiring insulin or has high blood pressure that is not well controlled is likely to be referred to an OB/GYN for prenatal care.
  3. You are interested in a low intervention birth. “Most women have an idea of what they would like their birth experience to look like, and we believe that women should be active participants in their birth plan,” Lawson explains. “We reserve interventions such as pitocin or breaking the water for only when necessary, not just to speed up the labor for our convenience. We support women to have the birth that they desire, provided that mom and baby are healthy.”
  4. You strongly prefer a vaginal birth. “Statistically, midwives have better outcomes with vaginal births than OB/GYNs do,” Lawson says. In a recent U.S. study of 23,000 deliveries, healthy women with low-risk pregnancies who gave birth in a hospital and whose births were handled by midwives had an up to 40 percent lower rate of cesarean section.

“The whole focus of a midwife’s training is vaginal birth,” Lawson explains. “That means we learn techniques that help prevent vaginal lacerations, help babies rotate into proper position and make the labor and pushing process easier.”

Maternity services work best when Certified Nurse-Midwives and OB/GYNs work together, Lawson says, with midwives leading the way on low-risk vaginal births and OB/GYNs focusing on high-risk pregnancy and surgery.

“We want to encourage women to feel empowered to make choices over their body, especially over giving birth,” Lawson says. “Our philosophy is to provide women with the information, education and support they need to have the birth experience they desire while also staying healthy and safe.”

Midwifery at JCMC: What to Know

  • All midwives at JCMC are Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs), which means they are Registered Nurses who have pursued advanced education and certification in gynecological health and prenatal and postnatal care.
  • CNMs see patients at the Women’s Health Center at Grove Street at 116 Newark Avenue, Jersey City.
  • A CNM is available on the Labor and Delivery floor 24/7.
  • At birth, in addition to the CNM, two Registered Nurses are available—one for the mother and one for the baby.
  • If a complication arises during delivery, an OB/GYN is always available on the Labor and Delivery unit.

To make an appointment with a Certified Nurse-Midwife at Jersey City Medical Center (JCMC), call the Women’s Health Center at Grove Street at 201.984.1270. Click here for more information about giving birth at JCMC.