1. Midwives are experts in the normal. We specialize in caring for normal, healthy women throughout their lives. While some women think of midwives for only pregnancy and birth, midwives are also extensively trained in women’s health and offer routine gynecological care, including birth control, pap smears, treatment for abnormal bleeding, menopause services and more.
2. The midwifery approach to care is relationship based. Simply put, a midwife thinks of your care as part of a more holistic relationship — one that takes into account your mind, health, life stressors and, of course, your body. Rather than approach your visit as a single episode of health, we think of your visit as part of a long-term relationship. Educating you about your body and your health, and spending a lot of time with you during each visit, are also part of what makes our approach to care distinct.
3. Certified nurse-midwives are highly educated. Certified nurse-midwives (CNM) are advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) educated at the masters or doctoral level. Our clinical training includes nearly 700 hours of direct patient care and attendance at dozens of births, all while observing and practicing the science and art of midwifery. All CNMs pass a rigorous national exam, and are licensed at the state level. These regulations mean that you can take comfort in the care you will receive from a midwife, and also mean that your midwife can attend your birth in the hospital setting, giving you the best of both worlds — the personalized and relationship-based philosophy of a midwife within the safety net of the hospital setting.
4. Less, less, more! Midwives have a low rate of cesarean birth, low rates of episiotomy and significant perineal tears, high rates of patients who breastfeed, high patient satisfaction and high rates of unmedicated births. This doesn’t mean a midwife can’t or won’t offer you medication or an epidural, however. We work with you one-to-one and help you manage pain and your birth experience — and provide whatever support is right for you.
Lizzi Brink, CNM, ARNP, is a board-certified nurse midwife who offers a full spectrum of health care to women. Learn more about midwifery services at MultiCare Health System.
MultiCare Health System is a not-for-profit health care organization with more than 11,000 employees and a comprehensive network of services throughout Pierce, South King, Thurston and Kitsap counties.