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Alphabet soup? MultiCare offers options with CNMs and OB-GYNs

Posted on Jul. 26, 2017 ( comments)

By Clare Sherley, DNP, CNM, ARNP

If you’re newly pregnant or thinking about starting a family, you may also be thinking about selecting a provider for your pregnancy and childbirth.

MultiCare offers you lots of choices for your care. And, almost every day, a patient, a friend or someone at the hospital will ask me this simple question: What’s the difference?

I always say, we do a lot of the same things, we just do them differently!

Who you choose depends on your needs and circumstances. Here’s a primer:

1. Midwives are experts in normal, uncomplicated deliveries. OB-GYNs, on the other hand, specialize in high-risk and more complex care, including surgery. Of course, we foster collegial relationships with our skilled OB-GYN team and refer patients to them when medically necessary.

Most pregnancies are low-risk, however, and many women prefer an approach to care that’s more focused on education, information and support.

2. Education is a big part of our approach. Your first pregnancy visit with a MultiCare midwife is one hour. We spend most of this appointment educating you about your pregnancy and what to expect. We also spend time listening to you – your concerns, your expectations and your needs.

Throughout your pregnancy, follow-up appointments are usually 30 minutes.

At about 36 weeks, we schedule another hour-long appointment to create your birth plan. Again, our focus is to educate you about labor, while listening to your concerns and expectations for labor. My caveat is that we can’t necessarily plan for everything that happens during labor, so we make sure to plan for the unexpected, too.

When you’re in active labor, we stay with you, no matter how long it takes. We inform, we offer options and we always remind you, it’s your labor and you’re in charge.

3. Merriam-Webster defines normal as ordinary, usual. Normal is also the word I use to describe adolescence, puberty, pregnancy and menopause. I like to think of myself as a guide and teacher for patients at every stage of these normal life experiences.

If, for example, you’re asking me about menopause, I will probably spend a lot of time educating you about your body, what’s happening and what to expect. We might discuss your symptoms, and whether what you’re experiencing is tolerable or might benefit from a wide variety of interventions. I try to provide a more gradual, individualized approach to managing this normal process.

Alphabet soup aside, my goal is for women to find the care provider and philosophy that’s right for them. After all, isn’t that what we all want for ourselves and our loved ones?

Still have more questions? Comment below and we will respond.

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Posted in: Women's Health
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