TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - A health system in East Texas will soon offer a team approach when it comes to midwife care for expectant mothers.
CHRISTUS Trinity Clinic and CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Medical Center have announced the addition of a new midwife group and a team of certified nurse-midwives (CNM), who will begin seeing patients in late February.
A midwife is a health professional who cares for mothers and newborns around childbirth, and the education and training for a midwife is similar to that of a nurse. Midwives are Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) that work under the supervision of an OBGYN and play an instrumental role in ensuring that women and their babies receive a continuum of skilled care during pregnancy, childbirth, and in the important days and weeks after birth, according to a CHRISTUS spokesperson.
While midwife care is already available to mothers who seek support, mothers often must seek midwife support from outside of a hospital. A spokesperson for CHRISTUS said the addition was made to expand access to important prenatal and post-natal care.
“A midwife is a health care professional who provides an array of health care services for women including gynecological examinations, prescriptions, and labor and delivery care,” said Brandy Moore, Vice President of Operations, CHRISTUS Trinity Clinic Longview. “Our team of Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNM) are trained and licensed in nursing and midwifery and are certified by the American College of Nurse-Midwives. When combined with our Level-III NICU and the region’s only OB Emergency Department, we are able to offer the families of Longview and East Texas a truly word-class level of care before, during and after birth.”
While certified nurse-midwives provide expert care during labor and delivery, their support of new mothers and children after birth is a specialty that makes midwives unique. The nurse-midwives often help answer questions concerning specialized subjects, such as lactation support and advice in caring for a newborn.
For mothers like Jana Eckert, that can mean months or even years down the road.
“I do ask a lot of questions about parenting,” Eckert joked. “Because I’m like, [my midwife] has had three kids, so she knows.”
“We have a lot of communication. Jana is able to call me anytime she needs something, and I’m able to answer her questions,” said Sylyna Kennedy, CNM. “I think when you’re somebody’s midwife, it’s all about relationship, and it’s a lifetime thing.”
Editor’s note: A previous version of this story stated both CHRISTUS Trinity Clinic and CHRISTUS Good Shepherd added CNM positions. A CHRISTUS spokesperson has clarified the service was previously offered at Good Shepherd and the group was announced as a partnership between the two hospitals.