WHA’s certified nurse-midwives can help you throughout your life with contraception and family planning, pregnancy and childbirth, gynecology and wellness care and the transition to menopause. Basically, they’re here for you, in every way, at any time.
The certified nurse-midwives at WHA provide the best of both worlds: high-quality modern healthcare practiced with the compassion and art of midwifery. With shared decision making at the center of the midwifery approach, patients are encouraged to be partners in their care (after all, who could know your body better than you?) and education takes center stage in helping each person make decisions that are right for them. Our midwives work with WHA’s physicians, when needed, for specialized services or if problems develop.
Today’s midwives have evolved into more multifaceted caretakers than their predecessors, but their goal remains the same: patient-centered care for women, transgender and gender non-binary people. Nurse-midwives are educated in the disciplines of nursing and midwifery, are graduates of a professional program accredited by the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) and must pass a national certification exam. In Oregon, nurse-midwives have master’s degrees, are recognized as independent healthcare practitioners, have hospital admitting privileges, are licensed to prescribe medication and consult with many types of physicians. Basically, they are an awesome mash up of intuition and education.
Our certified nurse-midwives are devoted to accompanying and supporting people through each stage of pregnancy, whether they are planning an un-medicated birth or opt for pain medications, including epidural anesthesia. We have midwives who attend births in six regional hospitals, as well as in WHA’s Midwifery Birth Center. This safe, comfortable, out-of-hospital facility is a place where healthy people at a low risk for complications can give birth naturally.
State-of-the-art laboratory and ultrasound technologies are available to all of our patients and are used sensibly for screening and diagnosis to maximize healthy childbirth outcomes for parent and baby. Our pregnancy care includes:
During pregnancy, midwifery care is ideal for people at a low risk of complications. When you first visit a midwife, she will take a comprehensive medical history, give you a physical exam and perform laboratory screenings to make sure midwifery care is right for you. They can also answer any questions you have and schedule additional prenatal screening or ultrasounds, if necessary.
If your midwife has concerns about your health or the health of your baby, they may recommend you see an OB/GYN physician or maternal-fetal medicine specialist. Conditions that may require specialized care include twin pregnancies, diabetes, heart disease, epilepsy or high blood pressure. In some cases, you may be able to continue to see your midwife and consult with a doctor your prenatal care.
The certified nurse-midwives at WHA provide gynecology and wellness care for people at all stages of life, not just during pregnancy. Gynecology and wellness services include:
Choosing your healthcare partner during pregnancy or any other time is a personal decision that will impact your wellbeing in a variety of ways. As you navigate your options, we’re here to help you make the choice that feels right for you.