Every month, we feature a physician or nurse as an opportunity for the community to learn more about the great people on staff at Little Company of Mary Hospital. This month, we had the chance to talk with Mary Kay Burke, a Certified Nurse Midwife at Women’s Health Care Associates practice in Evergreen Park. Read on to get to know Burke, including why she chose to become a Midwife, her number one health advice and her growing family.
Mary Kay Burke, APN, CNM, WHNP
Women’s Health Care Associates
2850 West 95th Street, Suite 103
Medical School: University of Illinois at Chicago
Board Certification: Certified Nurse Midwife, Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner
Why did you decide to become a certified nurse midwife?
I’ve spent the last 16 years in Labor and Delivery, and I’ve loved it from day one. Bringing a new life into the world is such a sacred event—it is an honor to be part of the experience. Women are so much stronger than they realize! I truly enjoy being a participant of women’s birth experiences.
How did you choose your specialty?
After spending so much time in labor and delivery, it seemed like a natural transition progressing to nurse midwifery. There are many women looking for a more natural approach to birth. I am so glad we can offer these services at Little Company of Mary.
What do you enjoy most about being a midwife?
It has been wonderful meeting so many new people who are passionate about their families and their desires to be healthy, happy and empowered.
What is your philosophy of care?
My goal is to offer my support and guidance to women so they can make informed decisions regarding their healthcare. The term “midwife” means “with woman” and it is a privilege to care for women in all the different stages of their lives. It is my hope that all women have a meaningful birth experience—one that empowers them and allows them to transition to motherhood with happiness and confidence.
What is the number one advice/tip you give your patients for healthy living?
There are so many benefits to breastfeeding, both for the new mom and the baby. I would never want anyone to feel pressured if it’s not comfortable, but if new moms are even remotely considering, I encourage them to give it a try. And my tip for all women is to do a monthly self breast exam. It’s such an easy thing to do, yet often overlooked.
What is the best thing Little Company of Mary has to offer patients?
Little Company of Mary is all about what is best for our patients. Our staff is professional, caring and compassionate. Little Company of Mary offers the best that technology has to offer while providing a safe, caring environment. I can’t imagine working anywhere but here. Employees often joke that once you work at Little Company of Mary, you never want to work anywhere else. There is so much truth to that statement.
If you hadn’t become a nurse, what would you be doing?
I’ve been a nurse for the last 26 years, so it’s hard to imagine doing anything else. But I could see myself as a police officer. We live in such a violent society—it’s so unsettling. I would work in areas like domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking.
What are your hobbies and interests outside of the office?
I love reading and gardening. I just started experimenting with different forms of yoga. I also enjoy learning about aromatherapy and homeopathic treatments. And I love spending time with my family. My first grandchild is due in March—very exciting!