At the Family Birth Center at LCMH, many moms are choosing to deliver with the assistance of a midwife. The practice has expanded so much, in fact, that a second midwife, Briana Bloembergen, C.N.M., joined the Women’s Healthcare Affiliates team this year. She works alongside Mary Kay Burke, C.N.M., W.H.N.P., who has been with LCMH since the midwifery program launched in 2010. When Homer Glen resident Angie Helwich found out she was pregnant with her second child, she knew she wanted to work with a midwife. She scheduled a meet-and-greet with Burke. “I told her I was hoping to have a water birth, and she was really supportive,” Helwich says. “During each visit I never felt rushed.”
The Many Roles of a Midwife
Certified nurse-midwives are advanced practice nurses who are trained to care for low-risk patients throughout their pregnancy and delivery. “We take our time getting to know each patient and develop a relationship with them,” says Bloembergen. At LCMH, midwives also care for women from their first well-woman visit through menopause and beyond.
Supporting the Birth Plan of Your Choice
Midwives help you create the labor and delivery experience you desire. Beyond providing medical care, they’re also dedicated to personalizing your labor experience in ways that help keep you comfortable. This may involve using music, essential oils, hydro water tubs, a birth ball and more. Helwich was able to have the water birth she hoped for and delivered her healthy baby girl, Lavinia, in July. “Mary Kay was in the hospital throughout my labor and frequently checked on me,” she says. “It was comforting to know she was always nearby. When I was in the tub, she gave me the go-ahead to trust my body and reminded me that my body will do what’s needed to deliver the baby. It was a really empowering experience.” If you’ve had a C-section before, you can still work with a midwife. She can help you have a vaginal birth or coordinate a gentle C-section for your delivery. “During a gentle C-section, we dry the baby quickly and place it right on the mom’s chest for skin-to-skin contact,” Burke says.
Comfort Is Key
The Family Birth Center at LCMH is set up with everything midwives need to care for patients throughout labor and delivery. They also work alongside collaborating physicians who are available if needed. “We feel so fortunate to work in an environment where women’s health and well-being is truly a priority, so we can make them feel comfortable and deliver the best care possible,” says Burke.