20:22 PM

Is a Midwife Right for You?


When it comes to having a baby, finding the right care is important. And with the new Certified Nurse-Midwife program at Platte Valley Medical Center, you now have a broader range of options for expert care.

The Certified Nurse-Midwife program at Platte Valley Medical Center mirrors the program at SCL Health Saint Joseph Hospital, which has been providing obstetric midwifery care for over 15 years. However, Platte Valley Medical Center’s program will provide services for women of all ages—from adolescence through menopause.

“Although nurse-midwives focus on women of childbearing years, it’s a common misconception that we can only offer obstetric services,” says Martine Tesone, DNP, CNM, lead nurse-midwife in Platte Valley’s program.

“Our nurse-midwives are specially trained to provide the full spectrum of primary care for women,” Martine says.

Services provided by Platte Valley nurse-midwives include:

  • Well-woman exams
  • Preconception counseling
  • Gynecologic care and family planning education
  • Prenatal care and education
  • Labor and delivery support
  • Postnatal care
  • Breastfeeding support
  • Disease prevention and health education

Close Patient Partnership

Nurse-midwives play a special role to help optimize the birthing experience for women whose pregnancies are normal low-risk for complications. Nurse-midwives provide extraordinary support, guidance and encouragement throughout pregnancy, labor and delivery. But choosing a nurse-midwife doesn’t necessarily mean a woman desires an all-natural birth.

“We have no agenda when it comes to labor and delivery. Our goal is to intervene as little as possible and support our moms in whatever they need, including a spectrum of pain management choices,” explains Martine. “Our patients have all modalities of pain management options available to them from massage and optimal positioning techniques to epidurals. Women are in control of their own experience. We are there to hold their hands.”

Physician Collaboration

Nurse-midwives at Platte Valley help patients deliver in the safety of the hospital setting and work closely with OB-GYNs when necessary. If complications arise that are outside the scope of nurse-midwife services, the nurse-midwife calls on an OB-GYN for medical or surgical support.

“Many women are attracted to the supportive, individualized care of a nurse-midwife. But we provide women with an extra layer of support by having physician expertise standing by if needed. The collaboration is seamless,” says Martine. “In addition, having the Certified Nurse-Midwife program at Platte Valley frees up physicians to focus on higher-risk patients and gives more healthcare options to women in our growing community.”

Trained Expertise

All five of SCL Platte Valley’s nurse-midwives have undergone advanced education, earning a master’s degree in nursing with a specialty in midwifery. Many of them began their careers as labor and delivery nurses before advancing their training.

“It’s important to know that nurse-midwives understand the clinical aspects of labor and delivery but provide care with a higher touch. We have the benefit of spending time with our patients and developing a real relationship,” explains Martine.

“We are thrilled to bring this service to our community.”

Following Her Instincts

When it comes to the pregnancy and birth of her three children, Cheryl Winstead wouldn’t have chosen another path than that with a midwife.

“I sought the care of a midwife because I wanted to be listened to and trusted as a woman,” explains Cheryl. “Midwives have walked alongside me through all my pregnancies and let me lead. They have been a tremendous support.”

Best of All Birthing Options

Despite a smooth pregnancy, Cheryl’s first birth didn’t go as planned. Cheryl’s baby was positioned posteriorly, preventing her from descending into the birth canal. When a vaginal birth was not possible, Cheryl’s midwife called on the hospital’s OB-GYN, and Cheryl’s baby was born via cesarean section.

“My goal was to have as natural of a birth as possible. Using a midwife allowed me the best of all worlds—the trust and support of a midwife and the backup of medical care if necessary. I’m thankful for a healthy baby.”

First Choice for Future Pregnancies

Cheryl also turned to a nurse-midwife for both her second and third pregnancies to help her have vaginal births.

“My midwives worked closely with me on positioning techniques before and during labor. They were so knowledgeable and encouraging. And because I didn’t have an epidural, I was able to be up and active throughout labor, which helped me get into better positioning for the birth,” says Cheryl, who relied on the Certified Nurse-Midwife program at SCL Health Saint Joseph Hospital for her third pregnancy.

With the midwives’ expertise and support, Cheryl was able to reposition her babies before birth and successfully deliver them.

“Midwives are trusting of the birth process and respect my instincts and intuition. They are present and available to you,” explains Cheryl.

About SCL Health

SCL Health is a faith-based, nonprofit healthcare organization dedicated to improving the health of the people and communities we serve. Founded by the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth in 1864, our health network provides comprehensive, coordinated care through eight hospitals, more than 180 physician clinics, home health, hospice, mental health, and safety-net services in Colorado and the Montana Wyoming region.