During pregnancy, you have all kinds of decisions to make. Who should you tell first about the baby? Should you find out the gender or make it a surprise? Epidural, C-section or natural childbirth? Home birth, birthing center or hospital? What about the baby’s name?
One of the most important decisions you’ll make, though, is who to choose as your healthcare provider. Physicians for Women is proud to offer midwifery care at their partner clinic, The Madison Midwives, and excited to welcome Kate Metzger, Certified Nurse Midwife, to their team.
Kate Metzger has been working with women and newborns since 2015. Kate has worked with both low-risk and high-risk populations. She has a Masters degree from Marquette University and is certified by The American Midwifery Certification Board. She previously worked at Aurora Sinai Medical Center caring for very high risk patients, and in the future intends on becoming an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.
Here are 4 reasons why a Midwife like Kate Metzger may be the best choice for you.
Midwife-assisted births are on the rise
When choosing the best care during your pregnancy, there are two major options: An obstetrician gynecologist or a midwife. Traditionally in the United States, OB/GYN-attended births are more common but, since 1989, more women have been choosing midwives. In 2013, more than eight percent of all births were attended by a midwife, according to the American College of Nurse-Midwives.
Midwives and OB/GYNs are more similar than one might think. For example, Christine Kern Steffen, a midwife with the Madison Midwives in Madison, Wisconsin, said she follows a standard model for prenatal care and sees patients in a clinical setting with access to laboratory and ultrasound equipment.
“My partner, Allison Scholl and I provide one-on-one labor support during the whole labor process,” Kern Steffen said. “I care for women through the whole delivery process, as well as postpartum care, both immediately in the hospital and in the weeks following the birth.”
What makes The Madison Midwives practice different from other midwife clinics is the collaborative relationship they have with their partner OB office, Physicians for Women.
You can have a gentle cesarean
Although women with high-risk pregnancies, especially those needing a cesarean section, generally opt for an OB/GYN who can monitor them closely and perform surgical deliveries, The Madison Midwives client Carrie Kilman wanted the additional emotional and physical support provided by a midwife.
“I knew there was a good chance I would need a C-section for medical reasons, and I knew that most midwives don’t work with C-section births,” Kilman said.
However, halfway through her pregnancy, she learned about “gentle cesarean,” also known as family-centered cesarean, which is a procedure growing in popularity in the United States and England. It allows the mother the opportunity to see their baby born via cesarean through a clear plastic sheet, and then experiences the immediate skin-to-skin contact normally absent from this type of delivery.
Kilman worked with Kern Steffen and Dr. Melius, OB/GYN to have the gentle delivery she wanted. She said her experience with a midwife was overwhelmingly positive.
“(Christine) took all the time to listen, she helped me feel empowered with evidence-based information, and she approached everything with such a serene and caring demeanor,” Kilman said. “She was at my side in the recovery room as my daughter learned to nurse, and she was readily available with thoughtful advice during the first few postpartum weeks as my husband and I transitioned into parenthood.”
Epidurals are still an option
Also, contrary to popular belief, you can still choose to have an epidural if you have a midwife.
“The fact is that many midwives can, will, and do use the medication Pitocin, they use epidurals for pain relief, they give antibiotics when indicated, and they recommend C-sections when necessary,” Dr. Jennifer Ashton, an OB, told ABC News.
A midwife may also be more open than an OB/GYN to allowing intermittent monitoring of the baby during labor and to trying a variety of other pain management techniques, such as massage, walking, and the use of an exercise ball.
Midwives offer personalized experiences
The biggest reason you should choose a midwife is the increased freedom you’ll have to personalize your birthing experience. Midwives tend to have more time to bond with their patients and are thus able to help women come up with birth plans that meet all their needs, mentally, emotionally and physically.
Kilman said the only thing she would do differently with another pregnancy would be to see a midwife from the beginning.
“Thanks to Christine, I would approach the experience with less anxiety and greater confidence,” Kilman said.
Visit themadisonmidwives.com to find out how having a midwife could improve your pregnancy and labor and delivery experience. For more information about Kate Metzger, CNM, visit https://mscwomenshealth.com/kate-metzger-cnm/.