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Feature Article

Midwifery Offers Option for Hospital Deliveries


Midwives have been delivering babies around the world for centuries. Here in the U.S., midwives embrace a shared philosophy that birth is a normal, healthy and empowering process and that each woman’s unique wishes should be valued.

Jennifer Miller, a certified nurse midwife, recently joined the clinic and became part of the obstetric team that delivers babies at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center.

“We see the whole gamut of pregnancy and delivery requests,” said Miller. “And I’m really proud that we do our best to accommodate our patients. From water births and the participation of doulas to epidurals, when necessary, and other needed medical assistance, we are here to provide a unique experience within a safe environment.”

Miller is one of four midwives at Samaritan Obstetrics & Gynecology who act as the primary providers when patients from their clinic deliver babies at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center.

“We have a nurse midwife and physician on call at all times for hospital deliveries,” said Miller. “The midwives do most of the vaginal deliveries and the physicians are there for any emergencies or C-sections.”

According to Miller, the option for women to choose a water birth (in low-risk cases) was one of the primary reasons she came to Samaritan. She’s also proud that the hospital offers vaginal deliveries after cesarean (VBAC) to women who meet the criteria.

“Women start coming in usually around eight to 10 weeks of pregnancy and we have many visits to discuss their individual wishes,” said Miller. “Their choices are really heard and implemented whenever possible.”

In Newport, Samaritan Health Services recently hired its first hospital-based nurse midwife for coastal area patients. Brenda Woods, CNM, works closely with the OB/GYN physicians at Samaritan Pacific Women’s Health Group to provide individualized prenatal and birthing care.

“I love supporting women through childbirth and empowering them through this natural process,” said Woods. “We have a wonderful, caring team and our rooms offer excellent tools such as Jacuzzis and birth balls so that women can be up and moving while they labor. We also accommodate those women who know they want an epidural when they arrive. There’s not a right or wrong way to get though a birth and we are here to support individual desires within the parameters of safety.”

Both Woods and Miller described their physician colleagues as being aligned with midwives in how they approach patient care — treating women in a caring, nurturing manner.

Obstetric physicians and midwives at Samaritan Health Services’ clinics as well as nurses and staff at hospital birthing centers are dedicated to meeting the individual needs of soon-to-be moms and dads.

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