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Midwives - With Women, For Women: Read Shemeka's Story
Midwives offer a lifetime of care.
Between 1990 and 2004 the number of U.S. births attended by certified nurse-midwives more than doubled.
Date: 4/1/2008

The practice of midwifery has been around for thousands of years and continues to have a strong place in modern day obstetrics and gynecology. In fact, midwifery has enjoyed a renaissance in the United States over the past several decades.

Between 1990 and 2004 the number of US births attended by certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) more than doubled.

According to the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM), more than 50 percent of CNMs list physician practices or hospitals as their principal employers.

In 2005, 98 percent of midwives’ deliveries took place in hospitals, with 1 percent in freestanding birth centers and the remaining 1 percent home births.

Collaborative Care
The certified nurse-midwifery group at the RWJ OB-GYN Group Hamilton work in collaboration with physicians and hospital staff to support and nurture pregnant women who opt for midwifery care.

"I had my second child with a physician-midwife team," says Healey, who has been a CNM for more than 15 years.  "There was a great deal of personal interaction and support to the point that I wanted to become a midwife."

Choosing a Provider
A survey conducted by the ACNM of their members found that 90 percent of visits to midwives are for primary, preventative care, including annual gynecological exams and reproductive health visits.

At the RWJ OB-GYN Group Hamilton, the midwives provide both gynecological and obstetrical services.

Patients have the option to seek care from either a physician or midwife.  "The providers are dedicated to helping the patient through a safe and rewarding pregnancy as they go through this journey of bringing life into this world," Healey says.

Whether it is an annual gynecological exam or the once-in-a-lifetime experience of having a child, midwives are experts at helping guide and care for women. Healey says, "Many women who start with midwives stay with them for a lifetime."

  Meet Shameka of Trenton

After having two children at another area hospital, Trenton resident Shameka was looking for a change. She decided RWJ Hamilton was the best choice in the area after doing some research and receiving positive input from friends and family.

"From the moment I walked into the RWJ OB/GYN, I knew that it was where I wanted to have my baby," she says. "Everyone was very knowledgeable and any time I had a question, I would receive a complete answer from my midwife."

Shameka chose the midwives at RWJ OB/GYN to delivery her baby. "JoAnne was so wonderful. Her eyes and smile are so warm.  When she talks to you, it's obvious she wants to be there for you and to comfort you," she explains.

Shameka explains, "She was constantly reassuring me, and treated me with a great amount of respect and dignity. She kept telling me, 'you're ready for this.'"  Overall, Shameka considered her childbirth experience at RWJ Hamilton to be one of the most joyous experiences of her life.  "The midwives, physicians and all the nurses -- everyone --treated me like a princess," says Shameka.

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