Saint Francis Healthcare System now offers women the option to give birth using the services of a certified nurse midwife.
Midwives are trained professionals with expertise and skills in supporting women to maintain healthy pregnancies. They perform many common prenatal and labor functions, like monitoring the mother’s and baby’s health throughout the pregnancy, ordering pain medication or an epidural if desired during labor, and delivering the baby.
Tracy Carr, MSN, CNM, is a certified nurse midwife who sees patients at Cape Care for Women and Cape Primary Care and delivers babies at Saint Francis Medical Center. “I deliver babies at a hospital in case there should be any need for medical intervention,” says Carr. “We have immediate access to an anesthesiologist, an operating room and any equipment that may be necessary.”
A patient could need an obstetrician if she experiences challenges during delivery. A midwife does not perform cesarean sections. “When a problem arises during delivery, I will contact the obstetrician on call, and he or she will give the patient the care she needs,” says Carr.
“Midwifery is very popular all over the United States,” says Carr. “Some women like midwives’ holistic approach to pregnancy and childbirth. At Saint Francis, we recognize that there are many different kinds of patients who have different needs, and we want to give them an alternative option for giving birth.”
While midwifery can be a good option for patients who have no complications during their pregnancy and delivery, it is not appropriate for high-risk pregnancies. Saint Francis has highly qualified obstetricians, neonatologists and a perinatologist to care for women who are pregnant with multiple babies or have medical concerns, babies with health problems or other issues with their pregnancy.
“Nurse midwives are trained as nurses first, so our primary concern is to focus on the patient and her needs,” says Carr.
To make an appointment with a midwife at Saint Francis, call 573-339-1166.