MURRAY, Ky. (4/6/13) – Midwifery services, an alternative but medically-certified care plan for pregnancy and birth, are now available in Marshall and Calloway counties, giving expectant mothers a new option when considering childbirth. Becky Johnson is a Certified Nurse Midwife and has joined Dr. Matthew Price, OBGYN to offer midwife services in the area.
While it may be new to the area, midwife services date back decades and are a medically-recognized method of pre-birth care. A midwife works with expectant mothers to create a personalized plan for birth. Johnson said midwives are very popular in the west and central U.S. as well as many European countries, but midwifery actually originated in Kentucky. She said a lot of people automatically assume a stigma with midwifery, but is quick to show how midwives are a safe and modern medical service.
“We see childbirth and pregnancy as a normal physiological process, and don’t want women to see it as a ‘procedure’ but more of an ‘experience,’” Johnson said. “I work with the mother to create a plan based on her and her family’s wants and needs. Some people think a midwife automatically means all-natural births … I absolutely believe in epidurals, inducing labor, etc., but I also am open to the alternatives.”
Johnson said she sees herself as a “lifeguard” of sorts- there to oversee the natural process of childbirth but always keeping an eye on safety and ready to step in when needed. She added that in high-risk pregnancies she always collaborates with an OBGYN.
“She’s an extended version of what we’re doing,” Dr. Price said. “Both myself and Dr. Corey Forester worked with midwives during our residencies, so we know and appreciate the unique care they provide and bring to our practice.”
Johnson graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Murray State University and then obtained a dual Master’s degree in Women’s Health and Certified Nurse Midwife from the University of Cincinnati.
According to the American College of Nurse-Midwives, there are nearly 13,000 CNMs and Certified Midwives practicing in the United States. In 2010, they attended more than 312,000 births, 95.7 percent of which occurred in a hospital setting, 2.2 percent in freestanding birth centers and 2 percent in homes.
For more information about midwife services now offered at Murray-Calloway County Hospital, call the Marketing Department at (800) 342-6224.
Information provided by Kyser Lough
Photo provided by Murray-Calloway County Hospital
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