2020-09-14T15:41:58-06:00August 12th, 2020|

“We want each patient at the center of her care:” Midwifery offers comprehensive care with a personal touch for every stage of a woman’s life

Regional One Health’s certified nurse midwives can help women of all ages live a healthier life.

Their personalized, empowering style of care is ideal for everyone – young women seeking honest information and support, expectant moms who want a special birth experience and menopausal women who want to stay active and healthy.

Our nurse midwives see patients at our new Kirby Primary Care location and Hollywood Primary Care.

Puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, birth, raising children, menopause.

They are very different stages of life with very different health considerations, but they are tied together by a single thread – the woman who experiences them.

Why, then, shouldn’t that woman be the focal point of her care?

That is the question Regional One Health’s certified nurse midwives start with for every patient. “We want each patient to feel at the center of her care,” Amanda Williams, CNM, said.  “It’s her journey. She’s at the center of it.”

That starts with getting to know each patient well.

“We get teased about the amount of time we spend in that room with our patients,” Williams laughed, noting it isn’t unusual for an initial appointment to last 40 minutes. “I want to know everything I can about my patients – and to do that, you’ve got to take time to really listen.”

By understanding a patient’s health concerns and goals, nurse midwives can provide care at all stages of life.

Amanda Williams Nurse Midwife Regional One Health

Amanda Williams, CNM, says midwifery empowers patients of all ages to lead healthier lives: “We want each patient to feel at the center of her care. It’s her journey. She’s at the center of it.”

Williams said it’s ideal for patients to start with a midwifery practice at age 12 or 13. For their preteen and teenage patients, Regional One Health’s nurse midwives focus on dispelling myths and providing a safe place to address questions about puberty, menstruation, sex and more.

The younger a woman is when she feels empowered about her care, the more likely she is to take good care of herself and, later, her family, Williams said: “By giving women more control and a say in their health care, they’re more proactive about their own wellness and health and that of their family. So, you’re providing a resource for her whole family.”

As patients become sexually active, nurse midwives are an excellent resource for birth control and STD prevention and treatment. Williams said nurse midwives are like nurse practitioners in that they can prescribe medications and provide all types of non-surgical medical treatment.

When patients get ready to start a family, nurse midwives are at their side from the time they start trying to conceive until after their baby is born. Williams said they focus on providing low-intervention care for patients experiencing a normal, healthy pregnancy.

That means letting women listen to their bodies and take charge of their pregnancy and birth. Nurse midwives provide evidence-based, accurate information on all the available options, but it’s up to the patient to decide if she wants an epidural or no pain medication; to labor in bed, on a birth ball or in a shower; to delay cord clamping and have extended skin-to-skin contact; etc.

“It’s important that we offer our patients a sense of control,” Williams said. “It’s a vulnerable, intimate moment. We make sure she feels fully supported.”

Nurse midwives continue to serve as a resource as their patients adapt to motherhood, offering both postpartum care and support with breastfeeding. Williams said patients who work with midwifery practices have much higher rates of successfully breastfeeding their babies thanks to the education and support they receive.

Nurse midwives spend extra time getting to know their patients. Williams said that helps her understand each woman’s goals and concerns so she can partner with them on improving their wellbeing.

“You can bring your baby, your pump and the tears you had at 3 in the morning and we’ll help you figure it out,” she said.

As patients complete their families and transition into perimenopause and menopause, midwifery continues to offer supportive, personalized care.

Nurse midwives help women with the physical (hot flashes, vaginal discomfort) and emotional (anxiety, depression) issues associated with menopause, and address their increasing risk for serious conditions like heart disease, breast cancer and osteoporosis.

Williams said the key throughout a woman’s life is a philosophy that is at the core of midwifery: “We don’t view the female body as something to ‘fix’ when it comes to natural processes like menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth and menopause,” she said. “We communicate openly and honestly with our patients so we can be their partners. We’re your health care squad!”

Regional One Health’s nurse midwives see patients at our new Kirby Primary Care location and Hollywood Primary Care.

For an appointment at Kirby Primary Care, call 901-515-5350. For an appointment at Hollywood Primary Care, call 901-515-5500.