By TMoM Team Member Suzy Fielders

Did you know Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist has a one-of-a-kind midwifery program in the Triad? It provides a holistic approach to women’s care, with certified nurse midwives available from the first prenatal appointment to delivery, as well as a home-like experience at The Birth Center in Winston-Salem.

Throughout the pregnancy journey, CNMs can be part of your obstetric care team, educating you on the natural processes, advocating for your individual preferences and helping you feel empowered in decisions around your pregnancy, childbirth and overall health.

What Is a Midwife?

A certified nurse-midwife (CNM) is a registered nurse who has received, at a minimum, a master’s degree in nursing. In addition to working side-by-side with OB/GYNs, CNMs are specially trained in women’s health care and offer many of the same services as your doctor. This includes pregnancy care and delivery, but they can also perform your yearly well-woman exams and Pap smears and even prescribe birth control.

In general, CNMs take a more holistic approach to women’s care. This means they treat the whole you – including physically and emotionally, as well as making sure your personal preferences are met. During a low-risk pregnancy and birth, their care might include:

  • Helping you figure out your goals and plan the birth experience that’s best for you and your family
  • Coaching you along during any delivery type, including a low-intervention labor and birth
  • Identifying and focusing on what is normal and natural for your pregnancy

Certified nurse-midwives are also trained to recognize complications if they occur. If your pregnancy does require more medical intervention – for instance, due to conditions like gestational diabetes or hypertension – your CNM can still be part of your care team. In fact, even for routine pregnancies, choosing between an OB/GYN and midwife isn’t an either-or decision. You can – and maybe even should – have the best of both worlds. This gives you the holistic experience you want, with easy access to more advanced clinical intervention and specialists if needed.

That’s why one of the many benefits of Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist’s midwifery program is its team approach – with CNMs, OB/GYNs, physician assistants and nurse practitioners, all working together to make sure you get the care you need, the experience you want, and the peace of mind you deserve, every step of the way.

A Holistic Approach to Pregnancy and Birth

For many women, the word ‘midwife’ might evoke images of earthy remedies and home births. While it’s true CNMs are more focused on the natural processes of pregnancy and labor – which might mean more time spent in labor and fewer medical interventions – they’re also highly trained in women’s health care.

At Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist, the CNMs see patients in doctors’ offices, including at routine prenatal visits. They’re also available for delivery 24/7 at The Birth Center, which has alternative birthing suites for midwifery patients. Each suite is designed to feel like home, with spacious rooms, hidden medical equipment, hydrotherapy tubs, and birthing balls and bars to help you labor how you want.

On top of that, The Birth Center has been named a Newsweek Best Maternity Hospital for 2022 and has maternal fetal medicine specialists on-site, as well as immediate access to the region’s most advanced NICU at Brenner Children’s Hospital.

So no matter what happens during labor and delivery – whether plans change or stay the same – you can feel confident you and your baby are exactly where you need to be. Just keep in mind that The Birth Center’s midwifery suites aren’t designed for epidural or IV medication usage. That’s why it’s so important to take childbirth education classes throughout pregnancy, where you can practice natural pain management techniques, like meditation and breathing.

Finding a CNM Is Easy

While Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist has certified nurse-midwives at all their practices, this dedicated, full-journey program is specific to The Birth Center and the practices that deliver there. This includes the following locations:

If you’re expecting, don’t wait to enjoy the benefits of a holistic pregnancy, with easy access to modern medicine if needed. Learn more or find a CNM today!

*Sponsored by Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist

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