For those looking for a natural childbirth experience, there is a wonderful alternative to traditional OB’s in the greater Nashville area. These midwives have completed a comprehensive program in the art of natural childbirth and are well educated in the safest methods for labor, birth, postpartum care, and gynecologic services. In addition to providing preconception counseling, obstetrical care during pregnancy and childbirth, family planning, gynecologic care, and peri-menopausal and post-menopausal care, certified nurse-midwives also provide newborn care through the first 28 days of life.
A midwife nashville provides compassionate and nurturing health care to women throughout their lives, from adolescence through the lifespan. Unlike other medical professionals, midwives focus on meeting the specific needs of each individual woman/individual and emphasize health promotion and disease prevention. They provide a full range of primary healthcare services including routine examinations, screening for common diseases and health conditions, health education, counselling, diagnostic laboratory testing, prescription management and health maintenance. They are skilled in recognizing complications and referring patients for hospitalization as needed.
While many of us think of midwives as the “old school” type that attend homebirths, the modern midwife is a registered nurse with a master’s degree in nursing who is a member of the American College of Nurse-Midwives. According to Anna Napier, CNM of Connectus Health, today’s midwives can write prescriptions, order lab and imaging studies, diagnose medical issues, and even perform cesarean sections if necessary.
Midwives are a vital part of the current healthcare system. They are able to serve women who would otherwise not be able to access safe, competent care, especially in underserved areas. Many states have passed laws that allow midwives to open birth centers and practice independently without another supervising physician, helping to alleviate the maternity provider shortage across the country.
Currently, there are three midwives in the greater Nashville area with full practice authority who can legally attend homebirths: Anna Napier of Connectus Health, Maggie Polson of Wild Fig Birth LLC and Chelsea Hutton of Anchor of Hope Midwifery. All of these midwives have extensive experience in homebirths, and are up-to-date on CPR/BLS, NRP (neonatal resuscitation), B.E.S.T training and emergency skills training.
For those interested in having a water birth, there are several facilities in the area that offer hydrotherapy for pain management and comfort during labor and birth. One of these is the Vanderbilt Birth Center which is a freestanding birthing facility that offers both in-home and out-of-hospital births, and supports the use of water for labor and birth.
Those looking to become certified nurse-midwives can find the right fit at Vanderbilt’s acclaimed Nursing program. The program offers a rigorous curriculum with a solid foundation in theoretical knowledge and clinical expertise. Students have the opportunity to learn from a highly supportive and diverse faculty, and engage in innovative teaching methodologies in and out of the classroom. They also have the opportunity to gain practical experience at a variety of clinical sites, both in the greater Nashville area and other locations.