Marin General Hospital Launches Innovative New Maternity Program More Choice, 24/7 Midwife Services

GREENBRAE, CA — Marin General Hospital, in partnership with local OB/GYN providers, has launched an innovative new maternity program that offers 24/7 midwifery services at the hospital. It is the only hospital in Marin or San Francisco Counties to provide this option for women.

Through a group of ten Certified Nurse Midwives and 20 collaborating Board Certified Obstetricians, a midwife-doctor team is available in the hospital at any time a patient arrives on the labor and delivery unit. Expectant mothers may choose a delivery primarily attended by a midwife or an obstetrician. (If high risk issues develop, the collaborating physician is always available to provide care.)

“Local physicians and midwives have been working on the planning and implementation of this new OB program for over a year,” said Melanie Wice-Perkoff, Director of Midwifery Services with Prima Medical Foundation. “Our primary objective was to assure that all patients have the chance to choose the type of labor and delivery care they want, with the safety afforded by around-the-clock support services such as anesthesia, pediatrics and specialized nursing care and advanced perinatology. Among the options that will be offered is the Aqua-Eeze© birthing tub for laboring women and labor support persons and doulas are welcomed. The Family Birth Center emphasizes patient-centered care and takes into account the beliefs, needs and cultural requirements of the mother and her family.”

The availability of the program depends on how an expectant mother chooses to receive prenatal care. “It’s important that expectant parents talk with their physicians or midwives during prenatal care about what kind of delivery they want,” said Wice-Perkoff.

“One challenge we sought to address was how to ensure that the physician or midwife available to the mother is always rested and able to focus fully on her,” said Dr. K. Jennifer Voss, chairman of the Department of OB/GYN at Marin General Hospital. “Our goal is to improve safety and satisfaction for both patients and physicians. We haven’t taken anything away from the traditional patterns of labor and delivery. Instead, we’ve added choice and, we believe, enhanced safety and quality.”

“This program is an example of how to combine the best of traditional medicine and alternative approaches,” said Lee Domanico, CEO of Marin General Hospital. “We’re giving women more say in choosing the delivery with which they are most comfortable, while offering a safe setting with a full range of resources should the situation require them. It’s truly a model for an improved maternity care system in the future,” said Domanico, “We expect to see other providers adopt this approach—and we are proud to be leading the way.”