Midwifery

Many women have very specific ideas about their Birth Preferences Plan and for some, that means choosing a midwife for pre-natal care and delivery. MarinHealth Medical Network offers collaborative OB/GYN services that fully integrate certified nurse midwives (CNMs) in the office and hospital setting for all prenatal, labor and delivery, and postnatal care. At least one medical network certified nurse-midwife is on site 24/7 at MarinHealth Medical Center.

What is a Certified Nurse-Midwife?

A certified nurse-midwife is a trained professional with special expertise in women's health, including pregnancy and delivery for low-risk, healthy women. Certified through the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM), the midwives in the MarinHealth Medical Network are registered nurses with a master's degree in nursing and/or public health.

Role of a Certified Nurse-Midwife

  • Perform annual well-woman exams, whether a woman is pregnant or not
  • Provide prenatal care, including ordering tests, lab work, and scans
  • Prescribe certain medications including but not limited to contraception, hormone replacement therapy, and antibiotics
  • Work with each woman and her family to create a personalized Birth Preferences Plan.
  • Provide alternatives to traditional pain relief during labor, and support the mother's choice for comfort measures that are best for her, including narcotics, nitrous oxide, and epidural anesthesia
  • Surgical first assist for the OB/GYN during a cesarean section

Because midwives support physiologic birth and intervene only when medically necessary, a certified nurse-midwife's expertise can provide the right care at the right time for a great majority of healthy women.

High-Risk Pregnancy Deliveries

A midwife-assisted birth is not recommended in high-risk situations like these:

  • Uncontrolled insulin-dependent diabetes or other medical conditions in the mother
  • Pregnancy-related complications such as severe preeclampsia
  • Significant health problems in the developing baby
  • Premature labor before 34 weeks
  • Multiple pregnancy (twins or more)

The vast majority of deliveries are uncomplicated and go as planned. However, if complications do occur during labor, Midwives adhere to a strict, formal protocol as to when a Doctor should be called in to advise, co-manage, or assume complete care. Established collaborative practices between Certified Nurse-Midwives and OB/GYNs are considered to be a measure of safety and efficacy by both the ACNM and the American College of Obstetricians.

Meet our MarinHealth Medical Network Midwives

Our midwives host a meet-and-greet several times a year at the hospital. This is an opportunity to learn about their services, ask questions, and take a tour of MarinHealth Medical Center.

All events are held in the Conference Center at MarinHealth Medical Center from 7:15 pm – 8:15 pm.

For more information or questions about the Midwives of Marin, please call Mary Newberry, CNM, Co-Lead of Midwifery Services, at 1-415-842-5107.