Is a Midwife Right for You?

Birthing Options

At Memorial Family Care Birthing Centers, midwives can take care of women’s health throughout their lifespan.

Midwives are there to help meet mother’s labor and delivery wishes and ensure babies are delivered safely. Learn more about the option of having a midwife at Memorial.

What is a midwife?

​Sylvia Obernuefemann, a certified nurse midwife, explains that she was a nurse first and then went back to school to become a nurse midwife. She has a master’s degree in nursing. Her role is to care for women throughout the lifespan, not just when they are pregnant but also when her patients first start having periods, need birth control, become pregnant, or are menopausal. She loves watching women become mothers because it changes them so fundamentally. She said it isn’t just about having a baby but becoming a mother.

​Talk a little about the different choices available to women using a midwife.

Safety is important, but the journey is as well. Women are involved in choices because a midwife’s job is not to tell them how to have their baby but to help them get the birth they want while still being safe for them. There is a lot of discussion about what mothers can do. If they want an epidural, Sylvia can make sure the mom gets an epidural when appropriate, or if she wants to try a unmedicated delivery, Sylvia will be there rubbing her back and offering support.

How do you handle the unexpected?

Midwives work very closely with doctors and are trained to recognize what’s normal and what isn’t. She knows when to get assistance from physicians. For example, sometimes neonatology comes to help keep babies safe during delivery, or a physician might be called if a mother needs additional assistance.

Do midwives allow fathers to participate in the delivery if they wish?

Usually dads are there helping to catch their new baby. She usually helps deliver the head and shoulders, and then the dad or grandma welcomes the baby and puts them on the mother’s chest. It is definitely a family event.

Ashley discusses why she chose to have a midwife deliver her babies at The Family Care Birthing Center.

Ashley had Sylvia deliver both her babies at Memorial. She wanted to try to deliver more naturally and wanted support in what she wanted in her delivery. She also wanted someone trained in case she did need medical intervention. Ashley said that Sylvia is amazing and her favorite person in the world..