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The centuries-old word “midwife” describes a woman who is "with women" at birth. Today, the term means a philosophy that focuses on the specific needs of women, offering a variety of care options to minimize unnecessary interventions.
Those who hold the title of certified nurse midwife (CNM) are board-certified, independent health care practitioners, licensed in the disciplines of both nursing and midwifery, who work collaboratively with physicians. They also participate in continuing education programs, and maintain professional liability insurance.
The Midwives at Magee opened in August of 1997 under the name “Womancare Midwifery Service.” Part of the University of Pittsburgh Physicians group, the Midwives at Magee are faculty of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
CNMs follow the standards of care set forth by the American College of Nurse-Midwives and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Midwives specialize in listening to and caring for women from adolescence to beyond menopause. Women choose midwives for their family-centered approach to the issues and events in a woman’s life, including sexuality, family planning, pregnancy and birth, and menopause.
Studies show that nurse-midwives have an outstanding record of safe care with fewer medical interventions. Many women who have birthed with the midwives continue their well-woman care with us.
Since our beginning, we have attended more than 2000 births. We see women in three clinical settings and attend births only at UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital.
In addition to attending labors and delivering babies, nurse-midwives provide a wide range of care, including:
The midwives see patients every four weeks during the first 28 weeks of pregnancy, then every 2 to 3 weeks until 36 weeks gestation, then every week until delivery.
Patients are offered all testing and monitoring recommended by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
The midwives see patients at each clinical site, and cover the birth suite on a rotation call schedule.
Patients who develop a complication during pregnancy can choose to continue their care with the midwives, who work with consulting physicians, or may choose to transfer to the physician of their choice.
In addition to providing annual well-woman check ups, yearly physicals and health screenings, family planning services — including hormonal and non-hormonal contraception, and sexually transmitted disease screening, counseling, and treatment, we also refer women to a gynecological physician should the need arise.