Certified nurse midwife services now available at Norton Hospital in downtown Louisville

Learn how our team of certified nurse midwives will collaborate with OB/GYNs to improve patient services at Norton Hospital in downtown Louisville.

Midwife services are now available at Norton Hospital, as Norton OB/GYN Associates in downtown Louisville introduces a new midwife program. This significant addition to the practice expands existing comprehensive prenatal care services. Previously, midwifery services were available only at a Norton Women’s & Children’s Hospital location in St. Matthews.

A certified nurse midwife is a nurse practitioner with specialized training in both nursing and midwifery. The certified nurse midwife provides comprehensive women’s health care services, including prenatal care, labor and delivery, and postpartum care. A midwife may be right for your patient if they are seeking a more natural approach to childbirth and maternity care.

“Midwives play a huge role in advocating for women’s birth preferences and empowering our patients to make informed decisions about their birth plan, which can ultimately lead to more positive birthing experiences and overall health outcomes for both mother and baby,” said Elaura M. Haynes, CNM, a certified nurse midwife with Norton Women’s Care.

A collaborative approach with OB/GYNs

Our downtown midwifery program will include midwives collaborating closely with OB/GYNs.

“This team-based approach ensures that our patients receive the highest standard of care, combining the expertise of both midwives and obstetricians. While midwives often attend to low-risk births, an OB/GYN can provide expert care should any complications arise during pregnancy or childbirth,” said Lyndsey D. Neese, M.D., MMM, FACOG, OB/GYN with Norton Women’s Care and medical director of quality for women’s services at Norton Healthcare.

While a certified nurse midwife focuses on providing natural and holistic health care to women, an OB/GYN specializes in broader obstetric and gynecological care, handles high-risk pregnancies and complex medical conditions and can perform surgical interventions such as cesarean sections.

Supporting disadvantaged mothers

The comprehensive obstetric services available at Norton Hospital downtown serve an important role in supporting mothers who are disproportionally at risk for adverse birth outcomes. Racial disparities exist in maternal health outcomes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Black mothers are three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes compared with white mothers.

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To refer a patient to Norton Women’s Care, visit Norton EpicLink and open an order for Obstetrics/Gynecology.

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Call (888) 4-U-NORTON/(888) 486-6786

By offering our new midwifery program downtown, we aim to provide holistic and comprehensive prenatal care and postpartum care that can make a substantial difference in the lives of both mother and baby — during pregnancy, childbirth and beyond.

Evidence shows that midwifery care positively impacts birth outcomes, including:

  • Preventing preterm births
  • Reducing the need for interventions
  • Improving overall clinical outcomes

A review published in The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews found that women who received midwife-led continuity models of care were less likely to experience preterm birth, have regional analgesia, and undergo episiotomies or instrumental births. They were also more likely to have a spontaneous vaginal birth and initiate breastfeeding early.

Access to doula program 

As part of our commitment to providing holistic care, patients also will have the option to be referred to the Norton Women’s Doula Program. Research has shown that doula-assisted mothers experience numerous benefits, including:

  • Four times less likely to have a low birth weight (LBW) baby
  • Twice as likely to avoid birth complications
  • Significantly more likely to initiate breastfeeding

A doula is a nonmedical professional who provides physical, emotional and informational support before, during and after childbirth. Doulas do not perform medical tasks or provide medical advice but focus on providing comfort and support throughout the birthing process. They do not have the training or authority to deliver babies or provide medical interventions.

A collaborative approach between midwives and doulas can help ensure that expectant mothers receive comprehensive prenatal care, personalized assistance throughout labor and delivery, and ongoing support during the postpartum period.

Nurse midwifery qualifications

Certified nurse midwives are accredited by the American Midwifery Certification Board and promote women’s health through their expertise in maternity and obstetric care. Through a team of certified nurse midwives, a hospital midwifery practice can lead to improved maternal health outcomes. These can include lower rates of interventions, such as cesarean sections, and higher patient satisfaction levels through focusing on individualized patient care, promoting natural childbirth options when appropriate, and providing patient education, resources and support.

As nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives have advanced education and clinical training that allow them to provide a wide range of health care services, including primary care, gynecological exams, family planning, prenatal care, labor and delivery assistance, and postpartum care.

Qualifications of a certified nurse midwife typically include:

1. A bachelor’s degree in nursing
2. Licensure as a registered nurse
3. Graduation from a nurse midwifery program accredited by the American College of Nurse-Midwives
4. Certification by the American Midwifery Certification Board
5. Advanced practice nursing licensure
6. Clinical training in midwifery care, labor and delivery, and women’s health
7. Continuing education to maintain certification and licensure

Improving access to care 

This new midwifery program not only provides additional benefits for our patients but also aligns with our goal to improve access to quality prenatal and postpartum care. We are excited to promote this program at Norton Hospital to all health care providers.

The role of providers

While there is no need for an Epic referral for patients to access our nurse midwife service, we encourage all providers to refer patients to our obstetric services, where patients can access care from our team of OB/GYNs, midwives and doulas.

We look forward to serving our community with these enhanced services and making a positive impact on maternal and infant health outcomes at Norton Healthcare.

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