Recently I had the opportunity to interview certified-nurse midwife, Elizabeth Stein, CNM, MSN, MPH. Elizabeth practices in New York and has experience with high-risk populations. Visit her at her website: Ask Your Midwife.
1. Please tell me a little bit about your services as a midwife:
My private practice provides obstetrical care, which includes prenatal care, labor and delivery, postpartum and breast feeding. After delivery, women are seen 6 weeks postpartum. Alternatively, women who had a cesarean delivery are seen for an incision site check at 10-14 days post partum and once again at 6 weeks.
GYN care includes an annual GYN exam, which includes a Pap smear, STD testing and treatment, breast exam, urine test and blood work. I also address common GYN complaints, such as family planning/birth control, basic infertility, and pre/ postmenopausal care. I provide primary care and stress the importance of being proactive.
2. How long have you practiced?
I have been a certified nurse midwife 25 years and have delivered more than 2600 babies.
3. What inspired you to become a CNM?
I was an EMT before I was a nurse. On one occasion, I was working in the emergency room when the director told me to go upstairs to L & D to learn how to do a delivery, since that would be helpful while working in the ER. The female doctor I worked with was so beautiful, calm and relaxed, yet very attentive. She calmly and gently delivered the baby. Instantly, I knew this was what I should be doing!
4. What are the top questions you are asked by expectant mothers?
Is my baby ok? Is it a girl or boy? Where will I deliver? When can I have a sonogram? When is my next appointment? How much weight should I gain? Do I have to take prenatal vitamins? How will I know if the water breaks? How will I know when labor starts?
5. What are your thoughts on current bioethical issues in maternity care? (particularly elective cesarean section)
Elective cesarean delivery (maternal request) TOL/VBAC (trial of labor-vaginal birth after cesarean) versus repeat cesarean delivery Home births Circumcisions Cord blood collection (fetal stem cells) Chorionic villus sampling (CVS) and amniocentesis Oocyte and embryo storage (prepregnancy)
6. Any tips for women planning a natural hospital birth?
The hardest yet most rewarding day of your life! Natural means vaginal versus abdominal (surgical).
Baby’s going to come, when the baby’s going to come (doesn’t read the sonogram report or prenatal chart). Baby is in charge. Stay home as long as possible (exceptions: rupture of membranes, group b strep positive, vaginal bleeding, other medical or obstetrical reason to come right in) Your birth plan is a wish list, not a guarantee! Don’t start labor exhausted! Rest! Eat and drink (you may vomit later) Know who will deliver you Know when to go to labor and delivery Beware of unrealistic expectations. Go with the flow of your body. Be flexible and open minded. Know how you may labor…..in bed, on the ball, walking, on the fetal monitor, in the shower You may have to bail out……and have a cesarean delivery….it’s not a failure, just another route of delivery It’s your baby……everyone wants the baby in the first 5 minutes! Bonding is ongoing and forever Breast feeding is not as easy as it sounds but everyone will help you Nobody is judging you! Once you are a mom, you wear the badge MOM.
Whatever pregnancy and birth experiences it took to make you MOM should remain a memory and should not haunt you.
Enjoy your baby!
Thank you for sharing your expertise with my readers, Elizabeth!