Skip to main content

Midwifery

Midwife Richmond Virginia

We understand what a special time pregnancy is. At Chippenham Hospital, we offer and encourage you to choose the delivery path that best suits your needs. If you decide using a midwife is right for you, we’ll help connect you with a midwife.

Your Care Plan

One of the most important people during your pregnancy will be your healthcare provider. Below are a few questions to consider when deciding between midwifery and traditional care.

  • Is a vaginal birth a priority for you?
  • Do you want maximum time with your provider during labor?
  • Are you interested in natural or medical pain management during labor?
  • Are long prenatal appointments important to you?
  • Is your pregnancy not considered high-risk?

If you answered yes to these questions, then your instincts may be pointing you toward midwifery care. Midwives often spend more time with their patients during appointments, counseling them on nutrition and parenting techniques, preparing for breastfeeding, and other areas of concern.

Many midwife patients use traditional medical pain management such as an epidural during labor, but midwives also encourage natural methods of pain management, such as breathing techniques, showers, hydrotherapy, and massage.

Your Pregnancy, Your Baby

At Chippenham Hospital, we look forward to partnering with you in developing your birth plan, choosing a provider, and understanding all of the modern amenities and options available to you as you bring new life into the world, even if you are a seasoned pro at motherhood. We welcome doula care, and know that a strongly supported mother is the best foundation for new life.

What is a Midwife?

We partner with Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM) Ashlie Buell and Jennifer Walker to bring you holistic, mom-and-baby centered care. According to the American College of Nurse-Midwives, CNMs are registered nurses with graduate education in midwifery. They have graduated from a nurse-midwifery education program accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME). This education includes a university degree as well as hands-on clinical training by practicing CNMs. They also have passed the national certification exam of the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB).

Midwifery care at Chippenham Hospital includes:

  • Hydrotherapy with labor and birthing tubs
  • Immediate skin-to-skin contact for mother and baby
  • Family-centered model of care with postpartum rooming-in
  • On-site lactation support
  • Centering Pregnancy

CNMs provide general women’s health care throughout a woman’s lifespan. These services include general health check-ups and physical exams; pregnancy, birth, and postpartum care; well woman gynecologic care; and treatment of sexually transmitted infections. CNMs are able to prescribe a full range of substances, medications and treatments, including pain control medications.

What is the difference between a Midwife and an Obstetrician?

The differences between midwives and obstetricians (commonly referred to as “Ob/Gyn”) are many, but both types of providers are completely focused on the health of you and your baby, and both want the very best experience and outcomes for you.

Ob/Gyn providers have generally completed four years of medical school beyond an undergraduate degree, a four-year residency during which they hone and practice their skills, and for many, a fellowship period during which time they hyper-specialize in a certain area of women's health such as fertility or maternal-fetal medicine.

Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs) are also highly trained and require Registered Nursing (RN) degree, as well as a multi-year master's degree program in midwifery. The majority of midwives also possess bachelor's degrees.

Midwife expertise is focused around normal, healthy pregnancies.

The saying “low tech, high touch” is often used with regard to midwifery, and the midwives who practice at Chippenham Hospital are no different. They are focused on delivering the most comfortable and supportive birth environment possible for mothers, their partners, and their new babies. Our midwives also play an integral part in our Centering Pregnancy® group prenatal care program, during which women experience care in a group setting, able to learn from each other and share in the experience of pregnancy together.