Personalized Prenatal Care
Women’s Healthcare of Illinois provides longer than typical visits with nurse midwives who provide evidence based, individualized, family-centered care. Education is a key foundation in our care. We discuss individual preferences and tailor care to fit your needs resulting in better birth outcomes.
Midwife means “with women” and that’s what our Certified Nurse Midwives are! We will be with you throughout your labor. We support physiologic birth. We provide hands on labor support. We support women who choose unmedicated birth as well as those who choose medication for pain relief. We provide emotional support to you and your support team throughout labor and birth. We also support you during the crucial immediate postpartum period to ensure your transition is as successful as possible.
Adolescents and Young Women
We provide excellent care for young women who are just beginning their gynecologic care. We provide a supportive, nurturing, educational environment that is a safe space to discuss concerns about all aspects of a women’s physical, emotional, and sexual health including: menstrual cycles, sexual health, choosing to become sexually active, respectful and safe relationships, birth control, exercise, nutrition, body image, substance use/abuse. We are up to date on current guidelines and many younger women find they don’t need a pelvic exam or pap smear when they begin their care.
Birth Control and Sexual Health
We provide care to women of all ages, races, ethnicities, and sexual orientations. We provide a safe space to discuss sex and can give insight on maintaining healthy sexual relationships. We also provide education of safer sex and sexually transmitted infection prevention. We can discuss birth control options, prescribe medications, and insert long acting reversible methods of contraception. We can discuss family planning and fertility preservation as well.
We provide annual preventative age appropriate health screenings. These may include cervical cancer screenings (pap smears), endometrial cancer screenings, colon rectal cancer screenings, and breast cancer screenings. We also can discuss any concerns you may have regarding hereditary cancer screenings. We offer in office laboratory services as well for any necessary blood work.
Perimenopause and Menopausal Care
We are comfortable discussing changes that women experience as they age. We can discuss everything from heavy menses to urinary incontinence to vaginal dryness. We can ease transitions and prescribe medications as needed to make sure life continues to be full and enjoyable.
Doulas and Midwives
Doula is a greek word meaning a woman’s servant. They are a pregnant woman’s support person. They provide emotional support and can act as an advocate in the healthcare system. Their role is to help you feel safe and empowered. Often, they help with breathing techniques, massage, and positions that may increase comfort or help speed up the labor process. Doulas can help whether you plan an unmedicated birth, plan to use and epidural, or even in the event of a c-section.
Midwives on the other hand are well educated medical professionals who have passed a national certification exam and are licensed by the state they practice in. CNMs care for low risk women independently. They may collaboratively manage women with more medically complex cases with the physicians. In instances that require surgical intervention or that are beyond their scope, they will transfer care to the physician but remain involved in supporting the woman and her family.
Midwifery Frequently Asked Questions
Why Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM)?
A certified nurse midwife is a registered nurse with a minimum of a master’s degree from an accredited university and who has passed a national board certification exam. Certified nurse midwives are considered “Advanced Practice Nurses” and are legally recognized nationwide.
- Midwives believe that pregnancy and birth are normal events, typically occurring without major medical complications.
- Midwives seek to actively engage women in playing an active role in their own care, emphasizing preventive medicine and holistic healthcare. Interventions around childbirth are used judiciously.
- Nurse-midwives always work in collaboration with OB/GYN physicians in case a woman or baby develops a complication beyond the midwife’s expertise.
What are the Benefits of Midwifery Care?
- Equal or better outcomes for women and babies compared to traditional care
- 19 percent lower risk of infant death during delivery*
- 33 percent lower risk of infant death in the first month of life
- Decreased incidence of low-birth-weight babies
- 50 percent less likely to require a cesarean section
- More likely to deliver vaginally after a cesarean section