“With woman” is the literal meaning of the word midwife.
That’s exactly how Katie Van Dreese, a certified nurse midwife with Marshfield Clinic Health System, describes her role.
“We provide constant labor support so women feel confident in making choices about their birth. Water birth? Epidural? Natural? We guide you, but you make the decisions. It’s your birth experience,” Van Dreese said.
Midwifery experience and teamwork
Midwives with Marshfield Clinic Health System are certified nurse midwives. In other words, they are registered nurses with a master’s or doctoral degree in nursing, and certification in midwifery.
Van Dreese is on a team of six midwives with more than 87 years of experience that has been a part of the Health System for more than 30 years. In that time, the team has delivered nearly 9,000 babies.
While the national C-section rate is near 30 percent, the midwifery team has a rate of just 10-12 percent.
We’re a giant family, and I think our patients feel the same. Some are here for their first baby. Others are having their sixth or seventh child with us,” Van Dreese said.
Certified nurse midwives work closely with obstetricians and gynecologists. Each midwife can provide full well-woman gynecological care.
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Learn more about midwifery and the care a certified nurse midwife can provide.
Editor’s note (Jan. 2019): Marshfield Clinic Health System midwives now deliver at Marshfield Medical Center-Eau Claire and Marshfield Medical Center in Marshfield.