MemorialCare Saddleback Medical Center Announces Midwifery Program to Bring a More Holistic Approach to and Enhanced Birthing Experience

Midwifery Program expansion will launch in February 2024 to help fill the gap for expectant women in Irvine and south Orange County

LAGUNA HILLS, Calif., Dec. 15, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — A growing number of women in pre-conception planning, or who are newly expecting are looking for a more holistic approach to their family planning and birthing experience. To meet the growing need of the community, MemorialCare is expanding its Midwifery Program to give Irvine and south Orange County residents expanded access to certified midwives’ programs beginning February 2024.

“This partnership will provide a dedicated midwifery team for our families who desire the option of midwifery obstetrical care,” says Christine Huff, MSN-INF, RNC-OB, director, Women’s and Children’s Services, MemorialCare Saddleback Medical Center. “Given our years of experience collaborating with midwives, we understand and support the benefits of having a midwife as part of the birthing team; having the midwife option supported by 24/7 in-house board-certified OB/GYNs readily available to assist with any unexpected complications, is the best of both worlds.”

The midwifery philosophy of care includes prenatal education and counseling, which enables women to make informed choices for their best birth experience, and the autonomy to decide what choice they feel is natural.

Midwives can be the sole provider for healthy women with uncomplicated pregnancies before, during and after giving birth. They offer mothers a holistic approach during the childbirth process, support natural childbirth techniques, provide guidance and support during all phases of the birthing process, including assistance in finding a position of comfort during labor and delivery.

Certified nurse midwives are educated in two disciplines: midwifery and nursing. To receive the professional designation of certified nurse midwives, they must earn graduate degrees, complete a midwifery education program accredited by the Accreditation Commission for the Midwifery Education (ACME), and pass a national certification examination administered by the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB). Because of the specialized training certified nurse midwives receive, they are considered advanced practice registered nurses who provide care prenatally during active labor, birth, and postpartum.

“Nurses who specialize in midwifery help provide a safe and empowering birth experience by focusing on the health of the mother and child during pregnancy, help the mother to make a birth plan, and offer individualized advice to each woman,” says Rachael Lopez, M.D., OB/GYN, Saddleback Medical Center Women’s & Children’s Services OB/GYN Chief. “During childbirth, midwives monitor labor progress, assess maternal and fetal well-being, offer pain management techniques, and provide postpartum care to both the mother and baby.”

This program provides continuity of care and is beneficial for future patients through access to the same medical record system, partnerships in clinical excellence, and all MemorialCare clinicians follow the same best practice guidelines.

Saddleback Medical Center is completing the renovation of their Labor-Delivery-Recovery-Postpartum (LDRP) Suites, which supports the holistic approach to care with some of the suites having birthing tubs. In addition, Saddleback Medical Center is home to a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Obstetric Emergency Department (OB ED), to ensure the best possible outcomes.

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SOURCE MemorialCare

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