Providence midwives offer more than pregnancy support


In this article:

  • Providence certified nurse-midwives are a group of professionals who specialize in providing exceptional care before, during and after childbirth.

  • At Providence Regional Medical Center, all midwives are nurse practitioners, who also provide women’s health services for other health care needs.

  • One patient explains why she chose to go with Providence midwives for the birth of her two, soon-to-be-three, children.

Sarah Bernard knows what it’s like to give birth at Providence. She has delivered two babies here, with a third on the way. Each time, she comes back to the Providence midwifery approach to care.

It started with her son Nolan, who’s now 3.5 years old. About halfway through her pregnancy with Nolan, Sarah discovered he had a condition called fibular hemimelia. That meant he’d be born without his fibular bone (one of the long bones in the leg).

“I was really nervous when it came to delivering him,” Sarah remembers. “But [Sarah Flay, CNM, ARNP], the midwife, just made everything so easy. She has become more of a friend than a midwife.”

What is a midwife?

Midwives have been around for centuries.

“‘Midwife’ means ‘to be with women,’” explains Olivia Eisner, CNM, ARNP, Providence Regional Medical Center. “And that’s what we are. We usher women through their pregnancies and deliveries.”

Providence certified nurse-midwives are a group of professionals who care for patients safely all the way through the pregnancy process. In Everett, Wash., all midwives are nurse practitioners, meaning they became nurses and then got a graduate degree in midwifery. So, they specialize in providing exceptional care before, during and after childbirth.

Benefits of midwifery go beyond birth

With midwifery, patients receive all the benefits of a hospital and the safety it provides if things become high risk during pregnancy and delivery – but with the personalized touch of a midwife.

“I loved that Providence has a team of midwives at a hospital,” says Sarah. “If something went wrong, the process to try to get to the hospital scared me. So, this was just perfect.”

Our midwives work with obstetricians (OBs) and support staff to ensure the best, safest care possible. At Providence Regional Medical Center, the C-section rate for midwives is between 7–8%, which is low and great for mothers and babies. Nationally, the rate is still over 30%.

What’s unique to midwifery care is how much attention patients get during each visit. Most patients even create a birth plan with their midwife. And while midwives are there for labor and delivery, their care doesn’t stop after a baby is born.

“People think that we just do pregnancy and deliveries and that’s where our scope ends,” says Olivia. “But actually, we provide a full scope of women’s health care across the lifespan – when women seek out care in their early teens all the way to menopause and beyond.”

A team approach to women’s health

At Providence, our midwives are all about creating connections, so patients have a sustained relationship with their women’s health provider. There’s a level of commitment and dedication, and even fun.

“I do feel like she cares about not just me and not just my baby, but my entire family,” says Sarah. “It’s been huge to have that emotional and physical support.”

Contributing Caregivers

Olivia Eisner, CNM, ARNP, serves as a midwife at Providence Women’s Health Clinic in Washington.  

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Related resources

Healthy mom, healthy baby: Supporting new moms and babies on their breastfeeding journey

World-class birth experience for mom and baby

5 myths about midwives—busted!

Midwives and doulas working together to create your birth dream team

This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your health care professional’s instructions.

About the Author

The Providence Women's Health team is committed to providing useful and actionable insights, tips and advice to ensure women of all types can live their healthiest lives.

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