Today, many women in the U.S. are choosing a midwife to attend the birth of their baby.
To meet these increasing requests for midwifery care, The Woman’s Center at Bon Secours St. Francis Medical Center offers a team of certified nurse midwives to support women throughout their entire pregnancy and childbirth. The midwifery program at Bon Secours St. Francis has been in existence since the hospital’s founding in 2005.
A unique feature of midwifery at Bon Secours St. Francis is the Centering Pregnancy program, which celebrates a woman’s unique pregnancy experience while also helping her to engage with a community of women who have similar due dates. Each two-hour Centering Pregnancy session, led by the midwives and held at routine prenatal care intervals, is dedicated to a particular topic such as nutrition, stress management or lactation, among other topics related to prenatal and infant care.
Mothers get additional time and attention in a group setting. Women in the Centering Pregnancy program attend 9-10, two-hour group sessions that integrate health assessments, education and group support.
“Our mothers in this program form strong bonds that last long after childbirth,” said Kathryn Beaton, CNM, Certified Nurse Midwife, Bon Secours Richmond OB Midwives at St. Francis Medical Center. “They stay connected so that they can give each other advice and encouragement as their children grow. It’s very empowering for women to gain confidence and to take such an active role in health care for themselves and their babies.”
Through this experience women take the first step in what it means to be in charge of their health care, being in charge of their body, and develop a plan for their labor, birth, and even motherhood.