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Healthy You

Midwifery Services Give You Personalized Options

Friday, April 01, 2022 12:35 PM

By Susan J. White

Kelsey Schultz learned she was pregnant with her first child in early 2020, just as the world was slipping into the chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on a friend’s recommendation, Schultz switched her care to a NorthShore OB/GYN team at Highland Park Hospital with Edward Lee, MD, who let her know the practice included the opportunity to work with a midwife.

Desiring a natural birth, the 32-year-old Schultz of Libertyville took advantage of the added option at NorthShore and quickly formed a bond with Certified Nurse Midwife Donna Warder.

Kelsey Schultz and son

“From the first time I met with Donna, she was great! She walked me through all my choices and really took time to get to know me,” recalled Schultz, who was unable to bring her husband to appointments due to COVID-19 visitor restrictions at the time. “I didn’t even know what questions to ask, but Donna made me feel very comfortable—even when I ended up going a week past my due date,” added Schultz.

She delivered a healthy baby boy named Lee on Dec. 6, 2020, with Warder at her side for the entire delivery. “Donna did a great job coaching me through and helping my husband as well. It was as good a birthing experience as I could have possibly had. The nurses and everyone at the hospital were really wonderful.”

Warder, who previously worked as a nurse practitioner, said she was drawn to caring for women throughout all the unique stages of life, including gynecologic care beyond pregnancy and delivery. “I talk to women about their hopes for labor and delivery, as everybody’s goals are different,” said Warder. “We offer very personalized care and support their choices.”

She also corrected some common misconceptions about working with a midwife. For instance, clarifying that women can still have an epidural, and they have all the same options and access to advanced care offered at Highland Park Hospital. Warder stressed that she is part of an interdisciplinary team, and the midwives working conjunction with physicians in the practice.

“Working on the same team with our physicians is a unique model. We can co-manage their labor. Women who may not have chosen midwifery care in the past now have the option to see a midwife in collaboration with the physician partners,” said Warder.

“Interdisciplinary care has been proven to boost outcomes, increase patient satisfaction and reduce errors.” NorthShore Obstetrics and Gynecology Chairman Dr. Richard Silver and Certified Nurse Midwife Donna Warder. “Midwifery helps us offer a high level of attentiveness and high-touch care as part of our fully integrated team,” said Richard Silver, MD, The Auxiliary of NorthShore Chair of Obstetrics/Gynecology. “It’s an important specialty that expands our portfolio of providers meeting women’s lifelong healthcare needs.”

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