Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Midwife?

A midwife is a registered nurse (RN) who has earned a master's degree. Promoting health, education and disease prevention, midwives deliver babies and provide routine reproductive healthcare for women. Midwives are expert in supporting the normal process of childbirth. They spend a great deal of time educating and empowering their patients to make good decisions about their health and well being. While normal health aspects are the priority, they are well trained to recognize abnormal conditions and work with our doctors to provide the best outcomes for all patients.

How will my pregnancy and labor differ if I choose a midwife versus a physician?

Nurse midwives believe in the natural process of pregnancy, labor and birth. This means providing less intervention when it is safe and appropriate, and assisting a woman and her family in having the birth of their choice. The goal is to be an advocate for the mother and baby, and guard their safety. Nurse midwives tend to be more present during the labor process and spend more time with patients during both prenatal visits and labor.

How will the midwife help me manage my pain in labor?

As a patient of the nurse midwives, you will have all pain management options available to you. Midwives are well versed in the use of epidurals, intravenous pain medication as well as non-medical pain management. They will discuss alternatives with you during your prenatal visits and throughout your labor.

What happens if there is an emergency?

Our midwives work in close collaboration with our physicians. If a complication arises, the midwives consult with the physician who then becomes involved with your care. This holds true during your prenatal care as well. A doctor is always immediately available should the need develop for an emergency Cesarean section.

Susquehanna OB/GYN midwives are trained to "first-assist" in these surgeries. This means that if you were to need a Cesarean delivery, your nurse midwife would remain involved in your care.

After I deliver my baby, can I still see a midwife for my routine care?

Of course! A nurse midwife's training includes the routine reproductive healthcare of women beyond childbearing. In fact, the word "mid-wife" comes from an Old English word meaning "with women." Our midwives can remain with you for all your reproductive healthcare needs, from puberty through menopause.

What is a Nurse Practitioner and what can they do?

A nurse practitioner (NP) is a registered nurse who has completed a master's degree and provides primary health care. Nurse practitioners take health histories and conduct complete physical examinations, order tests and interpret laboratory results, prescribe treatments and medications, and offer education and supportive counseling with an emphasis on prevention and health maintenance.

Susquehanna OB/GYN nurse practitioners see women for yearly routine visits and for various medical problems. The patients of our nurse practitioners have the particular advantage enjoying the personalized care of an NP along with experienced doctors immediately available for help and advice as needed. Because of physician availability, nurse practitioners are able to see patients with more complicated issues on short notice, consulting with a doctor as needed.

For more information on women’s health care and related topics, visit our Patient Education resource center.