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Midwifery Services

I am very proud to offer my patients a new birthing opportunity! In 2013 and for the first time ever, John Muir Medical Center began allowing well-trained and certified nurse midwives the ability to deliver low-risk patients on their Labor & Delivery unit. Although commonplace at other hospitals in the Bay Area, this unprecedented move finally placed John Muir on the cutting edge in providing a comprehensive spectrum of birthing options for women.

In response to survey results from my patients, where over two thirds expressed interest in a midwife option, I began the arduous task of presenting data to John Muir’s Obstetrical Department, Interdisciplinary Committee, Medical Executive Committee, and finally the Board of Directors. Their response has been overwhelmingly supportive, and approval on all levels was swift. This nine-month journey allowed for the addition of Sonya Jubb, CNM to my team! Sonya has been working in my office for the last few years, delivering hundreds of babies! Because of such positive feedback, I have more recently brought on Amanda Machette, CNM to expand our office’s birthing options. Their reputations in the community have grown tremendously, and patients have come to appreciate their wise advice for moms during their pregnancy and expert and compassionate care during delivery.

The questions many patients will be asking depend on their desires for childbirth. First, why bring on a midwife, and not another doctor? My response is simple: to offer my patients another alternative. I appreciate that patients like my style of practice and trust my judgment and skill. I am also sensitive that some patients may prefer a more low-intervention experience, and am humble enough to recognize that midwives like Sonya and Amanda have been specially trained to provide such an experience. Midwives also historically provide care to women in childbirth that is associated with lower incidences of cesarean sections and vacuum or forceps use.

Another question patients may ask is related to an age-old stereotype. The simple answer is no, midwives don’t just do homebirths. In fact, in the U.S. only 2% of midwives do them. Another 2% deliver in freestanding birthing centers. The remaining 96% of midwives deliver women in the hospital, under the supervision of Obstetricians, and within well-defined policies and procedures. So NO, WE DO NOT OFFER HOME BIRTHS. Although we recognize that some couples may choose this option, this is not something we feel comfortable with. At all.

In regard to the personal benefits of having Sonya or Amanda attending birth, think of them as the perfect combination of doula and obstetrician: a labor-support person who can also deliver. If a woman’s labor changes to a more complex situation requiring an obstetrician for operative delivery, she will continue to be able to provide support before, during and after delivery.

So as you consider what type of delivery would be best for you, let me explain how care is offered in my office. First, it is important to understand that Sonya and Amanda attend low-complexity births, and although they will be available many days to attend delivery, they may not be available every day. We will likely share in delivering women, and I will still be in my same call group, sharing call with my obstetrician partners. If I am on call, I will be the face you see for delivery. If I am not on call or am on vacation, then it may be me or Sonya or Amanda, depending on the day. If I am away or on vacation, and you prefer to be delivered by an MD, you can choose instead to be delivered by one of my obstetrician call partners. But my goal is, as it always has been, to have nearly all of my patients be delivered by a “familiar face.”

I am thrilled to have Sonya and Amanda on my team and hope you will enjoy all that they will be able to offer to make your birthing experience everything you hope it to be.

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