Midwife Services

Certified nurse-midwives can care for most healthy women who have complication-free or low-risk pregnancies. Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) midwives are highly educated professionals who can care for you before, during and after pregnancy.

Midwives work in a team with our obstetricians with an emphasis on delivering emotional and social support to you during labor and delivery. They spend time with you during pregnancy, helping prepare you for the work of labor, delivery and caring for a newborn.

Midwives have received comprehensive training to care for women during pregnancy. Also, they pass a national exam to certify they have the knowledge to deliver pregnancy care to patients.

If a problem arises in pregnancy, our maternal fetal medicine specialists are high-risk pregnancy providers who take over for midwives and obstetricians to care for complicated pregnancies.

Services provided by a midwife

A certified nurse-midwife (CNM) is a medical practitioner whose education prepares them to care for a woman’s health needs throughout her lifetime. Midwives specially focus on prenatal care, labor, and postpartum care.

Midwifery care is about each patient’s individual needs using a high touch, low intervention approach.  Our midwives work in a team with LVHN obstetricians. In this way, patients experience both a holistic approach during labor along with the best medical expertise.

Midwives’ knowledge and skills qualify them to support patients during labor. Our midwives can safely do low-risk vaginal deliveries, too. Midwives particularly care for patients planning a birth without medication or just with IV (intravenous) sedation. They also take care of a labor epidural for pain management. Midwives’ holistic or whole person approach to pregnancy and birth focuses on the psychological and emotional needs of women. They also provide breastfeeding support and postpartum care to help patients have the best recovery possible. 

As part of the pregnancy care team, a midwife also offers advice related to:

Pregnancy nutrition

Along with your personal nurse liaison, they’ll help you develop a well-balanced eating plan that delivers the right nutrition to you and your developing baby. They also will discuss the importance of prenatal vitamins, especially folic acid supplements.

Exercise

Your midwife can help you adapt your current exercise plan to pregnancy. If you don’t currently exercise, they’ll help you understand what exercises work well with pregnancy, and why it is important to stay active and fit.

Birth plans

You can choose what level of intervention and pain relief you’d like for your childbirth experience. Your pregnancy care team of obstetric physicians and midwives will help you with the safest birth plan tailored just for you.

Breastfeeding

Along with your personal nurse liaison, they’ll help you understand the importance of breast milk and support you in the initial stages of breastfeeding.