Are you a certified nurse-midwife (CNM) with a passion for women’s health and providing exceptional care during the childbirth journey? If so, you’ll fit right in with the dynamic midwives at Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN). Keep reading to learn from Tina Felten, CNM, DNP, Sherilyn Gibbs, CNM, DNP, and Honi Trauger, CNM, MS, about the world of midwifery at LVHN.
‘It’s a Calling’ – Calling All Certified Nurse-Midwives!
Nurse-midwives are valued members of our women’s health and labor and delivery teams
Gibbs’ journey into midwifery began at a remarkably young age. At just 12 years old, she found herself captivated by the magic of birth. This fascination with birth planted the seeds of her future career. After Gibbs shadowed a midwife at 17, she solidified her determination to become a midwife.
Felten, on the other hand, always had a passion for women’s health and discovered her calling as a midwife by chance following 9/11 when she decided to join the navy. While serving as a Navy nurse, she transitioned from Med/Surg to labor and delivery, which deepened her connection to women’s health and desire to help women during such an important part of their lives. Today, Felten sees midwifery as a combination of traditional obstetric care that has evolved over the years. “It’s not just about delivering babies,” she says. “It’s about offering care to the community with the safety and support of a hospital.”
Trauger, another valued member of our midwifery team, was inspired to become a midwife after her own experiences with fertility treatment. Fueled by her determination to provide women with a personalized experience, she pursued a second bachelor’s degree and then a master’s degree to achieve her goal of becoming a midwife.
Patient-centered care is at the heart of all we do
Felten shared a powerful experience during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the challenges of connecting with patients behind masks, she had a moment that reaffirmed her love for midwifery. She described a situation in which a patient arrived alone and scared, but through Felten’s compassionate care, she provided the support needed to empower the patient to give birth confidently. This experience exemplifies the impact midwives can have on the emotional well-being of their patients.
For Trauger, the most rewarding aspect of midwifery is the opportunity to provide full-scope care. Building relationships with expectant mothers throughout their entire pregnancy and witnessing their journeys from vulnerability to empowerment are deeply fulfilling. Midwives such as Trauger and Gibbs play a pivotal role in guiding and supporting women through one of the most significant moments of their lives.
By putting the patient first, CNMs at LVHN have the opportunity to work closely with patients and their families, providing individualized care tailored to each unique situation. Gibbs shared, “We believe in empowering our patients and respecting their choices. Our goal is to support them in their childbirth journey, whether they choose a natural birth or if they opt for medical interventions like epidurals. We’re here to guide and provide care that aligns with their preferences.”
Continual learning is the goal
LVHN is committed to the professional growth and development of its midwives. Gibbs appreciates opportunities to attend conferences, take courses and engage in research projects.
Midwives at LVHN are empowered to be leaders and to share their perspective. For example, Felten led the creation of the Women Adjusting to Various Emotional States (WAVES) program, which focuses on improving mental health screening and services for women. Also, the Centering Pregnancy program is designed to provide prenatal care in a group setting. This innovative approach emphasizes education, patient empowerment and a shared experience among expectant mothers.
A calling, not just a job
Felten, Gibbs and Trauger all emphasized that being a midwife is not just a job; it’s a calling. The emotional demands of midwifery are balanced by the deep satisfaction that comes from fulfilling a lifelong passion. Gibbs mentioned she would do this work even if she weren’t paid because it’s her calling.
For aspiring midwives, the advice is clear: find a supportive practice, embrace flexibility, seek new knowledge and build strong relationships with colleagues. LVHN offers a supportive environment that encourages midwives to explore their passions and contribute to the community’s well-being.
If you’re a passionate CNM looking to make a meaningful impact and be part of a team that values patient-centered care, professional growth and collaboration, we invite you to explore career opportunities at LVHN. Join us in shaping the future of midwifery and maternal care.
At LVHN, it’s not just a career; it’s a calling. Become part of our compassionate team today.