Pekin Hospital Welcomes New Midwives

Pekin Hospital Welcomes New Midwives

To some, midwives might seem like a thing of the past, but Pekin Hospital is bringing that kind of care back for women who want an alternative childbirth experience.
PEKIN - To some, midwives might seem like a thing of the past, but Pekin Hospital is bringing that kind of care back for women who want an alternative childbirth experience.

"We’ll listen to the baby's heartbeat," said Janey Hitch as she performed a routine checkup on a patient. "Nice and regular and strong," she said.

Hitch is part of a renewed look at childbirth. She is one of two new nurse midwives in Pekin Hospital’s medical group.

"The midwifery model of care is growing," she said.

Natalie Wipert is the other nurse midwife.

"There’s a lot of evidence out there that shows that direct support helps speed labor and make the labor easier on the woman," Wipert said.

The pair is part of the hospital's effort to appeal to the many women who want to get away from the hospital feel, like soon-to-be mother, Meagan Lindsey.

"I would really like to labor in a birthing tub and try not to have an epidural and I know the midwives are very supportive of that so I’m trying to go as much that route as I can," Lindsey said.

Wipert said midwives try not to intervene unless something is wrong.

"We like to do intermittent monitoring so we interrupt the labor process as little as possible."

Unlike most doctors, Hitch and Wipert schedule hour-long appointments before the baby comes. They're trying to form relationships with the women they'll be next to on delivery day.

"We want to know the status of a woman's heart so that when she's doing the hard work of labor and birth that she has a skillful trusted guide for that experience," Hitch said.

"It lets us serve their needs by providing the care that maybe went unspoken before," Wipert said.

Their passion for midwifery isn't the only thing connecting the two. Wipert and Hitch both earned their graduate degrees from the same university at the same time and say they're excited to have ended up at the same practice in Pekin.
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