Midwifery Specialist

Board Certified OB/GYN in Tacoma, WA

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Midwifery services offered in Tacoma, WA

Pregnancy is a life-changing experience filled with a roller coaster of emotions. Midwifery is an area of health care that provides expecting mothers with the care and attention they need during their pregnancy. At Rainier OBGYN in Tacoma, Washington, Steven Maynard, MD, takes a patient-centered approach to women’s health and offers midwifery services for low-risk pregnancies. A holistic form of prenatal care, midwifery services make the perfect choice for expectant mothers who want a natural childbirth in Tacoma. To schedule your prenatal appointment with Gretchen Carleton, CNM, or Karin Peacock, LM, call the office today.

Midwifery Q & A

What is midwifery?

Midwifery is a health profession that provides complete pregnancy care for low-risk pregnancies. This includes prenatal care, labor and delivery, and postpartum care.

Rainier OBGYN is a premier obstetrics and gynecology practice empowering women to take control of their bodies. This includes midwifery services that help women have a natural birth — a vaginal birth using relaxation techniques to control pain during delivery.

When can I start midwifery?

You can start midwifery services at Rainier OBGYN about eight weeks after your last menstrual period (LMP), which helps the midwife determine an accurate due date.

At your first midwife prenatal care visit, Gretchen or Karin asks detailed questions about your medical history and runs blood work.  They also provides nutrition counseling for a healthy pregnancy.

At your second prenatal visit, Gretchen or Karin completes a thorough physical exam and explains the results of your blood work.  They then schedule your routine prenatal care visits.

What happens during midwifery prenatal visits?

The specifics of your prenatal midwifery visits at Rainier OBGYN depend on your pregnancy needs. Gretchen or Karin makes sure there’s plenty of time at each appointment to monitor:

  • Fetal movement
  • Fetal heartbeat
  • Abdominal growth (uterine growth)
  • Blood pressure

Gretchen or Karin also does a urinalysis to screen for urinary tract infections (UTI), gestational diabetes, and preeclampsia. They also talks to you about nutrition and exercise, your emotions and fears, and your social support.

Through her holistic approach, Gretchen and Karin identify and address all the areas that need extra attention and care to make sure you stay physically and emotionally healthy throughout your pregnancy.

At each visit, you learn something new about your pregnancy, childbirth, or newborn care.

What happens during labor and delivery with midwifery?

Midwifery labor monitoring and delivery happen at the hospital. Gretchen teaches you all the relaxation techniques well before you go into labor so that you’re ready. Gretchen encourages you to walk around and change positions while she and the hospital staff closely monitor you and your baby.

After birth, you hold the baby skin to skin for one hour. Gretchen and the staff assist you with nursing and ensure you and your baby adjust well. You go home 24-48 hours after childbirth and receive postpartum care from Gretchen, Karin  or Dr. Maynard.

Call Rainier OBGYN today or make a request online to schedule an appointment with the best midwifery in Tacoma.