Sunday, October 2nd through Saturday October 10th is National Nurse Midwifery week. Nurse midwives have offered women’s health care through Titus Regional Medical Center since 1997 when the Community Women’s Clinic hired Martha Deming, Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) to provide services. Deming, who began working as a nurse at TRMC twenty-nine years ago and currently provides care through Northeast Texas Women’s Health, says that when she was a staff nurse in Labor and Delivery, she helped many women give birth. And now, some of those babies are coming to her for care in their pregnancies. She adds that she also enjoys providing care for women with gynecologic needs. Deming points out that often women don’t realize that a midwife can care for their health throughout the lifespan. “I see women for everything from their first gynecologic visit through the menopausal years,” said Deming.
Karen Watt CNM, who moved to this area almost five years ago to “catch babies,” as she says, through the Community Women’s Clinic, has welcomed over 1,590 new lives during her career. She says, “I love my work and feel blessed to be involved in such an intimate event in a family’s life.” She also enjoys “admiring the children when they accompany their mothers for mom’s gynecologic exam.”
These two CNMs deliver 27% of the all the babies born at TRMC, and 37% of the vaginal births. Because midwives contribute to successful vaginal birth, TRMC’s primary cesarean rate is 14%. This is excellent, and far below the national average of almost 25%, a statistic which has caused concern in the health care community. Currently nation-wide, CNMs and CMs attended nearly 12% of all vaginal births in the US, an increase of about 33% in the past ten years.
Women choose nurse midwives because of the safe, satisfying, cost effective care they provide. One of the mottos of the American College of Nurse Midwives is “Listen to Women” and the TRMC midwives strive to do that. People often express surprise that midwives are “still around.” Certainly the profession has changed since Biblical times, but it still includes a healthy respect for the normalcy of pregnancy and birth and dedication to improving the health and well-being of women at all of life’s stages.
Both midwives agree that they enjoy their work and are also thankful for Dr. Christopher Mason and Dr. Melissa Slovak-Tucker, their supportive physician consultants.