Lewistown, Mifflin County, Pa. - The closing of a maternity ward in a local hospital last year, left some women looking for a new place to have their babies. Since J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital shut down its labor and delivery services women have to leave Huntingdon County to give birth.
But now Geisinger Lewistown Hospital says it can offer these expectant moms a unique, more natural birth experience.
"He was seven pounds 10-and-a-half ounces and he was 21 and a fourth inches long, Trisha Graybill says proudly of her day-old son Blake. She says so far, he's been nursing well and he's been very content.
She's a content second-time mother at the Family Place Geisinger Lewistown's maternity unit.
Trisha gave birth with a physician on-hand, but the hospital says many women come here specifically for its midwifery program.
"A lot of women, especially those who would like a natural birth, come to us, and even those who may not want a natural birth are open to an epidural, also come to us because they appreciate that midwifery care often provides, more time for women during laboring," says nurse midwife Amy Wan.
She adds that while the medical model to birth approaches pregnancy as almost an illness state, midwifery follows a different path.
Wan explains, "We actually focus on their normalcy of pregnancy. We focus on what the woman is able to do naturally and we emphasize that and we help women to feel empowered by what their bodies can do on their own."
At Geisinger Lewistown, wan says nurse midwives consult and co-manage higher risk cases with obstetricians,
Geisinger expanded its midwifery services to its Cold Springs Clinic in Huntingdon and plans to open another location in Mount Union on January 15.