JOHNSTOWN, CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ Plus) — This week is National Midwife week, a job that many are unaware of.
Certified Nurse Midwife, Megan Percinsky, says their job helps women throughout their life.
“We do care ranging from adolescent care, birth control, S.T.D prevention and treatment the whole way through the first pregnancy visit to where the woman goes through the delivery. We even touch on later in life care such as menopause. It’s pretty encompassing.”
Taking the route of using a midwife is very different than using a traditional physician.
“I’m going to tell you what I recommend and I’m going to explain to you a hundred other reasons why it is the recommendation but ultimately the patient is the boss.”
Nursing midwives also focus on relationship building and decision making with their patients.
“Tons of support both physical as well as emotional support during labor and that’s huge.”
Percinsky says there are a lot of misconceptions about midwives.
“We basically get our education from pamphlets and brochures and deliver babies in a barn. That is absolutely not what we do.”
Another misconception is that midwives are helping give birth by themselves.
“We don’t do surgery by ourselves but we’re trained in nursing as well as midwifery so if there is a problem, we can address it and can get our backup onboard.”
Percinsky says using a midwife is covered by all insurance carriers.
“You get kind of the best of both worlds with a nurse-midwife because we’re trained in both nursing and midwifery. You have that dual focus melted together into one great thing.”
Using a midwife through the Conemaugh Health System also has lots of benefits. They have a 24-hour hotline after-hours that patients can use.
“When a patient isn’t sure if it’s labor or if they have other questions or concerns as simple as I’m pregnant what cold medicine can I take. They have access to that after-hours line so they can get a hold of one of us.”
Percinsky says midwives at Conemaugh deliver more than 150 babies a month and about half of those are in the hospital.
She says using a midwife isn’t for everyone, and that’s ok, but she encourages expecting families to try that route.
More information can be found by visiting their website.