Midwifery Week: Silverton Health midwives share their experience

October 2014 Posted in Your Health
Raelyn Shinn and her daughter visit with certified nurse midwives Nancy MacMorris-Adix.

Raelyn Shinn and her daughter visit with certified nurse midwives Nancy MacMorris-Adix.

By Kristine Thomas 

Stella’s birth wasn’t the same as Malachi’s, and Malachi’s wasn’t the same as Spencer’s, and Spencer’s wasn’t the same as Jayda’s.

But although each of her children arrived into the world in his or her own style, there was one constant – the care their mom, Raelyn Shinn, received during her pregnancy and labor.

“I had such a good experience,” she said, adding she was glad she chose a midwife to assist her with her children’s births.

“The midwives are there for the moms,” Shinn said. “They are the advocates for the moms to have a healthy baby.”

After having her first child, Stella, now 8, Shinn said she realized it didn’t matter what plan she had for the delivery, that she “didn’t have a lot of control” in what happened during labor.

“What’s important is the end result – having a healthy baby and a healthy mom,” she said. “I believe from working with midwives, they know how to do that.”

Open house topics
Silverton Health Midwifery & Women’s
Wellness free events:
Midwifery Experience
Breastfeeding Basics
Preparation for Pregnancy
Nutrition during Pregnancy
Monday – Thursday
Oct. 6 – 9, 5:30 p.m.
1535 State St., Salem

In addition to Stella she has Malachi 6; Spencer, 3; and Jayda, 5 months.

Salem Nurse Midwives and Silverton Health recently joined to form Silverton Health Midwifery & Women’s Wellness, which has two offices – 409 Welch St., Silverton and 1535 State St., Salem.

Nancy MacMorris-Adix said that although she has been a midwife for many years, many of the same old misconceptions are around today.

“When some people hear a friend is seeing a midwife, they believe the birth is going to be all natural and done at their home,” MacMorris-Adix said.

The nurse midwives deliver at Silverton Hospital’s Family Birth Center. The certified nurse midwives who are part of the office along with MacMorris-Adix include Karen Armstrong, Kristen Jamsa, Michelle Lane, Gail Sternkopf-Heckenback and certified nurse midwife and nurse practitioner Mary Tippin.

MacMorris-Adix said the midwives at Silverton Health Midwifery & Women’s Wellness provide patients with information on how to make choices on family planning, pregnancy, birth and menopause.

“I think what a midwife does is help explain labor is a natural process. We are there to listen to what the women want to support them in getting that kind of experience they want for their labor and delivery,” she said.

As Shinn can attest, every birth is different, MacMorris-Adix said.

The midwives at the clinic help coach women in what works best for comfort during labor, she said, adding for some women, it is standing up, sitting on a ball, walking or taking a bath.

“I think our approach is to meet the needs of the women,” Nancy said. “That really is our hallmark of service. We see ourselves as the woman’s coach and to guide her in what works to deliver a healthy baby.”

MacMorris-Adix also said midwives share with the woman’s partner how to provide support during labor – it could be going on a walk, slow dancing during a contraction or massaging her back.

“There are many tips we give the partner to assist in the delivery and bring comfort to the mother,” she said.

Then there are times when a labor does not go as planned and a Caesarean section is needed. The midwives work with surgeons at Silverton Hospital who can respond to emergencies and deliver the baby, MacMorris-Adix said.

Fellow nurse midwife Kristen Jasma  enjoys guiding women in the process and assisting them in making healthy choices.

“It’s about providing women with information so they can make informed choices and sharing options of what they can do during their labor to ease the pain,” Jasma said. “It’s a pivotal and exciting time to be with families.”

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