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Midwifery Care and Delivery at The BirthPlace at UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How Do I Get Care with a UCLA Health Certified Nurse-Midwife?
UCLA Health values the holistic care that certified nurse-midwives (CNM) provide working in a collaborative setting alongside the UCLA Obstetric (OB) physicians. Patients receiving care with UCLA OBGYN/Midwifery will be cared for by providers who manage care in Labor and Delivery (The BirthPlace) as a team made up of an attending physician, nurse-midwife and UCLA OBGYN resident at UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center. This allows patients access to hospital-based midwifery care as well as medical support if needed with physicians, all in the setting of receiving personalized care.
What is the definition of a Certified Nurse-Midwife?
Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNM) are master’s level educated nurses who specialize in women’s health, including pregnancy, labor and delivery, and postpartum. We are board certified by the American Midwifery Certification Board and licensed by the state of California to deliver babies as well as provide well women gynecologic care. We are also credentialed by UCLA Health to practice midwifery.
How do nurse-midwives care for patients with UCLA OBGYN/Midwifery?
Prenatal appointments must be with the UCLA OBGYN/Midwifery Group for patients interested in midwifery care. The same is true for any patient planning to deliver at UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center.
It is our hope that building a relationship with providers throughout the prenatal period will equip you for your upcoming birth. Each appointment will give you an opportunity to ask questions, learn about your pregnancy and growing baby, gain emotional support, and prepare you for your birth.
Depending on your needs and desires during pregnancy you will have the option to see your own OB physician or may be able to choose the “Midwife Track” if it is determined that you are a good candidate. You will also see a Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) physician specialist at designated appointments for ultrasounds and/or as needed for special medical conditions in pregnancy. There is a team caring for your individualized needs working to support a healthy outcome for you and your baby.
Nurse-Midwives see patients for well women, prenatal and postpartum care. Your first prenatal appointment will be with an OB doctor from the group to determine whether you are a good candidate for midwifery care.
Pre-existing medical conditions such as high blood pressure, insulin dependent diabetes, heart disease, history of uterine surgery (myomectomy or cesarean section), multiple gestation, or women over the age of 45 should see a physician instead of a nurse-midwife.
Most of your appointments will be with the nurse-midwives with the exception of appointments with the physician around 28, 36, and 39 weeks. You will have opportunity to meet the whole group of nurse-midwives at some point throughout your pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. At this time the nurse-midwives are only working at UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center.
Obstetric (OB) Physician Care
You may choose to see your own OB physician during your entire prenatal care. It is possible, however, that you may be scheduled for appointments with other physicians in the group or one of the nurse-midwives. We work as a team to provide care for you. Your physician is one of a larger group of the UCLA OBGYN physicians that also works as the attending physician taking call in labor and delivery. UCLA OBGYN physicians that provide care in Westwood deliver at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. To deliver at UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center your care must be with the UCLA OBGYN/Midwifery Group in Santa Monica.
HOSPITAL LABOR & DELIVERY
No matter who is overseeing your care, our team values your preferences and will discuss recommendations with the goal of a healthy outcome for you and your baby.
The team caring for all patients is made up of the on-call group:
Attending OB physician
Anyone of the UCLA OBGYN group doctors may be on call when you are in labor. They oversee the care of all patients and oversight for the residents, as well as serving as a resource for the nurse-midwives to consult with as needed. There is ongoing communication about patient care needs with the group along with the nursing team. There are male and female physicians and residents that you may meet during your care.
The nurse-midwife and resident manage care of all low-risk patients for labor and birth and postpartum care settings. Nurse-Midwives provide support during the birth experience through guidance with the labor process, comfort suggestions, discussing recommendations and are actively involved during pushing and birth. A nurse-midwife may also be part of any birth depending on the needs of the Labor and Delivery unit.
UCLA OBGYN Residents
You will meet residents during your labor and birth who will be providing care for you along with the midwife or attending physician. Residents are doctors who are learning the specialty of obstetrics and gynecology, and are skilled at delivering babies and doing surgery.
Registered Nurses in Labor and Delivery and Postpartum
The backbone of the supportive birth experience at UCLA Birth Place locations are the nurses who provide individualized care during the labor, birth and postpartum. They actively work with you during your labor and are skilled with using positions with a peanut ball to help facilitate normal birth. If there is not an available nurse-midwife, our skilled nurses have a supportive presence to address your needs. In the postpartum area they help assess you during your recovery, provide breastfeeding support, and help you prepare to go home with your baby.
How are needs assessed in Labor and Delivery?
When you arrive in Labor and Delivery (L & D), the nurse-midwife, resident and registered nurse will greet you, assess needs in the setting of your preferences and a plan for supportive, ongoing care for your labor and birth will be discussed.
If all goes well, you can hope for:
- Your baby to be placed onto your abdomen following birth and remain with you during your stay
- Delayed cord clamping and partner can cut the cord when it is time
- Skin-to-skin care of baby during Golden Hour
- Early breastfeeding with baby’s cues for readiness
You will have a registered nurse caring for you and your baby as well as care partners that will take your vital signs. You will rest and recover and work on breastfeeding in your private postpartum room. UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center is designated as a Baby-Friendly Hospital by Baby-Friendly USA and everyone’s goal is to support breastfeeding. There will be a lactation consultant available to help answer any questions. All postpartum nurses are trained in breastfeeding and the nurse-midwife can also assist as needed. If you are having difficulty breastfeeding, formula is available per pediatrician recommendations.
After you leave the hospital you will follow up with your provider for a 6-week postpartum visit.