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Expectant moms: Learn about midwifery at free program
Hinsdale – For some, the term “midwife” conjures up false notions of inadequately trained individuals delivering babies at home.

Yet across the country, these certified health care providers are attending more births than ever and providing health care services for an increasing number of women each year. Midwives are recognized in the health care industry for playing a positive role in reducing healthcare costs and lowering the rate of Cesarean section, among other benefits.

In addition to caring for women during pregnancy, nurse-midwives work with physicians to offer a full range of services to women from adolescence through menopause and help them make informed choices about their health care. This service is particularly relevant given the current national healthcare debate about improving access to high-quality primary care and preventive and wellness services.

Beth Helme-Smith, a certified nurse midwife at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital, will present information and answer questions about midwifery at an upcoming free event. “Having a Baby With a Midwife” will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. Oct. 22 at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital’s Regnery Auditorium Level B, 120 N. Oak St., Hinsdale. To register, call (630) 856-7525. All expectant families or any woman interested in learning more about the care these certified nurse midwives provide are invited to attend.

When using a certified nurse midwife, the woman’s care is coordinated as necessary with her physician. She may request pain relief during labor. Pregnant women with certain medical conditions such as asthma or gestational diabetes may still use the certified midwife’s service.

In addition, a certified nurse midwife can help the woman through an unplanned Cesarean section and assist with lactation. She can also provide some of the same care a gynecologist might offer, such as annual exams, birth control and osteoporosis issues.

“We want to help women make better, informed decisions about what options exist for them during labor and delivery,” Helme-Smith said. “This allows them to choose what makes sense for them and their families.”