EUGENE, Ore. – Women have several options for their care when it’s time to have a baby. And now, Women’s Care is offering a unique collaboration of physicians and midwives in one building.
Dr. David Herrmann has been delivering babies for about four years. And like a lot of newer physicians, he brings a new way of thinking.
“So really the shared decision-making model between patients and physicians and midwives – I think all of us do it here – but it’s a little more central to training and probably a hallmark of newer physicians,” he said.
Herrmann said it’s his job to make sure moms-to-be know their risks, and then let them decide what type of care suits them best.
“It’s really important for patients to feel like they’re really comfortable with who they’re seeing for their pregnancy and prenatal care,” he said.
Madeleine Katz, a certified nurse midwife, works in the Women’s Care building helping women through their pregnancies. She said they work with women on everything from birth control to menopause for those looking for a low-tech, high-touch way of doing things. But that doesn’t mean it’s all natural.
“That’s actually a common misperception that midwives just work with natural childbirth and we are really there to support our patients’ options with pain management. That could be getting gin the tub and working with breathing. That could also be getting an epidural when requested,” Katz said.
Another misconception is that midwives primarily attend births at home. Katz said actually about 90% deliver at the hospital. They typically work with low or moderate risk patients.
The collaboration with Women’s Care makes it much easier to bring in a doctor when needed.
“The benefit is that in that transition when someone goes from low risk to high risk, it’s almost seamless,” Katz said.
Doctors and midwives already know and trust each other.
There’s one thing Herrmann has learned – not only as a fairly new doctor, but as a new dad too.
“It’s helped to think of what it’s like to be a patient. The different symptoms women can have during pregnancy, even the things we don’t think of as medical. Like everything is smelling a lot stronger,” he said.
Women need to be as comfortable as possible when bringing a new life into the world.
“You see a lot of your obstetrician or your midwife during pregnancy,” he said.