Midwifery: the Benefits and Differences


St. Elizabeth Healthcare is proud to offer personalized, comprehensive midwifery care to patients in the Tri-State area throughout their pregnancy, birth and postpartum.

“All of the nurse midwives at St. Elizabeth are from Northern Kentucky,” says Sister Kay Kramer, who was the first midwife on staff at St. Elizabeth Healthcare 18 years ago. “We all live and work in our community and have recognized that women are seeking midwifery care for their pregnancies.”

The team of midwives at St. Elizabeth Physicians Women’s Health all have their nursing degrees and a Master of Science degree with a specialization in nurse midwifery. In addition, our midwives are held accountable to national standards by the American Midwifery Certification Board and must complete continuing education requirements just like their physician colleagues.

What are the differences between Midwifery and a traditional OB-GYN setting?

The St. Elizabeth Women’s Health team ““ both midwives and physicians ““ are experts at vaginal births. Midwives focus on keeping the birth as natural as possible, only intervening when necessary. Using a midwife doesn’t mean you have to have a natural, drug-free childbirth ““ it’s up to the mother if she would like an epidural during labor.

A common midwifery misconception is that midwives only perform homebirths. The midwives at St. Elizabeth only provide labor and delivery care in a hospital setting. The Midwifery team at St. Elizabeth Healthcare recognizes that childbirth is not necessarily a medical event; rather, it’s a normal event in a woman’s life and medical care should be provided if complications or high-risk problems arise. Midwives strive to give the mother as much control as possible during the labor and delivery. Their bond is oftentimes very strong, as they offer support and options during labor and delivery, making the mother as comfortable as possible.

Another common misconception is that midwives only care for low-risk women. If additional intervention is needed during a woman’s pregnancy or delivery, nurse midwives work closely with their St. Elizabeth OB-GYN colleagues to deliver whatever level of care the mother and child need.

“The entire team at St. Elizabeth Women’s Health is so respectful of one another,” says Sister Kramer. “It’s truly a team effort. There is a mutual respect between our midwifery care team and our physician team and the gifts they offer to all our patients. There is such an awareness among all of us that women are best served when they receive care in a setting where they have access to Nurse Midwives, OB-GYNs and Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialists.”

Our midwives also provide gynecological and well woman visits, offering comprehensive, personalized care for women of all ages in the Tri-State area.

“St. Elizabeth is such a great environment for our midwifery practice,” says Sister Kramer. “They recognize the commitment we have to providing great quality care for our patients and to working with our collaborating physicians.”

If you are interested in learning more about midwifery or scheduling an appointment with a midwife at St. Elizabeth Healthcare, please call (800) 737-7900.