UNTHSCA€AsAms midwifery group helped mother have the pregnancy she wanted

Barb Gilchrist’s first two children were delivered by Caesarean section, but she wanted her third birth to go differently.

Her doctor declined to participate if she insisted on attempting a vaginal birth for her third child, which prompted Gilchrist to change doctors. But she found it wasn’t easy to find a physician willing to let her attempt to deliver her baby the way she wanted because of the risks involved.

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With the help of the International Caesarean Awareness Network, or I-CAN, Gilchrist discovered the UNT Health Science certified nurse-midwives.

Together, she and the midwives evaluated the best course of action for Gilchrist and the baby. Gilchrist then consulted with a UNT Health Science Center OBGYN physician who accepted the patient into the collaborative practice.

"The nurse-midwives took the time to educate me about my options," she said. "They invested time to guide me through my pregnancy."

The midwifery group helps women through all stages of life and offers expectant parents a host of services, including full-scale prenatal, well-woman care, birth and postpartum care; natural and medicated births; hydrotherapy and water births.

"It wasn’t that long ago that the idea of a midwife was still unknown to many people," said Kathleen Donaldson, CNM, MS. "But so many women today want to participate in the planning and decision-making of their childbirth, and our approach centers on the individual emotional, spiritual and physical needs of each woman."

Gilchrist said the midwivery group was "genuinely interested in building a relationship" with her.

"It was like seeing a group of friends, and they really understand the journey of pregnancy," she said.

When her time came, Gilchrist was able to deliver exactly as she had planned. She says of Donaldson, who delivered her baby, "She is my hero."

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