What is a certified nurse-midwife?
A certified nurse-midwife (CNM) is an individual educated in the two disciplines of nursing and midwifery, who possesses evidence of certification according to the requirements of the American College of Nurse-Midwives. Nurse-midwifery practice is the independent management of women's health care, focusing particularly on pregnancy, childbirth, the postpartum period, care of the newborn, and the family planning and gynecological needs of women. Certified nurse-midwives practice within a health care system that provides for consultation, collaborative management or referral as indicated by the health status of the client.
What is the philosophy of midwifery care?
Nurse-midwives believe that every individual has the right to safe, satisfying care with respect for human dignity and cultural variations. We support each person's right to self-determination, to complete information and to active participation in their health care. CNMs believe the normal processes of pregnancy and birth can be enhanced through education, health care and supportive intervention. Clients and their families are partners with the nurse-midwife in the provision of health care. We believe that medical intervention should be used only when necessary, and that each woman should be treated in a holistic manner as an individual.
What is the model of midwifery care?
We believe that we need to get to know you and your family in order to provide the appropriate care you deserve. We allow ample time at every visit to allow for conversation and questions. Your family members and children are welcome at all times as you desire. Health promotion and education are main facets of midwifery care, so we encourage you to read, ask questions and become educated, whether for childbirth or a gynecological issue. We offer nutritional and herbal remedies where appropriate, as well as referrals to other modalities of care, such as acupuncture, chiropractic and homeopathy. CNMs also have full prescribing privileges in New Jersey, so we can order whatever prescription medications you may need.
Will my insurance cover my care at Avalon?
We participate with all major insurance companies, such as Horizon Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Aetna, Cigna and Oxford. Billing is done through one of our group practice names, Affiliates Ob/Gyn, or Associates in Ob/Gyn. Please call our office for further information.
What is the difference between physician care and midwifery care?
Physicians are trained in both medicine and surgery to care for disease processes. Nurse-midwives focus on pregnancy and birth as natural, healthy processes, and are specialists in this field. We are educated to support and protect the natural progression of pregnancy, labor and birth. Midwives maintain a woman's right to give birth in a personalized, positive manner. We guide women through the challenges and joys of pregnancy and birth in the context of their spiritual, cultural and personal values. We believe that unless medically necessary, interventions should be kept to a minimum. Ample time is allowed at your office visits to allow for education, conversation and questions.
Will I see a physician during my pregnancy?
Certified nurse-midwives are independent practitioners of women's health care. While more than 80% of women will need no medical intervention during their pregnancy, sometimes complications will arise. In this case, we will either consult with one of our affiliated physicians, or refer you for a consultation with a maternal-fetal medicine specialist. If at any time, you would like to meet with one of our affiliated physicians, they are more than happy to meet with you and answer any questions you might have for them.
Do you allow a vaginal birth after Caesarean (VBAC)?
Yes, we accept women who would like to attempt a VBAC in our practice. It has been shown that approximately 75% of women with a previous Caesarean section can successfully deliver vaginally. We need to obtain a copy of your operative report from your previous caesarean section, to be sure that the uterine incision is appropriate to allow labor. We do not accept women for VBAC who have had more than one Caesarean section.
What if I decide I would like medication or an epidural during my labor?
Avalon's philosophy is that each woman should be treated as an individual, and allowed to determine what is the right scenario for her labor and birth. A variety of pain relief options including epidural are available to Avalon clients.
What happens if there is an emergency while I am in labor?
Morristown Medical Center provides an obstetrician in the labor and delivery unit 24 hours a day, as well as an anesthesiologist assigned to the unit. We work as a team with the nurses and doctors to provide you with the highest level of medical care, should the need arise. Morristown Memorial also has a state of the art Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) with around-the-clock neonatologists to provide for ill or premature newborns.
Do you provide home birth services?
Avalon does not provide home birth services. We do however provide well woman gynecological services to women who have delivered their babies at home.
Can I continue to come to Avalon after I deliver my baby?
We provide postpartum care, as well as a full range of gynecological care, including annual physical exams, breast exams, Pap smears, birth control, treatment for bladder and gynecological infections, and menopausal care. We are now caring for some of the young women we delivered 19 years ago! Many of our clients refer their daughters, sisters and mothers to us, as well as their friends. It is the highest compliment we can receive!