As Weymouth resident Esther Nganga sat holding her beautiful 11-week old son, Jabari, she laughed recalling her initial skepticism of having a midwife birthing experience. “Growing up in Kenya, I always heard tales of midwives — tales of women laboring and giving birth without the option for pain intervention,” Esther said.
After a friend’s suggestion, however, Esther decided to explore the option of midwifery care by attending South Shore Hospital’s Meet with the Midwives — an open forum for expecting moms and coaches to meet the certified nurse midwives who are available day and night to assist with labor and birth. “I was so impressed not only with the feedback from other mothers who have had a midwife birthing experience, but also by the midwives’ knowledge and credentials,” she said.
The midwifery program at South Shore Hospital complements our obstetrics service 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Certified nurse midwives see patients both at affiliated community OB/GYN practice settings (including Crown OB/GYN, Women’s Center of South Shore Medical Center, South Shore Hanover OB/GYN) and at South Shore Hospital. The collaborative relationship between doctors and midwives shares the common goal of improving patient care through preserving the normal aspects of birth while also providing rapid access to technology and advanced care when it’s needed. Though midwives are best known for care in pregnancy and delivery, many patients don’t realize that midwives provide care throughout all stages of a woman’s life — from teenage years through menopause and beyond. In fact, many women visit a midwife for health needs including yearly gynecology exams, pregnancy planning, breastfeeding, and postpartum care.
As a first time mom, Esther Nganga naturally had questions about the birthing experience and what to expect. Esther chose Jessica Wilson, CNM, of Crown OB/GYN as her primary caregiver. “Initially I was worried about the process, but the midwives were incredible. During visits at Crown OB/GYN, I never felt rushed and always walked away more educated about the process my body was going through,” Esther described. “My midwife, Jessie, encouraged me every step of the way and taught me to listen to my body and follow its cues." Jessie Wilson, CNM, is passionate about the care she provides and the healthy outcomes of her patients, both mother and child. “The entire birthing experience is one of the most significant times in a woman’s life. I enjoy being there for each woman, offering quality care, encouragement, and above all compassionate support. It is so empowering for a woman to overcome the obstacle of fear and even negative thoughts about birth by instead creating a positive experience through supportive caregivers who believe in you,” Jessie said.
The highly skilled team of certified nurse midwives and physicians affiliated with South Shore Hospital have more collective experience delivering babies than any team in the region. We are currently the only community-based hospital in Massachusetts with a level III neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). For midwife patients like Esther Nganga, it’s reassuring to know that there are neonatologists, and anesthesiologists on site 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. “It was comforting to know an entire team would be just a few feet away if we needed them,” Esther said.
The care Esther experienced during her entire prenatal experience through delivery and beyond has prompted her to share her amazing story with friends and family who may not understand the midwifery model of care. “I am so grateful beyond words, and for me, I honestly can’t imagine going through a birthing experience any other way. As my primary caregiver, Jessie was always there for me, assuring me pain intervention is always an option.”
At South Shore Hospital, our Certified Nurse Midwives are experts in obstetrics — caring for, supporting and enhancing normal, uncomplicated pregnancies, while also knowing precisely how to identify an abnormal situation that may require a physician’s intervention. We maintain a close partnership, with our physicians who typically have primary responsibility for the care of pregnant women who are at risk of diseases or serious complications.