At Women’s Healthcare of Morgantown, we’re proud of our highly-educated and skilled midwife. Midwives provide care for women at all stages of life, from their first annual exam, to their prenatal care and into menopause. Our midwife is an essential part of our team, bringing a woman-centered perspective to OB/GYN care.
Midwifery care has distinct differences from a medical model of care. We sat down with midwife Jamie Kulick, CNM, to discuss her journey to midwifery and the benefits of midwifery care.
HOW JAMIE’S JOURNEY BEGAN
Jamie is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and was drawn to nursing because of her grandmother, a successful life-long nurse (who Jamie says is still practicing in her 80s!).
“I always knew I wanted to do something with babies because I took care of my younger brothers and my cousins. I actually got to see my cousin’s birth and thought, ‘this is awesome!’ and decided it would be fun to do that everyday.”
Her nursing education didn’t start with a focus in midwifery. Jamie initially worked on the general medical surgery floor, which she simply didn’t have a passion for. She knew she didn’t want to do that — so she began her midwifery journey.
“I went through ten years of nursing training doing medical surgery while I was in school to be a midwife, and it just wasn’t for me — but now, midwifery, this is what I love to do. And I’m happy to do it. There’s not a day that I go to work thinking it’s work.”
“I went to school and started my nursing career out atin New Kensington, Pennsylvania, and then from there, I went to for my bachelors of nursing and also got a certificate in nursing management. I then went on to get my master’s degree and my midwifery certification from . I went on further to get my doctorate of nursing practice, also from Frontier.”
WHAT IS A MIDWIFE?
Jamie notes that there are often misconceptions about midwifery care. There are different types of midwifery: Midwife-owned and operated birth centers, midwives who practice independently in a patient’s home (uncommon in the U.S.) and midwives who work alongside doctors — like at Women’s Healthcare of Morgantown.
“Midwifery is often misunderstood. I don’t come to your house — the baby is born at the hospital. If you want an epidural, you can get one. We are very hands on and involved, we try to be present as much as we can be during labor to help women through it. We use methods like massage to help women feel comfortable. You’re getting evidence-based practice for all treatment, but there’s just something special about midwifery treatment. Ultimately, our goal is keep mom and baby safe during labor and delivery.”
Another misconception is that midwives are only trained for obstetrics, the branch of medicine concerned with prenatal care and childbirth. Jamie says that while obstetric care is a big part of midwifery, midwives also provide a wide range of services and care.
“Midwives also see women for annual exams, mammography and more. We teach women how to do a proper self-breast exam and tell them what to look for. We provide STD testing, and I think it’s sometimes easier for patients to talk to a woman about those issues. We also provide post menopausal care and biopsies — we can do everything needed to keep women healthy.”