OHSU

OHSU Celebrates National Midwifery Week

10/06/10  Portland, Ore.

This year’s celebration of National Midwifery Week has special significance for the OHSU School of Nursing. Its academic nurse midwifery program is nearly 30 years old and has been ranked No. 1 in the country since 2004 by U.S News & World Report.

National Midwifery Week-Oct. 3 to 9, 2010

This year’s celebration of National Midwifery Week has special significance for the OHSU School of midwives-250Nursing. Its academic nurse midwifery program is nearly 30 years old and has been ranked No. 1 in the country since 2004 by U.S News & World Report (at right, OHSU School of Nursing Midwives).

 

“The high ranking is due to the strength of our faculty and the innovative, high quality care we provide in our faculty practice,” says Carol Howe, D.N.Sc., certified nurse midwife and director of the midwifery program. The group of 10 faculty certified nurse midwives teach in the academic midwifery program, where they model and teach the science and art of nurse-midwifery. In Oregon, certified nurse midwives deliver about 15 percent of all babies.

Howe says the program currently educates between 10 and 12 midwives a year. All students complete the program with at least a master’s degree.

The faculty practice at the Center for Women’s Health cares for many OHSU employees, as well as women and families in the community. “We provide innovative pregnancy care with all the benefits of a hospital setting,” says Sally Hersh, a certified nurse midwife and manager of the OHSU nurse-midwifery practice.  She says university nurse-midwives started the waterbirth program in 1997 and that OHSU was the first hospital in the region to offer waterbirths. In addition to conventional prenatal care, women can participate in group prenatal care to share common experiences and learn more about labor, parenting and healthy living.

Another thing that attracts women to the practice is its low cesarean delivery rate, according to Hersh.  “Our overall rate of 10 to 12 percent is less than half the national average of 32.8 percent,” she says. She adds that OHSU is one of just a few Portland hospitals that provides midwifery care for women who opt for a vaginal birth after cesarean delivery.

The OHSU practice provides general women’s health care from adolescence through menopause.

During the national nurse midwifery week, the Oregon Affiliate of the American College of Nurse Midwives hopes to draw attention to the many nurse midwives who provide exceptional care and service to Oregon women and families.

 For more information, contact Howe at howec@ohsu.edu.