• Serving the Norfolk,
Virginia Metro Area
• Residential Services
• We Are Accepting New
• Most Insurances Accepted
• Hours by Appointment
Hours of Operation:
Monday - Thursday 8:00am - 4:30pm
Friday 8:00am - 12:00pm
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Our Team of Board Certified OB/GYN Physicians and Certified Nurse Midwives provide outstanding individualized patient care for every stage of life.
100 Kingsley Ln Ste 400 Norfolk, VA 23505
Phone: (757) 451-0929
Neldara Dowell, CNM, Jennifer Cheney, CNM, G. Theodore Hughes, MD, Marybeth Dixon, MD, Elizabeth Golpira, MD,Hugh Dixon Wolcott MD,
Blair Conger, CNM, Tara Smith, CNM.
The Midwifery Center
The Midwifery Center (MWC)The Midwifery Center, which is located inside DePaul Medical Center in the Center For Birth, provides a familiar, warm environment where women can give birth and find healthcare that respects their dreams and nourishes their strength. Both the intimate, home-like quality of the building and the welcoming, reassuring and professional nature of the staff embody the fundamental idea that birth is an essentially normal, but emotionally powerful event.
Please take some time to review our requirements for The Midwifery Center (MWC), which is separate from our WomanCare practice, which is located in the Granby Medical building, suite 400. ** There is a limited number of patients who can deliver in The Midwifery Center each month; if you are interested in being a MWC patient, please let our main desk know when you call (757-451-0929) and also let the provider know at your first appointment with us. Spaces are available on first come, first serve basis, like tickets to a concert and once sold out, there are no more. **
Please know that if this program is not what you seek, we will still provide many services to you in our WomanCare practice. Many pregnancies will have wonderful and happy outcomes, but may not meet the guidelines set forth for the families in the MWC. Our WomanCare option is for women who do not choose to fulfill the pre-requisites for The Midwifery Center or who may want a greater array of pain management options. We are lucky to be in the community hospital where birth has always been normal and families have always been at the heart of what we do. Our nurses, doctors, and midwives care for all families with the focus on the safety and wellbeing of the family as a sacred unit.
Whether you choose The Midwifery Center or our WomanCare practice we will individualize our plan of care for you and your baby as your pregnancy and labor progress. Each mother and baby are unique and our plan of care will evolve with your circumstances.
Overview of requirements for The Midwifery Center
Education, diet and exercise are the building blocks for a healthy pregnancy and birth and make important contributions to your baby's continued well being after birth. We are using an active wellness model in our center.
The main requirements for being a part of the collaborative model of The Midwifery Center:
--Attend Open House (first trimester or as soon as possible thereafter.)
This date is on our Facebook page. Please do not attend this event with children.
--Attend an approved 6-8wk Childbirth Education and hire a doula if you have never had an unmedicated birth.
--Keep a diet and exercise log. Bring this to each visit along with your pregnancy questions.
--Attending all prenatal appointments. This is the basis of good care and the development of a relationship with the midwives
--Attend Third Trimester Class (28+ weeks.) This date is on our Facebook page.
Please do not attend this event with children.
These requirements are designed to prepare you for the best birth possible. Birth is a dynamic event. We cannot predict babies but we can prepare mothers and fathers.
Whatever you choose, we are happy to have you. Birth is only the beginning.
Let's make it a great one.
**Spaces are available on first come, first serve basis,
like tickets to a concert and once sold out, there are no more**
What is a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)?
Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNM’s) are licensed health care practitioners educated in the two disciplines of nursing and midwifery. They provide family-centered care to women of all ages. Midwives listen to women. They always provide the information you need to make informed and educated decisions about your healthcare.
Certified nurse-midwives (CNM’s) must graduate from an accredited education program and pass a rigorous certification exam. They are experts, held to the standards of practice set by the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) and by state licensing organizations.
Midwives specialize in women's health. They are trained in primary care, gynecologic care, pregnancy, labor, birth, and newborns. Midwives specialize in normal pregnancy, labor, and birth. They focus on creating healthy women and families to prevent complications. They are, however, trained to recognize and manage emergencies, should they arise. All midwives work with a collaborating Ob/Gyn to discuss complications and transfer high-risk clients.
Why should I go to a midwife?
Midwives provide a level of care that focuses on the entire family. We spend time getting to know you and educate you about your body and pregnancy. We believe that you are an equal partner in you care. We also believe in the power of your body to give birth. Instead of treating pregnancy as a “disease” we work on creating healthy women, healthy pregnancies, and healthy babies. We are fully trained to handle complications and emergencies, should they arise.
How is a birth center different from a hospital?
A birth center is a homelike facility, existing within a healthcare system with a program of care designed in the wellness model of pregnancy and birth. Birth centers are guided by principles of prevention, sensitivity, safety, appropriate medical intervention, and cost effectiveness. Birth centers provide family-centered care for healthy women before, during and after normal pregnancy, labor and birth. In the birth center though, you will be required to: Attend Open House, attend our 3rd trimester class (see our Facebook page for dates/times under the Notes section for both of these), and complete an approved childbirth education class.
I am thinking of getting pregnant soon. Is there anything special I should do now?
You should get yourself as healthy as possible, mentally and physically, before a pregnancy. Stop drinking alcohol and smoking tobacco. If you take any medications, check with your health care provider to make sure they are safe during pregnancy. Stay away from toxic chemicals. Eat a healthy diet with plenty of calcium, protein, whole grains, fresh fruits, and green vegetables. Folic acid is important to help the baby’s spine and brain develop correctly, so be sure to take a vitamin with 800 mcg of folic acid during the three months before conception. This is a good time to start a gentle exercise program like yoga, walking, or swimming. You should also see your health care provider for a "preconception visit" to discuss your specific concerns.
When should I begin prenatal care?
If you are newly pregnant, congratulations!!! You should schedule your first prenatal visit for about the 6th-10th week of pregnancy. That is about two to six weeks after your first missed period.
I am pregnant and started prenatal care with another practitioner. Can I still come to The Midwifery Center?
Space is limited in the Midwifery Center, so spacing allowing, we accept transfer of care until about 16 weeks of pregnancy. You will fill out your medical records and we will see you once we have the records or you bring the records with you. Call (757) 451-0929 For more information.
I heard that birth centers only care for "low risk" pregnancies. What is "high risk"?
We believe that pregnancy is normal and that your body knows how to give birth. However, there are high-risk situations that are not appropriate for a birth center. We cannot accept clients with twins. We cannot do vaginal breech deliveries or vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC), but we can do your prenatal care at our practice at WomanCare Centers. Other high-risk situations that are not suitable for a birth center include chronic high blood pressure, diabetes requiring insulin, placenta previa (the placenta is over the cervix), pregnancy induced hypertension/ preeclampisa (aka toxemia), or a medical problem with the baby (heart defect, etc) that will require special care.
If I come to The Birth Center for my prenatal care, can I still get an ultrasound?
Of course, Midwives are not anti-technology; we believe in the appropriate use of technology and informed choice/consent. Your pregnancy and birth are yours—we are here to educate you and make it as positive an experience as possible.
Can I eat and drink during labor?
Of course! Your body is working hard and needs energy. You would never run a marathon without fluids, would you? You need to stay hydrated and drink plenty of fluids, especially those with nutrients and calories (like juice, sports drinks, and sweetened herbal teas) to keep your muscles working as effectively as possible. Many women lose their appetite during labor, but you are encouraged to eat light foods if you feel like it. Follow your body.
Do you cut episiotomies?
We do not perform routine episiotomies (a surgical cut to enlarge the vaginal opening). Instead, we use warm perineal compresses and oils during birth to ease the passage of the babies head, thereby minimizing tears. We are fully trained to perform episiotomies and repair cuts or lacerations/tears, if necessary.
How do you monitor the baby during labor?
We use a handheld Doppler to listen to the baby's heartbeat during labor. This is called intermittent auscultation. Research shows that listening intermittently is equally as effective as continuous electronic fetal monitoring (EFM) in identifying problems during labor and delivery. In fact, studies show that intermittent auscultation results in lower rates of c-sections with the same neonatal outcomes.
What happens if there is a problem during my pregnancy or birth?
Midwives specialize in normal pregnancy, labor, and birth. We focus on creating healthy women and families to prevent complications. All midwives work with a collaborating Ob/Gyn to discuss complications and transfer high-risk clients. If complications arise during your pregnancy, we may consult one of the collaborating physicians, or have you make a visit with the physician. During birth we carefully monitor both the mother and baby. If we sense the potential for a complication, we do not hesitate to transfer care to Labor and Delivery at Depaul. Our goal is a healthy mom and a healthy baby. We would never jeopardize safety to have a birth center birth. We are trained to recognize and manage emergencies, should they arise.
Neldara Dowell, CNM, Blair Conger, CNM, Beth Sova, CNM,
Jennifer Cheney, CNM