now offers a Certified Nurse Midwife Program at its Family Birth Center—a service many medical professionals say is rare across the Southland.
The hospital recently brought on Mary Kay Burke, a certified nurse midwife at Women’s Healthcare Affiliates practice in Evergreen Park.
“Most of the programs are up north and a lot of the moms from here go up there,” hospital spokeswoman Elida Solis said.
Burke said Little Company of Mary’s Certified Nurse Midwife Program offers comprehensive care from prenatal, through birthing and postpartum. One of the benefits of delivering in Little Company of Mary Hospital is being in the facility itself, according to Burke.
“You’re with a nurse midwife who has a strong medical background, but with all the benefits," she said. "Like if you decide you want a natural delivery, we have all the benefits of all of the state-of-the-art technology right down the hall if you need it.”
“She gets to spend more time with the patients,” Solis said. “The point of a midwife is to have the support throughout that pregnancy. She’s not just there during only one part of the delivery.”
Burke, who’s been a nurse for more than 25 years, spent 16 of those years in the labor and delivery unit at Little Company of Mary. She said she’s happy to now offer midwife services at Little Company of Mary.
“It’s nice to offer this service on the South Side for a change," she said.
She collaborates with Drs. Travis Haldeman, Robert Bonaminio and Ashlee Bergin to offer moms a personalized birthing program.
“A lot of it focuses on more education, counseling and nutrition,” said Burke. “When you go into labor, the nurse midwife will stay throughout labor, especially during active labor, and they’re there the whole time.”
The program also offers up to about six weeks of postpartum care.
In addition to midwife services, Burke does annual exams and well-woman care. She offers women’s health care from adolescence through menopause.
“There’s a misconception with midwives that you have to be pregnant to come and see me," she said.
Although she’s been involved in more than 10 deliveries since the program started late last year, Burke said her first few moms who have received full midwife services from her are due in March.
Burke encourages women to inquire at the hospital for more information.