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Local Hospital Among the First in the Area to Offer Midwife Services

Little Company of Mary Hospital and Health Care Centers has hired its first midwife.

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.

c.mcdonn January 19, 2011 at 02:21 AM
Yes!! My sister-in-law is a certified nurse midwife who had her two children delivered in my parents home on the southwest side with her midwife on hand. It worked out wonderfully! Those children are 35 and 33 years old now.
Jenifer Carr January 01, 2012 at 06:01 PM
I live a few minutes away from LCMH. With my first child I drove to Lake View for midwifery services & had my child at Weiss Memorial. It was a fantastic experience. At that time the only other midwives that I found were in Winfelid which is even farther than Chicago's North side for me. My original midwife recently moved her practice to Canada so I had to find another. To my surprise I came across Mary Kay Burke out of LCMH. I asked a few friends that I met on an FB attached parenting group who had had their babies with her, & they had very positive experiences. I did a meet & greet with her and instantly liked her. I'm only about half-way through this pregnancy and, so far, am very happy with her services. LCMH also offers other services like being assigned to one OB RN that will be in contact with you through the last months of your pregnancy, they are in the process of ordering birthing chairs, and either have a birthing tub or it's on order. Although, with having a midwife the patient gets such individual attention during visits and phone calls that being assigned an OB RN may not be needed. I'm so glad LCMH decided to open a midwifery program. It's close to home, & I've previously had positive experiences at LCMH. It's great to see the SW suburbs (and other medical US facilities & professions) in general beginning to see birth as a more natural process & beginning to support women's choices & consider pregnant mothers input in the birthing choices.

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