Today, many women are choosing to see certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) for pregnancy care. At Missouri Baptist Medical Center, midwives work within the hospital setting to provide care for women before, during and after birth.
Like nurse practitioners and certified registered nurse anesthetists, BJC Medical Group certified nurse-midwife Kari Reimann is a specially trained advanced-practice nurse who holds a master’s degree in nurse midwifery and has passed a national certification exam.
“Midwives approach birth from a holistic perspective,” Kari said. “We encourage patients to play a primary role in their pregnancy and birth by providing informed choice and shared decision-making throughout the pregnancy. Our goal is to help women have a safe and memorable birth experience that isn’t rushed and fits their preferences and medical considerations.”
There is a common misconception that women limit themselves to an all-natural birth plan by choosing a midwife. Kari explained that women choose a nurse-midwife for several reasons. “Some women want a physiologic, or ‘natural,’ childbirth experience while others want close support through the normalcy of pregnancy and birth while planning medication for pain relief.”
As a midwife, Kari supports patients and their decisions throughout pregnancy and birth.
Like obstetricians, midwives provide personalized pregnancy and labor care that focuses on the mother’s and baby’s well-being. However, midwives manage low-risk pregnancies and births and support the normal labor processes.
Kari provides comprehensive medical services that include regular checkups, ultrasounds, and blood work as pregnancy progresses. “Certified nurse-midwives diagnose and treat illnesses, prescribe medication and manage patient care,” she said. She added that patient visits with a midwife are typically longer “so we have time to talk about questions and address any concerns.”
If a woman has significant health problems or a high-risk pregnancy, Kari collaborates with Dr. Jeffrey Mormol, obstetrician and medical director of midwifery services. “We work together to provide the best possible care for mothers and their newborns throughout every stage of pregnancy and delivery.”
Delivery at MoBap
When labor begins, Kari meets her patients at the MoBap’s Labor and Delivery unit and is present to manage their care and guide them through labor, providing strategies for pain management and comfort. “We use a variety of methods like warm water in the shower or labor tubs, breathing, massage and different positions that promote comfort and coping during labor. We also encourage freedom of movement in labor and often recommend upright positioning using a birth ball or birthing stool.” Kari added that if patients request it, she can order pain medication, including epidural anesthesia.
Kari attends births while working closely with the Missouri Baptist labor and delivery nurses. “Being a patient with a nurse-midwife at MoBap offers the best of both worlds,” she said. “They receive the one-on-one care of a midwife who promotes physiologic birth and supports the patient’s preferences and choices. All this while in a collaborative and welcoming labor and delivery environment with an excellent team of nurses, physicians and other medical staff ready to provide any intervention as needed.”’
If patients need specialized medical treatment at any time during pregnancy or labor, Kari works closely with Dr. Mormol, MoBap’s in-house obstetrician and the health care team. “The teamwork and resources at Missouri Baptist give women the opportunity to get an incredible level of care.”
Women’s Health Services
Besides caring for women during their pregnancy and birth, Kari also manages gynecologic and well-woman care from puberty through menopause. “As a certified nurse-midwife, my focus is on the whole person throughout all life stages,” she explained.
Kari added that if additional services are needed at any time, patients have access to a large network of highly qualified specialists at MoBap to help them through every step of their journey