PBS series, Frontier Nursing University work together to highlight the growth in midwifery

The percentage of certified nurse-midwife/certified midwife-attended births has risen almost every year for the past 25 years. (Photo from Frontier Nursing University)

The percentage of certified nurse-midwife/certified midwife-attended births has risen almost every year for the past 25 years. (Photo from Frontier Nursing University)
Four million babies are estimated by the Centers for Disease Control to be born this year. With all of those bundles of joy coming into the world, there will certainly be a lot of moms and dads who have questions about methods of care and delivery.

Through a series of video vignettes, Debra K., the Natural Health Explorer, partners with Frontier Nursing University, which has the longest continually operating and largest midwifery program in the nation, to share education on this viable health care option.

Debra K.’s passion for educating on natural health and wellness options led her to feature Frontier Nursing University in the pilot episode of The Journey into Wellbeing.

“I hold a special place in my heart for midwifery after learning the story of Mary Breckinridge who founded and ran Frontier Nursing University 75 years ago this year. Mrs. Breckinridge committed her life to helping the families of Eastern Kentucky and had great, positive impact on birthing outcomes,” she said.

“Personally, I didn’t have the greatest birthing experiences with my own kids, and I want families to know that midwifery is a natural and professional option to consider.”

Research from the 2013 study, Recent Trends in Out-Of-Hospital Births by theJournal of Midwifery & Women’s Health, shows women are increasingly utilizing midwives for general healthcare as well as care during pregnancy and birth. Findings include:

  • The percentage of Certified Nurse-Midwife/Certified Midwife-attended births has risen nearly every year since 1989 – the first year statistics were made available.
  • In 2011, CNMs/CMs attended 7.6 percent of all hospital births, a 6 percent increase from 2005. The percentage of out-of-hospital births attended by CNMs also increased by 6 percent, from 28.6 percent in 2005 to 30.2 percent in 2011. For those women looking at birthing options, nurse-midwives attend births in a variety of settings including hospitals, birth centers and homes.

“The growth in the field of midwifery is due, in great part, to the culture of collaboration nurse-midwives have with physicians, nurse practitioners and other healthcare providers to provide safe options for women,” Frontier Nursing’s President Dr. Susan Stone said.

“Evidence-based practice, strong relationships and family-centered care are the cornerstones of midwifery and are highlighted in these videos. We hope that viewing these stories will help to expand understanding of the practice of midwifery as well as the many valuable choices that women have available throughout their lifetime.”

The Journey into Wellbeing videos can be seen here. Topics include: midwifery, massage, nutrition, fitness, healthy recipes and other holistic health content.

For 75 years, Frontier Nursing University has educated nursing and midwifery leaders. The master’s and doctoral programs educate nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners in the primary care of women and families with an emphasis on rural and underserved populations. By utilizing distance-learning methods, FNU makes graduate-level education accessible to nurses in all areas, and ultimately fosters accessibility to quality healthcare by graduating advanced-practice providers to work in underserved communities. Learn more at frontier.edu.

From Journey into Wellbeing

Originally posted on KY Forward on Monday, March 10, 2014

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