Providing a unique journey to motherhood
by Sara Mitton Cox
The midwifery practice is still going strong and is even on the rise in recent years. But most people don’t realize the full scope of patient care it offers. Midwives hold the oldest and most natural views of childbirth sacred, but they can also provide all the safeguards of modern medicine, creating the best of both worlds. This is just one reason more women in Boise are choosing midwives.
Kristi Rhodes, a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) in Boise, explained most women are surprised when they find out exactly what a midwife does and realize their level of expertise.
“We’re educated in two disciplines—nursing and midwifery. And a common misconception is midwives only do home births, or can’t deliver in hospitals,” said Rhodes.
Rhodes partners with Glen Lovelace, MD and Angela Latta, NP-C at a private practice in downtown Boise that provides obstetrics, gynecology, and midwifery. Rhodes only delivers babies at St. Luke’s, and Lovelace is on call should complications arise.
Rhodes explained that CNMs provide healthcare involving emotional and physical support to women before, during, and after childbirth. The normalcy of pregnancy and birth is central to the practice, recognizing that many factors influence each woman’s unique experience of childbirth, including her fears and beliefs.
“There is a strong focus on the midwife-client relationship. I’m an advocate for shared decision-making, informed choice, and self-determination. Most of my office appointments are 30 to 60 minutes long so that I can provide plenty of education and guidance. I’m also always easily accessible to patients whenever they have questions,” said Rhodes.
Being present during labor is another hallmark of traditional midwifery, explained Rhodes. “I encourage people to move freely, to follow their body, and to labor and push in positions that feel right to them.”
Most births are completely natural, without an IV, though some patients do choose to use nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, for the pain. The majority of patients under Rhodes’ care are released from the hospital in 12 to 24 hours, and she follows up with them at their homes for postnatal care and breastfeeding support if they choose.
Rachel Pallister, a recent patient of Rhodes, was extremely thankful she chose a midwife for the delivery of her four-month-old son.
“I honestly didn’t think I could birth naturally. And because of what Kristi taught me, I was able to overcome so many obstacles—not just labor obstacles, but life obstacles,” said Pallister. “I never felt empowered as a woman, and now I’ve learned to love myself again.”
Certified Nurse Midwives aren’t just there during the journey to motherhood. The goal is to provide ongoing wellness care for many years. Women don’t have to be pregnant to see a CNM provider. The care transcends adolescence to beyond menopause, including contraception and annual exams.
Rhodes strives to educate women more about midwifery and their many choices during pregnancy and childbirth because it is such a precious and personal experience. She encourages pregnant women and women trying to conceive to research and know what options are available.
For more information about midwifery or the private practice Kristi Rhodes is a part of, visit Idahostork.com or call 208-345-3136.