In a small community hospital in the East Valley a group of nurse-midwives is rocking the birth world. “When women are offered the evidence based midwifery model of care and appropriate collaborative practice, this is the face of hospital-based midwifery,” said Belinda Hodder, certified nurse-midwife of Valley Women for Women, a British-trained midwife (certified nurse-midwives are advanced practice registered nurses, most with master’s degrees in nursing).

The Midwives at Valley Women for Women are providing the midwifery model of care — a model that places women and their families in the center of their care and offers shared decision making. This model of care, based on the most current evidence, has enabled this East Valley community to obtain the birth experiences they desire. Last year, 430 women and their families received this intimate, personal service from the Midwives at Valley Women for Women (VWFW). In addition to the satisfaction of the women and their families, the midwives statistics are remarkable. Last year the number of VWFW midwife patients that gave birth by cesarean section was only 4 percent. The midwives attribute part of their success to the supportive and collaborative practice they have with their clinic’s physicians.

According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists (ACOG), in 2011 one in three women in the U.S. gave birth by cesarean delivery, a 60 percent increase since 1996. Today, approximately 60 percent of all cesarean births are primary cesareans. ACOG is now developing a strategy to find ways to decrease cesarean deliveries. These include methods already employed by nurse-midwives, including allowing prolonged latent (early) labor, allowing more time for labor to progress in the active phase, and allowing women to push longer.

A large Cochrane review (recognized as the highest standard in evidence-based health care) confirmed that “Midwife led continuity of care was associated with several benefits for mothers and babies, and had no identified adverse effects compared with models of medical-led and shared care.” The review concluded that most women should be offered midwife-led models of care.

The nurse-midwives at Valley Women for Women invite mothers and families to enjoy the benefits of midwifery care. Learn more about their service by visiting or on Facebook at Midwives at Valley Women for Women.

For more information online, visit or

• Janice Bovee is a certified nurse-midwife (CNM) doing births at Mercy Gilbert and Chandler Regional medical centers for the last eight years. Reach her at

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