A conversation with Christine Weinmeister, CNM
We asked Certified Nurse Midwife, Christine Weinmeister, to share an insider’s perspective on choosing to work with a midwife during pregnancy.
TVC: What is a midwife’s role during a woman’s pregnancy?
Christine: I think of myself as a guide. My job is to make sure the pregnancy is progressing normally and that a woman and her partner understand what is happening for both mother and baby. I want women to make their own informed decisions about their health care. They should feel like the most involved and informed person in their pregnancy, not like they’re being told what to do.
TVC: What about during labor?
Christine: My favorite part of being a midwife is being able to support women during the birth experience, including labor. We don’t just come in at the end to catch the baby. We’re there during the whole process to help a woman through a tough part of her labor, encourage her to try a different position, and to help mom and baby breastfeed for the first time after birth.
TVC: Is there a difference between choosing a midwife and an OB/GYN?
Christine: Nurse midwives are experts in normal pregnancy. We can also identify when something is moving out of the range of normal, and we’re lucky to have great relationships with physicians in OB/GYN and Maternal Fetal Medicine.
We focus more on providing education and information during pregnancy, as well as support during labor. We tend to take a bit more time during visits to make sure that women’s questions are answered and that they have the information they need to make decisions about things like testing during pregnancy, getting ready for labor, or managing pain in labor.
TVC: How did you prepare to be a nurse midwife?
Christine: We’re trained first as registered nurses before receiving graduate-level training to become certified nurse midwives. Our training and our philosophy starts with the belief that pregnancy is a normal part of life. Attending births is what we’re best known for, but nurse midwives are considered primary care providers. So, my job also includes other aspects of women’s healthcare like providing annual exams and reproductive health visits, ordering STI testing, and providing birth control.
TVC: What should a woman do if she’s considering a midwife for pregnancy care?
Christine: Start by asking your potential midwife some basic questions. How long have you been in practice and in what settings (hospital, birthing center, home births)? How many births have you attended? How many midwives do you work with and how do you split up the call schedule? Who is your back up OB/GYN in case of emergency?
To schedule an appointment with Christine or one of our other Nurse Midwives, call 360-882-2778 or visit the Midwifery page to schedule online.