Power of Choice A growing number of pregnant women nationwide are opting for the caring, personalized, and low-intervention approach offered by midwives when delivering their babies, and the communities surrounding Inspira's Medical Centers in Elmer and Woodbury are no exception. Thanks to the expertise of the experienced midwifery team at Gentle Beginnings, the midwifery practice affiliated with Inspira Health, women throughout Gloucester, Salem, and Camden counties are benefiting from the center’s many comforting and empowering birthing options. “We want to give each patient the option of having their own personal birth experience,” said Laurie Trongone, MPA, RNC, and assistant vice president, Women’s & Children’s service line at Inspira Health. “Some families prefer a more ‘high-tech’ approach, which we’re able to offer; while others prefer the more personal touch and low-tech support of a midwife.” According to Waverly Lutz, MSN, Certified Nurse Midwife at Gentle Beginnings, the midwifery model of care provides a low-intervention, evidence-based approach to provide safe outcomes for mothers and babies. “We fundamentally trust the birth process and believe that mothers who are fully supported during the prenatal, birth and postpartum periods will be empowered,” Lutz said. As such, “we offer enhanced prenatal and gynecological care, taking extra time during visits to build a personal relationship with each woman and her family to truly understand her specific needs and desires for her pregnancy and birth. We encourage families, including siblings, to attend prenatal visits so that they’re included in the care and pregnancy process and promote a shared decision-making process, through which we work to fully educate families on their options so that they can make the best and most informed decision to meet their needs,” she said. “The midwives at Inspira are unique because we offer hydrotherapy, continuous labor support and nitrous oxide to help women achieve natural births, and we also provide postpartum and well-woman care so that women can stay with us throughout their lives,” Lutz said. “We treasure the relationships we build with women, their daughters, and their granddaughters and feel privileged to be able to offer care at every stage of their lives.” “Our Gentle Beginnings midwifery service is now available in Woodbury, giving women the ability to utilize their services in Woodbury if they desire, as well as in Inspira’s new Mullica Hill location when the hospital opens later this year,” Trongone said. Overall, Trongone said, Gentle Beginnings offers the community the alternative of a more natural and holistic approach to labor and birth. “Although midwives offer a broad range of services, they tend to spend more time and provide more coaching and support than traditional obstetrical care,” she said. “This approach to maternity care is recognized at all Inspira locations, including Woodbury, Vineland and Elmer; and is provided in a homelike atmosphere within the setting of a hospital in case the need arises for more technology or medical intervention.” Providing the ultimate power of choice, Trongone said, “Inspira’s midwives enable a woman to participate in the process and make choices for herself and her newborn while providing the support and guidance needed for a safe, successful birth.” For more information or to make an appointment with an Inspira midwife, contact 1-800-INSPIRA.