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Midwives

Midwifery at Allegheny Health Network

An alternative birth experience with the security of a hospital environment

For centuries, women have utilized the skills and insights of midwives for relationship-based care and support during pregnancy and childbirth. Today, Allegheny Health Network offers certified nurse-midwives that provide comprehensive care at Jefferson Hospital.

Midwifery appeals to women who are looking for a more natural, more personal, less institutional approach to childbirth.

The benefits of midwifery include:

  • A personal, more holistic style of care with a lower rate of interventions, such as labor-inducing medications and cesarean sections.
  • Full service care, 24/7.
  • Support for Vaginal Birth after Cesarean Section (VBAC).

Allegheny Health Network has three nurse-midwives on staff: Devon Jennings, Lauren Narbey and Nicky Rawson. They provide woman-centered pregnancy, childbirth, and well-woman care. They also provide gynecologic and obstetric exams, including contraceptive services and support with breastfeeding. In the event of complications during pregnancy or labor, our nurse midwives collaborate with the obstetrician gynecologists of Allegheny Women’s Health.

Devon Jennings - Nurse-Midwife at Allegheny Health Network

Devon Jennings, CNM

Devon received her doctorate of nursing practice from the University of Washington in Seattle specializing in nurse midwifery. She is certified by the American Midwifery Certification Board.

Prior to joining the Allegheny Health Midwives, Devon was a nurse midwife fellow at Holy Family Birth Center in Texas and a registered nurse in a public health maternity support program. She is a professional member of the American College of Nurse Midwives.

Lauren Narbey - Nurse-Midwife at Allegheny Health Network

Lauren Narbey, CNM

Lauren received her master's in nursing from the Yale School of Nursing in 2016. She also has a master's in reproductive and sexual health research from The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She is certified by the American Midwifery Certification Board and has her Lactation Counselor certificate from the Academy of Lactation Policy and Practice.

As a recent graduate, she comes to the Allegheny Health Midwives with extensive international experience, including having lived and worked in the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Costa Rica. She is a professional member of the American College of Nurse Midwives.

Nicole Rawson - Nurse-Midwife at Allegheny Health Network

Nicole R. Rawson, CNM

Nicole (Nicky) Rawson, CNM, received her nursing doctorate in community health from Case Western Reserve in Cleveland, and her CNM and masters in public health degrees at Boston University School of Public Health.

Prior to joining the Allegheny Health Network, Nicole was a nurse midwife at Magee-Womens Hospital and has served as clinical instructor at Duquesne University. 

Allegheny Health Network’s midwives are currently welcoming patients at the following locations, and most insurance is accepted:

Jefferson Office: Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays
575 Coal Valley Road,  Suite 209A
Jefferson Hills, PA 15025
View a tour of the labor suites at Jefferson

Wexford Office: Wednesdays
Wexford Wellness pavilion
12311 Perry Hghwy
Wexford, PA 15090

West Penn Office: Thursdays
4815 Liberty  Ave,  Suite 304
Pittsburgh, PA 15224

Phone number is 412 267 6600
Fax number is 412 267 6456

What is a certified nurse midwife?
Certified nurse midwives (CNMs) are registered nurses with graduate-level training in midwifery. CNMs pass the American Midwifery Certification Board examination in order to become licensed, independent health care providers with the authority to write prescriptions. CNMs are licensed in all 50 states, plus American Samoa, Guam, and Puerto Rico.

What is the philosophy of midwifery care?
Midwife means “with woman.” Midwives offer professional, yet personalized care that takes into account the physical, social, and spiritual needs of each woman. We are committed to developing a relationship of trust with our clients and honoring a woman’s intuitive knowledge of her own health and well-being. Midwives believe in providing unbiased, accessible health care that respects an individual woman’s dignity and uniqueness. We strive to partner with women to offer education and information so they may fully participate in making their own health care decisions and provide fully informed consent. 

Midwives specialize in the art of supporting normal pregnancy, labor, and birth, but also know when to use technology and medically appropriate interventions to ensure the safety of mother and baby if things deviate from normal. Since midwives are experts in normal, they are well trained in recognizing complications and consulting with physicians when necessary.

What services do midwives provide?
Certified nurse midwives can provide general women’s health care throughout a woman’s lifespan, including:

  • General checkups and physical exams for patients 14 years and older
  • Pregnancy, birth, and postpartum care
  • Well-woman gynecological care
  • Treatment of sexually transmitted infections
  • Contraception services
  • Care for newborns in the first 28 days of life, including circumcision
  • CNMs can prescribe a full range of medications, including pain control medications

Is midwifery care safe?
Midwives approach women’s health care using evidence and clinical expertise along with considering an individual woman’s preferences. The American College of Nurse Midwives — the national midwifery professional organization — has worked with other health care organizations to develop evidence-based, high-quality standards of care while actively involving women and their families. This approach helps promote the highest standards for quality and safety in maternity care in the United States. The benefits and safety of midwifery care have been proven in countries worldwide and in the United States.

For more information on midwives, visit www.ourmomentoftruth.com.

Who qualifies for midwifery care?
Midwives specialize in uncomplicated, low-risk pregnancies and births.
You may be considered high risk if:

  • You are pregnant with multiples, although Allegheny Health Midwives do care for healthy, low-risk twin pregnancies in collaboration with the physicians of Jefferson Women's Health
  • You have a health problem (pre-existing or pregnancy related)
  • Your baby has a health concern

What are the benefits of midwifery care?
When you decide to visit a midwife, you will receive a special level of care that is not always present in many health care settings.

  • Midwives spend extra time with you during appointments to listen to your concerns, answer questions, and connect you to helpful resources.
  • Midwives approach pregnancy, labor, and birth as a normal process. The midwifery model of care does not support routine use of interventions unless there is a clear reason for them. Interventions like birth induction, use of chemicals, IVs, and monitors during labor are used less frequently and cesarean rates are lower.

Additional resources for planning for your pregnancy and birth

Pregnancy/birth resources
Evidence Based Birth evidencebasedbirth.com
Spinningbabies.com

Medication and substance exposure resources
Mothertobaby.org
https://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/newtoxnet/lactmed.htm

Well-woman/birth control resources
Bedsider.org

Prenatal classes
Shining Light Prenatal
shininglightprenatal.com

The Midwife Center for Birth and Women’s
midwifecenter.org/classes

Bradley Method  www.bradleybirth.com/directory.aspx

Hypnobirthing www.hypnobirthingresources.com/hypnobirthing-classes-pennsylvania/

Birth doulas
Shining Light Doulas
www.shininglightdoulas.com

Birth Doulas of Pittsburgh
www.birthdoulasofpittsburgh.com

Blessed Arrivals
www.blessedarrivals.com

Pittsburgh Doula Network
pittsburghdoulanetwork.com
Postpartum doulas, lactation consultants, childbirth classes

The Whole Way Doula Services
wholewaydoula.com
Yoga, doula services, childbirth/breastfeeding groups

Bloom Birth Concierge
www.bloombirthconcierge.com
Lactation counseling, placenta encapsulation, virtual doula services, classes

Sway Birth & Postpartum Services
rainbowdoula618.wix.com/swaybirth412
Placenta encapsulation and doula services

Breastfeeding resources

www.womenshealth.gov/files/assets/docs/breastfeeding/breastfeedingguide-general-english.pdf

Sankofa Lactation Services
www.sankofalactationservices.com
Pittsburgh Black Breastfeeding Circle, lactation and child birth class, lactation and postpartum doulas

La Leche League Pittsburgh
lllpgheast.shutterfly.com

Breastfeeding Hotline for Allegheny County
412-247-1000

Breastfeeding Center of Pittsburgh
breastfeedingcenterofpittsburgh.com

Kids Plus of Pittsburgh
kidspluspgh.com/classes

Sample birth plans

assets.babycenter.com/ims/Content/my_birth_plan.pdf
www.marchofdimes.org/materials/birth-plan.pdf
www.mamanatural.com/visual-birth-plan