GREENE COUNTY — Darla Baker and Andrea Carr have something inspirational in common — they both enjoy helping mothers and babies through the journey of birth and the care midwives provide.
Both women found enjoyment in developing relationships with the families they served through their experiences as nurses and wanted to expand that care to midwifery.
Baker and Carr recently joined Kettering Health Network’s Advanced Women’s Health in Beavercreek and Xenia as certified midwives, with privileges at Soin Medical Center, where they can provide natural birth experiences as well as pharmacologic pain management.
The midwives provide full-scope obstetric and gynecologic care for women from puberty through menopause, including well-woman gynecologic care, family planning consultations and contraception, pre-conception counseling, and pregnancy and childbirth care.
Andrea Carr, APRN-CNM, graduated cum laude from Ohio University with a bachelor Bachelor of science Science degree in nursing. She earned a master Master of science Science degree in midwifery from Frontier Nursing University in Hyden, Ky.
Carr started working as a nursing assistant in the mother/baby unit at Kettering Medical Center.
After graduating she worked in adult ICU then, “I jumped when an opportunity to work in the mother and baby labor unit opened up. I learned so much about the strength of women, the physiology of childbirth, and pregnancy. I love watching evidence unfold and care change in positive ways for women in childbirth.”
Carr’s inspiration to become a midwife is multi-faceted, “According to my mother, I have always wanted to ‘help babies be born.’ As a nurse, I always knew that I wanted to be involved in childbirth. Working in labor and delivery for so many years taught me many invaluable lessons,” she said.
Because pregnancy and birth may feel like a vulnerable time for women and their partners, “I enjoy being a supportive constant in their journey. Becoming a midwife has allowed me to support and encourage women, honor their strength, and bear witness to miracles every day.”
Carr believes midwifes are important because, “Midwives see labor and birth as a natural and normal event. Low risk women need very little intervention and we are happy to support normal physiological pregnancy and birth. I think that one of the biggest gifts that we give is time. We are often available to spend extra time educating, answering questions, providing labor support, and encouraging women and families.”
Darla Baker, APRN-CNM earned a bachelor bachelor of science degree in nursing from Indiana Wesleyan University and a master of science degree in midwifery from Philadelphia University.
Baker also worked in labor and delivery as a nurse for several years. A mother of four herself, Baker understands motherhood.
“As long as I can remember, I’ve had a passion for assisting women during pregnancy and birth, and have always been fascinated by the process,” said Baker. “I decided the best way to support and care for women and their infants was to become a midwife.”
Baker’s inspiration for midwifery stemmed from wanting to form a long-term relationship with women in her care, “I wanted the opportunity to assist them from their first prenatal visit, through their birth, and after as well.”
Baker explains the importance of midwifery, “Many women seek out nurse midwives for their pregnancy and birth care, as well as assistance with family planning and routine gynecologic care,” said Baker about the importance of midwifery.
Both Carr and Baker want to break through some of the myths of midwifery.
A common myth is that midwives only attend home births. In Ohio, certified nurse midwives do not attend home births and across the country 94 percent of midwives practice in a hospital setting. Importantly Certified Nurse Midwives are Advanced Practice Nurses who have obtained graduate education at the master’s or doctorate level. CNMs are licensed to practice by the State of Ohio and are governed by the Ohio Board of Nursing.
Another myth is that midwives don’t support epidurals. “As a midwife, I support all women regardless of their pain medication requests. I discuss risks, benefits, alternatives of all interventions with each woman and they make the decisions that are right for them,” said Carr.
Baker said another myth is that if you utilize a midwife you will have to pay out of pocket, “This is not true, as midwifery care is covered by nearly all insurers, as well as Medicare/Medicaid programs.”
Both midwives are proud to be part of Soin Medical Center Maternity Center.
Carr said Soin Maternity is a unique place, “It’s a small unit with a big heart. The nurses and staff members are tight-knit crew, passionate about patient experience. They are here to support women and their families through labor, birth, and post-partum.”
“The department maintains a serene, calm environment for mothers during their labor and birth as well as their hospital stay after birth and capable,” added Baker.
Baker and Carr are seeing patients at Kettering Physician Network Women’s Health locations: 3535 Pentagon Blvd., Suite 220 in Beavercreek; 50 North Progress Drive in Xenia. For more information or to schedule an appointment at either location call 937-429-7350.
Story courtesy of The Greene Medical Foundation - Greene Memorial Hospital and Soin Medical Center hospital within Kettering Health Network.