newborn baby

Making the Midwife Decision

By Lori Swanson, Director of Women’s and Children’s Services

When you’re considering pregnancy, you have plenty of choices to make. Will you find out the gender or wait for delivery? What’s your preferred method of pain management? What music will you have playing, if any at all?

Before you get to these choices, you’ll decide who you want with you throughout your entire pregnancy, including labor and delivery. You can choose an OB-GYN, Family Practitioner or a midwife. If you’re not familiar with midwives, here’s a quick overview:

Midwives come to women’s health from a holistic nursing perspective. They tend to see pregnancy, labor and delivery as a normal, physiological function, and support mothers any way we they can to assist in that process.

To be more specific, at St. Luke’s, a certified nurse midwife (CNM):

  • Provides full-scope care before pregnancy and through every stage of life
  • Serves as a primary OB care provider
  • Offers a natural, low intervention approach to pregnancy and health care
  • Is medically trained and practices in a hospital setting
  • Has the ability to prescribe medications, including options for pain control


That last point about pain control can come as a surprise. In the past, expecting mothers sought midwives for a more natural birth experience. This isn’t always the case, and it’s certainly not a requirement. Choosing a midwife comes down to the type of birth experience you want, and who you want to develop a relationship with throughout your pregnancy.

If you’d like to learn more, contact one of our midwives:

Jenni Godbold
Amanda St. Aubin


St. Luke’s Birthing Center is located in Duluth, MN, with St. Luke’s clinics in the surrounding region, including Superior, WI. To schedule a tour of St. Luke’s Birthing Center, call 218.249.5605.


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