Friday, September 4, 2015

Getting to Know Jessica Good, CNM

Recently we asked Jessica a few things about her journey into midwifery and here's what we learned...

When did you know you wanted to be a midwife/physician? 
I knew I wanted to be a midwife after the birth of my first child. It was a traumatic experience even though I felt prepared going into it and I felt like no one gave me the information I was looking for.  Midwifery perfectly marries patient-focused care with education and I knew then that it was the career for me. 

What’s your favorite part of your job? 
Seeing the faces of women and their partners when they have seen how amazingly strong they are in bringing a baby into the world. 

How do you see the birth community changing in the years to come? 
I see midwifery becoming more and more the norm for healthy pregnant women. i see collaboration becoming essential. OB/Gyn North has such an amazing collaborative model and I see that model spreading. 

What are your favorite resources for women in Austin? 
Austin has great breastfeeding support and an amazing breast milk bank! I am such a supporter and champion for breast feeding and I think the resources here are amazing. 

What’s your favorite way to exercise or where do you spend time outdoors in Austin? 
I'm a runner. I love to trail run and hike with my family all around Austin as there are so many great areas. 

How would you encourage women or what would you say to them about the process of pregnancy and delivery? 
Pregnancy is the most life changing event you will go through. It's tough and you learn and grow so much through pregnancy and birth. It's important to have great support in this journey, great care and good preparation. 

How many babies have you delivered? 
I stopped counting after 200, probably in the 400 area. 

What was one of your favorite moments in a birth? 
The moment when a woman realizes she is the strongest being on earth!

How long have you been in practice? 
5 years

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned lately? 
That babies have fingerprints at just 13 weeks gestation!

How is your view on birth different now that you’ve experienced it so many times? 
I feel like I have gained a good sense for normal through my experience. I have learned how to be a strong and calming presence. 

What is something that surprises you about deliveries? They come in so many shapes and sizes and can be so different for everyone.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Interesting Facts About Pregnancy


We’ve all heard the pregnancy-related old wives tales, but there are truly a lot of fascinating facts about those magically wild nine months you still might not know, even if you’re currently carrying a baby in your belly. 

Right now 4% of women in the U.S. are pregnant. And, no matter when your baby makes an entrance, while it might feel like forever, there’s no way you’ll trump the world’s longest human pregnancy at a little over a year long. 

It’s not just the belly that grows in pregnancy, a woman’s uterus expands to more than 500 times its normal size. In addition to her uterus, a woman’s feet and heart increase in size during pregnancy. Plus, women have about 50% more blood by week 20 of their pregnancy than they did before they conceived. 

As if those weren’t enough changes, when a pregnant woman is full term, her placenta will produce more estrogen in a day than a typical woman would produce in three years!

Moving on, to the incredible way our bodies work, did you know that if a mother suffers organ damage during pregnancy, the baby in the womb sends stem cells to repair the damaged organ? 

Or, did you know the force inside a woman's uterus from pushing with a contraction translates to 397 pounds of pressure per square foot? That’s 2.8 pounds of pressure per square inch on her baby's head.

And, that funny linea nigrea line that pops up during pregnancy was actually always there. Pregnancy hormones changed the pigmentation to make the linea nigrea visible.

While there are plenty of amazing facts about the developing baby (like it’s fingerprints are set within the first trimester of pregnancy), there are plenty of unwelcome side effects a mother can experience too. But, the fact of the matter is, every way you look at, every bit of pregnancy is a true miracle.

Was there anything that surprised you about your first pregnancy? We’d love to hear from you!


Friday, April 10, 2015

OBGYN North and Natural Beginning Birth Center Introduce Kathleen Hewitt

Our staff has had the opportunity to get know Kaye over the past month, but if you haven’t had a chance to meet her we hope you will soon! We’re so glad she joined us and look forward to having her experience on staff to serve our patients. Here’s a little more about her background, as with all of us, if you’d like to know more, please just ask!

Kaye received her BSN from Old Dominion University while her husband was stationed in Virginia in the Navy. With ten years’ experience as an L&D nurse in Virginia and Wisconsin, she began post-graduate studies at University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio and received her MSN in Women’s Health and certification as a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner. She accepted a position as provider and clinic manager at the University of Texas Medical Branch rural clinics in Beaumont, Orange and Port Arthur providing obstetrical/prenatal and gynecological care to low-income women in Southeast Texas for 3 ½ years. 

In 1995, she left UTMB to pursue her life-long dream of becoming a nurse in the US Navy. While stationed at Portsmouth Naval Hospital, she was deployed to the aircraft carrier, USS John C. Stennis, and provided acute Well Woman care to approximately 400 active duty females. She was then stationed in Rota, Spain, where she became interested in the cultural diversity of how women’s health care is viewed and provided in, not only Europe, while caring for Spanish dependent wives and daughters, but also in East Africa, while deployed to Tanzania, providing medical care to the women of the Maasai.

While stationed at Parris Island, S.C, her pregnant mothers frequently asked her if she would deliver their babies, and she had to say that WHNPs do not deliver babies. Midwifery became the culmination of her passion to provide education and empowerment to women in their health care choices. She was accepted into the Navy’s Duty Under Instruction program to attend Philadelphia University Institute of Midwifery, receiving her certification as a Certified Nurse Midwife in 2004, and began her midwifery practice at the US Marine Corps base in 29 Palms CA, and continued providing evidence-based, holistic , empowering midwifery care in Okinawa, Japan, and Bremerton, Washington. 

Following her retirement from active duty, she worked as a locum tenens provider for the Indian Health Service in South Dakota, Oklahoma, and Arizona, ingraining an even greater knowledge and appreciation of the beauty, strength, and diversity of women in childbirth when they “listen to their bodies”. After a year and a half teaching the midwifery model of care to OB/GYN medical residents at San Antonio Military Medical Center, Kaye longed to return to clinical practice and is very excited to be part of the OBGNorth team of physicians, Nurse Practitioners, and CNMs who embrace “being with women and their families throughout the life span.”

She is happy to be back in Texas, closer to her family and enjoys the time she spends with her sons and grandchildren. In her spare time, she enjoys sewing, hiking with her dog, and world traveling.

Please help join us in welcoming Kaye to OBGYN North and Natural Beginning Birth Center!


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

OBGYN North and Natural Beginning Birth Center Introduce Michelle Hughes

Last month, Michelle Hughes joined our staff and has already begun delivering babies at NBBC. We’re so glad to have her and look forward to introducing her to all of our patients. 

Michelle began her passion for caring for women while in nursing school during the early 1990s. She found her calling during her first obstetric rotation, when she witnessed her first birth. She was lucky enough to receive primary training at a hospital that provided evidenced-based care with strong collaborative relationships between the physicians and nurse-midwives. This set the tone for how she believes obstetric care should be provided.

Upon graduating with a Bachelors of Science for nursing, Michelle moved to Memphis, TN, where she worked for 3 years as a labor and delivery nurse, providing care to inner city, at risk women. When her husband's career brought them in Austin, she went searching again for a place she could serve the neediest, and became a labor and delivery nurse at Brackenridge Hospital for the next 11 years. While there, she worked with nurse-midwives, physicians, and doctors in training. She worked with both Kathy Harrison-Short, CNM and Tesa Miller, MD while there, and is happy to be reunited with them.

It was during her time at Brackenridge that Michelle and Stephen began their family. She birthed her first child with one of the wonderful midwives she worked with, in what was then called the Alternative Birthing Center at Brackenridge. The power that this birth gave Michelle fueled her drive to assist women in achieving the birth they desire. Her second child was another unmedicated hospital birth with a caring physician colleague because there was a medical indication for a hospital birth and there were no hospital-based midwives in Austin at that time. While this doctor supported her birth choices completely, a desire to become a midwife and to help give women more midwifery options grew.

Michelle waited until her youngest daughter started school before going to graduate school herself. In 2011, she graduated with a Masters of Science in Nursing, specializing in Midwifery. She became a CNM at Ft. Hood, where she caught almost 500 babies in four years before coming to OBGYN North. She is so excited to be in Austin again, at a practice that offers women choice in childbirth, with physicians and midwives who feel as passionately about that as she does.

Michelle grew up an Air Force brat, moving many times before landing in Vermont, which is where she met and married Stephen 22+ years ago. They have been in Austin since 2000, and love it here! They have two beautiful daughters, a cat, a bearded dragon, and two guinea pigs. She enjoys spending time with family, reading, knitting, and is training to run her first 5K.

With a Bachelors of Science in Nursing from the University of Vermont in 1997 and a Masters of Science in Nursing, specializing in Midwifery, from the University of Cincinnati in 2011 we know Michelle will be a great addition to our team!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

OBGYN North and Natural Beginning Birth Center Anticipate Bridget Kenny's May Start Date

It’s only the beginning of April, but we can hardly wait for Bridget Kenny to join Natural Beginning Birth Center next month. 

A graduate of University of Pennsylvania and Medical University of South Carolina, she has been a practicing nurse-midwife since in 2008. She has worked in a busy private practice, a birth center, and a community health clinic. 

A firm believer in the midwifery model of care, Bridget works to guide women and their families through childbirth, labor, and then later throughout their reproductive lifespan. She is currently studying to become a lactation consultant and dabbles in aromatherapy. She would like to incorporate aromatherapy in both prenatal care and during labor as she joins our practice.

After spending two brutal winters in Chicago, Bridget is excited to be back in warmer temperatures and closer to family. When she isn’t helping out patients at NBBC, you might find her at a yoga studio somewhere in Austin, running along Town Lake or just hanging out with her boston terrier, Hody.

Monday, April 6, 2015

OBGYN North and Natural Beginning Birth Center Welcome Jessica Good

We are so glad to have Jessica Good join our team of midwives and hope you have the chance to meet her soon!

Jessica is passionate about the partnership between an individual and her provider, with a focus on using education and preventative care to promote health. She believes in presence, being fully available to patients, listening and using her knowledge to guide, rather than treat each individual and family.

Jessica was born and raised in Texas. She attended The University of Texas at Austin for her undergrad, with a degree in Human Biology and a nursing degree. She went on to get her Masters in Midwifery at The University of Washington in Seattle.

Jessica has worked as a midwife in several settings, including a private midwifery practice in Seattle and a high-risk full scope clinic/hospital providing care to the underserved. Her passion lies in the normal birth process, trusting and empowering women through their journey to motherhood.

Jessica spends all of her free time with her amazing husband and two boys, age 8 and 3, one of which was born at home. She also enjoys running, cooking and gardening in her spare time. 

As our team grows, we are increasingly thankful to have talented and experienced midwives dedicated to women’s health, modeling the type of care we have always provided for our patients. 

Friday, January 9, 2015

Getting to Know Jennifer Nash, CNM

When did you know you wanted to be a midwife/physician? 
I received the call to be a midwife as a teenager. My best friend of 21 years was born at home with a midwife and introduced me to the idea and it is the perfect fit for me.  

What’s your favorite part of your job?
There are so many parts that are my favorite! But I think overall, the best part is building relationships with women and their families. I love watching families grow and empowering them in their transitions.

How do you see the birth community changing in the years to come?
I am hoping we will see a greater desire and support for physiologic birth.  I believe that will mean more midwives, birth centers, and family centered care. 

What are your favorite resources for women in Austin?
I think there is a fantastic childbirth education and doula community in Austin, better than anywhere else I’ve lived. 

What’s your favorite way to exercise or where do you spend time outdoors in Austin?
I walk my dog, Quinn, and her puppy cousins, Roslin and Seamus, almost every day on the trails by our house. I also enjoy yoga, dancing, riding my bike, running, and canoeing, but don’t make enough time for them. 

How would you encourage women or what would you say to them about the process of pregnancy and delivery? 
The biggest encouragement I have for pregnancy and birth is to trust to process and yourself. It is easy to get focused on change and be afraid of it, but if you trust the process and your own strength, you can enjoy it more.  

How many babies have you delivered? 
As a midwife, 95 (I am probably the only provider in our practice who is keeping track, but I can’t wait to reach 100). 

What was one of your favorite moments in a birth?
There are little things that make every birth a little special and different.  Some of the most special are when I’m wrong. It keeps me on my toes. 

How long have you been in practice?
I have been a midwife for almost a year now. I have worked with childbearing families for 6 years prior to that. Mostly as a labor and delivery nurse, but also as a childbirth educator, doula, and postpartum/newborn nurse. 

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned lately?
I recently discovered that I love chai tea and drink it every day. 

How is your view on birth different now that you’ve experienced it so many times?
The longer I work in the birth world, the more I trust the process.  It is easy to over-medicalize birth in this technological world, but it is pretty amazing how well things turn out when we just keep our hands off. 

What is something that surprises you about deliveries?
Even though I’ve been at thousands of births, it is surprising that I still learn something every time.