Nurse-Midwives coming to LewisGale

SALEM, Va. (WDBJ7) - Expecting mothers in the Roanoke Valley will soon have more choices when it comes to delivering their babies.

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LewisGale announced Wednesday it will be offering a new Nurse-Midwife Service, making it the first in the Roanoke Valley to provide this type of care.

Aislynn Locklear is a mother of five and has used a nurse-midwife at another practice in the New River Valley.

She said it has been important to find someone who encourages her own decision-making during her pregnancies.

“Definitely to empower women to direct their own care,” Locklear said.

So when LewisGale announced it would be adding a new Nurse-Midwife Service to their practice, she was happy more mothers in the Roanoke Valley would now have that as an option.

“They’re seeing you at your most vulnerable, and leading you through and following you; really, that’s the most important thing,” Locklear said.

Three Nurse-Midwives will join the practice by early spring to give women with low-risk pregnancies a more holistic experience.

“We believe in non-intervention or watchful waiting in the absence of any medical complications,” Nurse-Midwives Director Kristin Conrad said.

If there are any complications, the mother will already be in a safe, hospital environment.

“We are part of a team, and so although they might only see a midwife if things are going well for them, there is always that safety net of an obstetrician gynecologist on 24/7 with us, so it is a very safe care model,” Conrad said.

Obstetricians currently practicing at the hospital said the nurse-midwives will be a great addition to their ward.

“It’s a great partnership and I think it’s the way obstetrics should be,” Dr. Harris Wexler said.

Conrad will start seeing new patients at their new office located on the LewisGale Medical Center campus starting Jan. 27.

The two other nurse-midwives, Laura Gayton and Rebecca White, will accept new patients in the spring.

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