Texas Children's Pavilion for Women allowing midwives to deliver patients' babies

HOUSTON

Brooke Richards chose to have a midwife instead of a doctor deliver her baby. And midwives are becoming more popular.

But what's unusual about Richards' delivery is that her baby was delivered by a midwife in the hospital.

"They sit there with you. If you need to go to the birthing tub, they're in there with you rubbing your back," Richards said.

Hospitals didn't always allow midwives, or they could only help until the doctor arrived. But now at Texas Children's Pavilion for Women, certified nurse midwives are welcome to deliver babies if that's the mother's choice, and if the pregnancy isn't high risk.

Richards liked the personal attention she got from a midwife but she also liked the fact there was an obstetrician on call if she needed a doctor.

"Having the best of both worlds is the way to go so that you have backup if necessary," said Titi Otunla, a certified nurse midwife with the Texas Children's Pavilion for Women.

"We just concerned having had a miscarriage that it was not going well, and I think they were really honest with us and helped us understand what the risks were," Richards' husband, Nate Richards, said.

"We stay with the patient until she has the baby, so throughout the whole process we're there ... sometimes 24 (hours), or more," Otunla said.

A healthy Hope Elizabeth was born with the help of a midwife. It's an experience the Richards say was the best option for their family.

An estimated 10 percent of the babies born in the U.S. are deliver by a midwife.

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