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Is a Midwife Right For You?

The birth of a baby is a special occasion filled with excitement and beautiful moments. Where you choose to have your baby matters. The health care professionals at the birthing centers at Rochester Regional Health work with you to provide support and guidance throughout your labor and delivery.

At Rochester Regional Health we offer multiple birthing options, so you can customize your experience according to your needs in an emotionally supportive, culturally sensitive environment.

Hear from Rochester Regional Health’s Kathleen Hausman, as she answers questions on why it’s beneficial to use a midwife for delivery.
Is a Midwife Right For You?
Featured Speaker:
Kathleen Hausman
Kathleen Hausman has been a midwife for 17 years and was a labor and delivery nurse for 12 years before that. It has been her passion to care for women and families throughout labor and birth. She realized that as a labor and delivery nurse she could help during the brief time of labor and delivery, but, she wanted to do more. In her heart, being a midwife encompasses much more than the period of time it takes to have the baby. It means helping women make healthy choices from their teen years and throughout their lifespan. If women have the knowledge and help to be healthy, it will increase the likelihood that their pregnancy will be healthy and therefore their baby! During her career she has been fortunate to be able to work in a variety of settings, free standing birth centers to high risk labor and delivery practices. No matter where a baby is born, helping that process to be as normal as possible, even in the high risk setting is essential. When a woman has a GYN health concern, midwives engage the help from physician specialists. She has always been fortunate in her career to work in an environment where the whole team is interested in the very best care for the women we serve.
As her career expands, she continues to want to do more. She is very dedicated to the advancement of nurses and midwives everywhere. She received her Masters in Midwifery from Stony Brook University in 2000.

Bill Klaproth (Host): Giving birth is one of the most personal, intimate experience a woman can have naturally, and many women have very specific ideas about their birth plan. And for some, that means choosing a Midwife delivery. And here to talk more with us is, Kathleen Hausman, a certified Nurse/Midwife, and she answers questions on why it’s beneficial to use a Midwife for delivery. Kathleen, thank you for your time today. So, what is Midwifery?

Kathleen Hausman (Guest): Midwifery is the practice of caring for women, essentially healthy women. We do both, GYN anesthetic care, from early teens, all the way through adult female life span, focusing mostly on birth, but we also take care of GYN practice, is the independent provider of care and works in collaboration with Obstetricians and Gynecologists.  

Bill: And why might one want to choose a Midwife?

Kathleen: Midwife’s are trained in normal and maintaining normal, and maximizing normal healthy outcome. We’re not physicians, we are Midwifes. So, our practice is for… Again, essentially normal and healthy women as independent providers, and then, if someone falls outside of normal. That’s when we work with our colleagues in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Our OBGYN physician, who help maintain that health and we collaborate together to get to that healthy birth outcome.   

Bill: And you said earlier that, “Midwifery, the program is not just for births”, right?

Kathleen: Correct. We do all women’s healthcare need. Some Midwife’s in the United States, also will care for women of primary care providers, managing most of their health needs, throughout their lifespan. And some Midwife’s also take care of the immediate new born period for the first month or so of life for a new born.

Bill: So, there’s a lot of services that a Midwife can offer. So, what do you recommend then, prior to a birth, in terms of making a plan?

Kathleen: So, I think that every family has to decide is, when they go into a pregnancy, how they would want their delivery to be. I mean, everyone would like everything perfectly each time, but the importance is, having time to be educated on what are your options? And to have a good knowledgebase going into pregnancy and then also birth. So, the healthier that a woman can be throughout her pregnancy, then obviously the healthier her birth could possibly be, and women… Midwives focus on that, working with the women and the partner in the pregnancy, to maintain that health.

Bill: So, choosing a Midwife happens early on in a pregnancy, is that right?

Kathleen: We hope so, yeah. That’s the recommendation, that you would choose to come to a Midwife early in your pregnancy, so that we could work through that. Midwifes typically will have more time. We sometimes will have longer visit types than physicians, although not always, but sometimes we will, and that gives us a little more time to spend with you, one-on-one, and focus on each individual women’s needs.

Bill: So, it sounds like, to get the most out of a… the Midwifery program, it’s choose a Midwife early. So, how does someone choose a Midwife?

Kathleen: You can look us up on several different locations. There is the American College of Nurse Midwives, or ACNMN, or, is the other way you can get to that. And you can find midwives listed on there, and where they are practicing. Also, New York State has, on each state has list of Midwives practicing and right now, through Rochester Regional, you can call and get into the Midwifery practice at Bay Creek, by calling our link line, which is, 1585922LINK.

Bill: All right, that sounds very good. So, obviously the program at Rochester is very robust. Can you explain a little bit more about that? Maybe why someone should choose Rochester Regional Health’s Midwifery program over someone else’s?

Kathleen: So, yeah. We’re lucky at Rochester Regional, in that we have two different ways to get Midwifery care. Our newest way is that Midwifery practice that is really focusing on healthy women, who are low risk in their pregnancy and caring for them. That’s an independent Midwifery practice, right this minute, with three Midwives, essentially covering it. However, we have a team of additional Midwives. There are 10 total through Rochester Regional in Newark and Rochester General, who could at any time be available to help a women have a baby. There is a Midwife working the Deck at Rochester General 24/7. So, even if you’re not specifically seeking Midwife care, you may be benefitting from it and you don’t even know it when you come there.

Bill: That’s terrific and I’m just thinking about this, does insurance cover care with a Midwife?

Kathleen: Almost all insurances will cover a Midwife independently, but the other benefit we have is that we work with a team of excellent Physicians, who are collaborating Physicians, and so, if for some reason, an insurance doesn’t completely cover a Midwife independently, we also have Physicians, who will be able to see that patient a couple of times as their collaborating Physician and then insurances will cover that.

Bill: And as far as that collaborating Physician goes, can you talk a little bit more about how a Midwife interfaces with that collaborating professional or Obstetrician?

Kathleen: Sure, we have a very free flowing communication process at Rochester General, in many different ways. Sometimes it’s as simple as a quick text message to a colleague saying, “This patient, for instance, her blood pressure is elevated and it has not been in the pregnancy, just want to make you aware and then these are my actions.” Other times, it’s something very serious where we need to get attention immediately. Something isn’t going well during the labor process, in which case, we have a Physician available to us immediately at Rochester General and they come directly at the bedside, to help us and work with us.

Bill: So, the births then take place at the hospital. Now, I’m a guy, so cut me a little slack here, but when I think of Midwife, I think of the women in the bathtub at home and the birthing and that’s the wrong image, right? So, the birth takes place at the hospital?

Kathleen: So, it’s not a wrong image. It’s just not accurate for Rochester General. There are many different ways to practice Midwifery in the United States, but we practice in hospital care. We don’t do home birth or that experience or water birth, for that matter. So, it’s very much a faith environment maximizing, hopefully, the women’s choices as best we can.

Bill: Are there certain rooms that are designated for the Midwifery program?

Kathleen: Nope, birth is the same no matter where you deliver, really. So, the room is not important. It’s the actions that occur inside the rooms that are most important.

Bill: And Kathleen, what kind of training does a Midwife have to receive to become certified?

Kathleen: The minimal education requirement is a Masters Degree, and there are programs in the United States, specifically Masters in Midwifery. There are some Doctorate programs as well, although that’s not required for licensure at this time.

Bill: And Kathleen, what else do we need to know about the Midwifery program at Rochester Regional Health?

Kathleen: Our focus is making sure that we are with the women as much as we can be, to… and that’s literally what Midwife means, it means with women. So, we like to be with our patients. Supporting them, making sure they’re well, organized and trained for this birth experience, so that they can have the best birth experience for themselves and a good outcome for their baby as possible. We really like to involve the woman in her care, and make sure that she knows that she’s a direct link potentially to a really good outcome, if she makes good healthy choices. It’s just starting with the basics and then maintaining that relationship for decades.

Bill: Well, it certainly sounds like a wonderful program. And Kathleen, thank you for spending time with us today, and talking about the Midwifery program at Rochester Regional Health. For more information, you can go to,, that’s You’re listening to Rock Your Health Radio with Rochester Regional Health. I’m Bill Klaproth, thanks for listening.