This is part of our series, "Meet the Experts". In this series of posts, we interview a wide variety of men and women involved in every aspect of the field of maternal health. Today, we welcome Leslie Payne, a Certified Professional Midwife in our local area.
I was given the privilege of interviewing our local CNM (Certified Nurse Midwife) group—Centra Medical Group: Women's Center (formally Forest Women’s Center). Under Centra, the Women's Center provides full Gynecological care for women in the central Virginia area, as well as comprehensive Obstetrical care that includes prenatal check-ups, labor support, delivery at Virginia Baptist Hospital, and postpartum health. They have five wonderful midwives— Billie Hamilton-Powell, Erin Baird, Christina Dubay, Nancy Prothero, and Tami Stevens—and one FNP—Ruth Robertson. The Motherhood Collective has been thrilled to add the CMG Women’s Center to their list of non-profit support, and many of us have enjoyed hosting Erin Baird on our Café panels. I have personally used the midwives for my pregnancy and birth journey with my son and was more than pleased with the care I received! I enjoyed meeting all the midwives during my prenatal visits, and when my time came, Christina did a wonderful job supporting me during labor and catching Gabriel when he was born. The whole time she remained calm, encouraging, and quiet—only saying something when it needed saying. When she was caring for me afterwards she realized the bulbs were out in the overhead lights, so she sent one of the nurses down to her car to grab the flashlight out of her glove compartment. Great resourcefulness (and a great way to put a mom at ease :) )!
1. What is your primary goal in the care you provide for women?
Our group is focused on offering women and their families holistic, individualized maternity and gynecologic care throughout the lifespan. We want to be a trusted and caring member of their healthcare family.
2. What unique passions and practices do you offer?
Each of our Certified Nurse Midwives brings their own unique set of specialties and philosophies within the Midwifery Model of Care. We support women in being an active participant in their care – from pre-pregnancy to menopause. As Nurse Midwives we are specifically trained in natural non-interventionalistic care. We are trained to see the woman as a summation of all her parts: family, life, religion, work, children and parents. This allows us to see the many different influences that may affect her health. At the same time our training allows us to identify and treat the medical issues as they arise.
- 3. What birth mindset do you hope to encourage in the women of Central Virginia?
We hope that all women will become educated on their options, their wants and the evidence-based practices of pregnancy, delivery and post-partum. Pregnancy and birth are extremely personal and individual experiences for each family and we want to support all women no matter what their plans or desires be it natural, medicated or cesarean.
4. If you could tell one thing to a woman trying to conceive, what would it be?
Pregnancy, birth and the raising of an infant is like a marathon. Preparation should include becoming as healthy as possible. Schedule a pre-conception appointment with your provider and make a plan for your pregnancy.
5. If you could tell a pregnant mother one thing, what would it be?
Pregnancy is one of life’s best challenges. Many well-meaning people are going to tell you what to do, what to eat, how you should look and what their labor/delivery was like. Remember that your pregnancy and delivery will be unique to you and your life and rejoice in that. Try not to compare yourself to others as we are all so very wonderfully different.
6. If you could tell a mother with a newborn one thing, what would it be?
No one can prepare you for all that is the immediate post-partum period. It is both a wonderful and extremely trying time. Initially you will have so many different emotions it can be overwhelming. The exhaustion and physical demands of those early weeks can make even the most dedicated mother doubt her decision to do this! USE YOUR RESOURCES! We recommend that every new mother, breastfeeding or not, rest at every opportunity. This means if your baby is sleeping, go lay down yourself, even if you are not tired. If you have family or friends around, let them have some bonding time with your sweet baby so you can rest and recuperate. If you are struggling, go see your provider and find out if it’s just exhaustion or something more serious like post-partum depression.
7. What is your favorite aspect of prenatal and neonatal care?
Getting to know the families and being part of the miracle that is life. You share something magical when you help a couple bring a child into this world, whether it’s their first or 12th!
Centra Medical Group: Women's Center Contact Information:
2007 Graves Mill Rd., Forest, VA 24551 434.385.8948 http://forestwomen.centrahealth.com/