The Case of the Missing Midwives

Julie LeeAnn Fredericksburg

The Facts

We know is that effective Monday, March 7th, 2016, (Jennifer) LeeAnn Parker and Julie Weathers are no longer seeing patients at Sentera-Pratt.  We know is that they have always cared very deeply for their patients and feel passionate about ensuring quality women-centered care for all of their patients here in Fredericksburg, especially those who are pregnant and currently under their care.  This big change has left a lot of local women asking "Where did my midwife go?" Unfortunately, at the moment, we don't know much else.

Why didn't they tell me?

Even if this were a long planned exit from this practice, it is likely that due to non-compete clauses common in providers' contracts, neither they nor anyone they work with would be able to tell anyone that they were leaving or where they will be serving women next.

When will I know what happened to them?

In my experience, when one of my providers leaves a practice, it's often a matter of weeks before they are allowed to see patients at their new location locally.  I know if I were to hire Julie Weathers or LeeAnn Parker here in Fredericksburg, I would be publishing it in every paper and every form of media I could find, because I know their patients love them so much.

Who is going to deliver my baby?

Even though the midwives from Sentera-Pratt are no longer seeing patients, you still have a care provider.  Dr. Walker is (and technically has been) your doctor if you are a pregnant patient at Sentera-Pratt set to deliver at Mary Washington Hospital.  We have every reason to believe he will continue to provide the same level of "care centered care" that you have come to expect from his office and you should know that just because the midwives are no longer seeing patients, doesn't mean you are left without someone great to help deliver your baby.

Doctors are great, but I signed up for a midwife.  Where can I turn?

Good news! We have great options for nurse-midwives in Fredericksburg.

  • Dana Taylor at Rappahannock Women's Center sees her own patients and delivers most of them.  I can't tell you the number of times we have seen her in L&D on her "day off" to help a patient deliver.  She has been an excellent midwife and a preceptor (mentor) for student nurse-midwives, and we hope that means she has plans to help grow the midwifery practice at Rappahannock Womens to soon provide 24/7 midwifery care to her patients.
  • Sue Mersch at Generations of Women can also offer you great in-office midwifery care.  She is all about being "with women" (the literal definition of midwifery) and believes strongly in the power of a woman's body. While they don't offer midwife-assisted delivery yet, if we know anything about Generations of Women, its that they will continue to grow their practice to meet the needs of the community, and Fredericksburg is demanding more nurse-midwives.  
  • Amy Frederick is also another great option for those seeking a midwife in Fredericksburg.  She works with Dr. Josephs at Advanced Care for Women, and who himself has been lauded by his patients as being very patient, kind and trusting in a woman's body to do the work of birth.  She and Dr. Josephs both deliver at Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center.

What do I do now?

We know that having a provider you trust and have a rapport with can be the cornerstone of a positive birth experience.  Please rest assured that the Doula Detectives of Fredericksburg are on the case.  As always, we will be making any big announcements as they are available to keep you well-informed.

Keep Calm and Call The Doulas

If you are still reeling from the big news, please give us a call at 540-300-1102. Doulas of Fredericksburg is absolutely prepared to help you make an informed decision on where to find a great midwife in Fredericksburg.  We'd love to hear from you, and are happy to help you navigate this small bump on the road to parenthood.

3/17/16- Updates to this case can be found here.
3/21/16- Case Closed!

Victoria McCollum

Victoria McCollum is a birth and postpartum doula and owner of Doulas of Fredericksburg, in Fredericksburg, Virgina. She resides there with her husband and three precocious sons.