The Case of the Missing Midwives (Again)

Missing Midwives.jpg

We were here, in this exact spot a year ago, when the Case of the Missing Midwives first presented itself.  And yet again, The Doula Detective has been on the phone all day because suddenly, the Midwives at Rapphannock are no longer seeing patients effective immediately.

The announcement was made last month that Julie Weathers and Dana Taylor from RWHC and LeeAnn Parker with Generations of Women OBGYN were moving their practice to Richmond later this summer, but they were originally told, as were their patients, that they would be seeing and delivering their current patients until at least mid-July

But as of this morning, the Midwives at Rappahannock have been removed from the staff, and the office is left trying to reschedule their patients with the remaining physicians. 

What really happened?

Contractual obligations between a midwife and their clinic often include rules about when and what a provider can say if they know they are leaving, and there are often very stringent rules about how close by they can work, what they can say, so they don't "poach clients" from a clinic.

So while we don't know exactly what happened, our best guess based on history and experience is that the midwives WERE planning on seeing patients through mid-July, but then were dismissed early because the clinic saw (or forsaw) a mass exodous of pregnant patients, and wanted to try to show people their other care provider offerings. 

Having worked with them as closely as we have, I feel confident in saying that Julie Weathers and Dana Taylor know this has left some of their patients (especially those due before August first) feeling lost and wanting for a midwifery model of care, and they would want you to know this is not how they wanted this change to happen.

What can I do?

You always have options.  The urgency to act on them depends on how pregnant you are. 

If you are 32 weeks pregnant or less

(or not pregnant at all and seeing the midwives for your well-women care), your options remain about the same:

  1. Make yourself at home with the other providers at Rappahannock.
  2. Find a new practice in Fredericksburg.  You will need your medical records.
  3. Follow the midwives to Richmond OBGYN, which is currently accepting patients for appointments in August (possibly sooner).

If you are more than 32 weeks pregnant

this can feel like more of a moment for panic.  Please don't panic. 

  1. Feel free to call The Virginia Baby Co. at 540-300-1102.  Our mission is to create stronger communities through positive experiences with pregnancy, birth and new babies.  We know people who seek out the care of a midwife do so because they want a strong connection with the person who cares for them during pregnancy, because they want a "more intuitive" or "natural" approach to birth while keeping available medical assistance when necessary, or because they CONNECT with their midwives as their care providers.  We will happily discuss your options until you are comfortable with them.
  2. Put into words why you were seeing the midwives. There aren't any wrong words, but knowing exactly why you saw them and you stayed with them will help inform your next steps.
  3. Decide if you can still get that from your physician options at Rappahannock.  Yes, doctors can deliver babies "naturally" and especially if you are a second-time parent who is already comfortable with the doctors here.  This may be a good option for you, especially if you hire a doula to help provide continuity of support and a face who you can get to know before your baby's birthday.
  4. If you want to go elsewhere for your pregnancy care, you can.  There are great options in Fredericksburg or even in Richmond.  We know for sure that as of 6/21/17 Advanced Care for Women delivering at Spotsy Regional has a midwife and is accepting new patients, even ones late in pregnancy.  

I will happily update this list as local OB offices call to tell me they are prepared to receive you late in pregnancy.

The tricky part of going any new place is that in order to care for you well, they need your medical records for this pregnancy, at a minimum.  Medical records can take up to two weeks to release.  You will find more information on medical records privacy and rights here, including what to expect and how to request them.

Where do I go from here?

The first thing you do is make a choice where you are going to attend for your pregnancy care.

The second is to put into writing why you sought midwifery care, and why you chose to stay at Rappahannock or Leave.  Honestly, this won't help you much, but a short, professional and direct letter might help inform them of future offerings to their patients.  Make sure to print it out and send it to them.

Lastly, decide if hiring a doula would provide you with more stability and continuity of support during this time of uncertainty.  We guarantee to have your back from now through your baby's first year, and we are offering a discount to all of Julie and Dana's former clients. 

midwife in fredericksburg

 

 

 

My Midwife is Moving... Now What?

By now, news has broken all over Fredericksburg that our three longest running nurse-midwives, Julie Weathers  and Dana Taylor (at Rappahannock Women's Health) and Lee-Ann Parker (at Generations of Women) are all moving their care to Richmond to be the first ever midwife group to serve patients at St. Mary's Hospital.

doula in richmond

But What Now?

I remember being 36 weeks pregnant when my midwife disappeared, and it wasn't that long ago that we had a major shift in midwives here in The 'Burg.  So we at The Virginia Baby Company wanted to make it clear that you still have great options for pregnancy care, even with the midwives' moving.

Option 1: Follow them

Richmond can seem so far away, but it is a much easier drive than heading into Northern VA, and St. Mary's Hospital is at the North-West end of Richmond, so it's wouldn't be that difficult.  If you wanted to, you can still see the midwives you've come to know and love, at a phenomenal hospital that is consistently rated as Richmond's favorite place to have a baby.

Option 2: See Another Fredericksburg Midwife

As of the publishing of this blog, there are two midwives in Fredericksburg who see patients and deliver at hospitals in the immediate area:

Option 3: Stay with Your Current Practice

Just because your midwives are moving on, doesn't mean you have to.  Even if you were seeing your midwife exclusively, you have always been a patient of the doctors of that practice, and there are some excellent obstetricians at Rappahannock Women's Health Center and Generations of Women.  Sometimes you just don't have the energy to move elsewhere-- that is ok too!

Think about Hiring A Doula

We know that people create can close connections with their care providers, and when those care providers move on, it can leave us feeling kind of empty, even with a new, great doctor to step in an manage the medical care. If you are wanting continuous presence, to be certain you are going to know someone who will be at your birth, or who can help you after the birth, once you come home, we suggest hiring a doula.

Our doulas will be there for you to help smooth this transition, whether it is during your birth or home with baby, you can count on us to be there for you, to answer your questions, and to walk with you every step of the way from the moment you sign a contract with us.  And because our agency model is sustainable for doulas, you can rest assured that our agency will be here for you, no matter which provider you choose.

BONUS DISCOUNT

To make continuous support more accessible no matter which pregnancy care option you choose,

placenta encapsulation fredericksburg va

we are offering a 10% discount to allpatients (current or former) of Julie Weathers, Dana Taylor and Lee-Ann Parker through the end of 2017. 

**Discount is honored based on date of contract signing, not time of service, so even newly-pregnant people can take advantage of this rare offer! Call us today at 540-300-1102 to set up all of the support you need!

Midwives in Richmond at St. Mary's Hospital

YOU'RE INVITED

to experience the intimacy and empowerment of midwifery care in Richmond

Richmond VA midwife

What

Bon Secours St. Mary's Hospital is launching a 24/7 midwifery care program.

Where

Midwifery at Richmond OB-GYN delivering at St. Mary's Hospital.

Who

Julie Weathers (CNM), Dana Taylor (CNM) and LeeAnn Parker (CNM) are going to be the establishing midwives at Richmond OB-GYN's new Midwifery Program.  They will be the first group in the area to offer personalized care from experienced midwives for those patients choosing to deliver at St. Mary's Hospital.

When

Richmond OB-GYN is currently taking appointments to meet with the midwives starting in August 2017.

What you need to know

These are experienced nurse-midwives who have a combined 23 years of insight into providing true midwifery care to women in Virginia.  They have a longstanding professional relationship with one another and work in concert for their patients.  Those who seek care with Midwifery at Richmond OB-GYN will experience the benefit of personalized attention from an small group of midwives who each practice with the same philosophies and standards. 

Midwives and Doulas Work Together!

Those of us at The Virginia Baby Company have worked with these midwives for years, and our experience shows that when a woman uses their experienced pregnancy care combined with our excellent doula support, she will have an empowered and positive experience as her family grows.

We are offering a 10% discount on all Virginia Baby Company contracts signed by the end of 2017 to patients of The Midwives at Richmond OB-GYN.

To take advantage of your discount on any of our services, please call us at 540-300-1102. 

Why St. Mary's?

St Mary's Hospital is recognized nationally for its outstanding care for moms and babies, as well as its other service areas. St. Mary's is also repeatedly voted Richmond's FAVORITE place to have a baby in Style Weekly's annual "Family Favorite" poll- 14 years running!  Some of the services our clients in labor love include Nitrous oxide,  Hydrotherapy tubs, and Wireless fetal monitoring. 

If you would like to schedule an appointment with these new-to-Richmond midwives, please call Richmond OB-GYN at 804-320-2483.

Midwife in Fredericksburg: Caring for the Whole Woman

best doula in richmond

****UPDATE**** 6/9/17- Lee-Ann Parker is currently still seeing patients at Generations of Women, but will be moving her practice to Richmond to join forces with two other midwives to provide midwifery services at St. Mary's Hospital.  Please feel free to continue reading- we are glad she will still be in our service area, and think everyone should know about her.

**********************************************

No doubt about it, having babies is an incredibly poignant and formative time in a woman's life.  There are so many changes and so much information,

it makes sense that we might want someone whose job title is literally "with woman" to help guide us through.

But Lee-Ann Parker, Certified Nurse Midwife and MSN, believes that there are a LOT of formative times in a woman's life other than her childbearing years, and her health needs are changing all the way from puberty past menopause. 

Why should midwives solely focus on women having babies, when women are only having babies for 5-10 years?  What about the other 75 years?  Why don't we turn to our midwives for the rest of our women's health too?

 Lee-Ann Parker, CNM, MSN

Lee-Ann Parker, CNM, MSN

The Virginia Baby Co.: What do you love about working at Generations of Women in Fredericksburg?
Lee-Ann Parker: I love that we are 100% all female providers, and we are one of the few OB/GYN practices in town to provide our own coverage.  Much like your agency, we can guarantee you have had the opportunity to meet the person who will be attending your birth.  I love that we can provide 90% of the typical pregnancy and well-women care options in-house.  We make it easy to get bloodwork, get a sonogram done and read, we even have a cardiologist who comes in if you need to see a specialist for heart health.

The Virginia Baby Co.:  A Cardiologist? Why a Cardiologist?
Lee-Ann Parker: We are dedicated to helping women identify cancer risk and cancer is the number one killer of women.  We have a passion for women's health, and naturally if we are focusing on cancer, we would want to focus on the number one leading cause of death in women-- Heart disease!

Heart health is as much of a women's health issue as breast or ovarian cancer.

By bringing a Cardiologist to our office, we open up the opportunity to follow up and focus treatment on getting and staying healthy.

The Virginia Baby Co.: So what can you do about heart health, as a midwife?
LeeAnn Parker: Did you know that more women see a gynecologist than a primary care provider? As a midwife I certainly focus on pregnancy care and helping women deliver babies in the way they feel comfortable, but my care is not limited to that short period in a woman's life.

The Virginia Baby Co.: Because Midwife means "with women", not just "with women who are having babies?"
Lee-Ann Parker: Absolutely. The impact that one healthy woman can have on the community is tremendous.  If we help her get information, she will make the changes in her family, influencing her kids.  Imagine if she then shares her knowledge with her sisters, mothers, friends, helping them become empowered.

The impact that one healthy woman can have on the community is tremendous.

Pretty soon, we've made a big difference in the health of the community, just by doing a few tests and creating a customized plan for her.  We are literally helping GENERATIONS OF WOMEN by paying attention to family history and preventative care.

The Virginia Baby Co.: Oh, "family history"... you mean all of that paperwork before your appointment?
Lee-Ann Parker: We know lots of paperwork can be frustrating.  But they are all important questions to get a good idea of your family's health history so we can help you formulate a plan to get the answers you want.  We are switching over in March though, to a more streamlined, electronic system that should take less time for a more complete picture. 

The Virginia Baby Co.: Once you and your patient figure out what well-women tests to run, what happens then? 
Lee-Ann Parker: We can do the blood draw in the office right there (that day even, if she has fasted before her appointment), and then we will call her when the results come in.  If there is anything that requires a plan, we will sit down together, and help formulate what the next steps need to be. If you need it, I will even help you find an eating plan that meets your needs, and we will refer you out to doctors if there is something bigger that needs to be pursued.

The Virginia Baby Co.: What can women do to help prevent health issues that might appear on your screenings?
Lee-Ann Parker: All women can start by making an appointment for their yearly physical.  Come to see me, go to you primary care doctor, but just get your bloodwork checked.  We don't prioritize our own health as women, and we need to, in order to head off issues early, so we can literally help you have a longer, more vibrant life.

The Virginia Baby Co.: Ok, so I've got my appointment for my yearly physical. What are you going to tell me?
Lee-Ann Parker: You want to be exercising 3-5 days a week, alternating cardio (to train your heart) with weight bearing exercise (weight lifting of course, but it could be as simple as going for a walk with your dog or chasing a ball around with your toddler).

And we want to be increasing our good cholesterol

using good fats, low carbs, cut out the white foods, increase your protein.  It's not magic, but it can be hard.  That's what we are here for: to help you find the best plan for you and help you stick to it to manage your health.

*****

If you would like to talk more with Lee-Ann or to make an appointment with any of the providers at Generations of Women for your pregnancy or well-woman care, please visit their website for more information.

If you would like to join The Virginia Baby Company on the first Friday in February for the American Heart Association's Wear Red Day for #hearthealth, please join us on our Facebook page for photos, suggestions on keeping healthy, and commitments you can make to better your own healthy and beautiful life!

Interview with Amy Frederick, Nurse-Midwife in Fredericksburg

We were not surprised to find her knowledgeable, delightful, and passionate about quality health care for women at all stages of their lives. 

Missing Midwives Located!

No word yet from the midwives themselves, but we spent last week reaching out to the different practices in the area, two of whom confirmed that Julie Weathers and LeeAnn Parker are indeed moving to different practices, and will soon be expanding options for midwifery care here in Fredericksburg.

Getting real with Pratt medical Center for Women

My clients are grateful for the options of high-quality and personalized obstetrics care in Fredericksburg!  I can't wait to continue meeting and sharing with you the great doctors and midwives we have in his area!