Obstetrics and Gynecology

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  • Will the nurse-midwife I see for my prenatal visits be there at my delivery?

    The Certified nurse midwives (CNMs) of USF share in the prenatal care of our patients. We encourage patients to establish a relationship with one midwife for the first few visits in early pregnancy. Women can choose to continue care mostly with that CNM or rotate through the other providers. We communicate often with each other about our patients and what is happening in their pregnancies and their lives. Your birth will be attended by the CNM that is scheduled to be present in Labor and Delivery that day. The “in-house” midwife does not routinely see patients for visits in the office in order that she can be available when needed at the hospital. Likewise, the midwife that you are scheduled to see in the office is assigned only for office visits so that you can get through your scheduled visit in a timely manner.
  • Will I be required to see a doctor during my pregnancy?

    No. We have physicians available for regular consult meeting with the midwives and also available for emergencies that may arise in the office or childbirth center.
  • What happens if I need a cesarean?

    Should you require a cesarean, one of our USF OB/GYN physicians will perform your surgery. Our consulting physicians are available 24 hours a day in case of emergency, questions or surgery.
  • Do you see patients who are attempting a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC)?

    We completely support the option of a vaginal birth after a cesarean. In order to determine if it is safe for a woman to attempt a VBAC we will need to review her prior Cesarean Section operative report. Tampa General Hospital has the highest VBAC rate of any local hospital. We are able to offer this service because all of our staff including anesthesia and OB/GYN physicians are in-house 24/7.
  • Do you offer waterbirths?

    We do not currently offer underwater birth at our facility. Each birthing room is equipped with a shower and there are two private jacuzzi tubs for laboring on our unit.
  • What is the difference between a nurse-midwife and an obstetrician?

    The two professions are complementary. OB/GYN physicians are surgeons and gynecologists, in addition to practicing obstetrics. Their time, interest and expertise are in treating women with more complex and high-risk issues. Nurse-midwives usually focus on the care of healthy women in pregnancy and birth. We view pregnancy and birth as a normal physiologic occurrence and provide a holistic approach to achieving a healthy pregnancy and satisfying birth experience.
  • What is the difference between a nurse-midwife and a doula?

    The skills of doulas and nurse-midwives are different but complementary. Nurse-midwives are independent health-care providers who specialize in low-risk pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum care. Our primary concern is to ensure the health of mother and baby, and throughout pregnancy and childbirth we make observations and recommendations to protect their safety and well-being. In addition to providing a supportive environment for families, we perform clinical tasks such as gathering thorough medical histories, maternal and fetal monitoring, and managing complications. The nurse-midwife might also be responsible for caring for more than one patient at a time, making her unable to provide constant labor support. A doula is trained to provide continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth.
  • Will I be required to be attached to fetal monitors or have an IV?

    We do not routinely require that a patient have continuous fetal monitoring or IV access. Some situations might arise when we might recommend one or the other. In situations where continuous fetal monitoring is recommended (for example, when complications arise such as high blood pressure, low amniotic fluid or when a woman has Pitocin or an epidural), we are often able to still encourage movement and position changes to help labor progress. IV access is sometimes needed if a woman tests positive for group beta streptococcus and requires antibiotics. In that case, we can keep an IV access port and unhook tubing if it’s not needed.
  • Do you attend home births?

    The nurse-midwives are supportive of healthy women choosing home birth, but we only attend births at Tampa General Hospital.
  • I’ve been told that I might be “high-risk.” Can I still see a midwife for my pregnancy?

    Some health conditions may preclude you from seeing a nurse-midwife for your pregnancy care. We strive to provide high-quality care and acknowledge that some women might be better served under the care of a physician. Though advanced maternal age does increase some risks in pregnancy, we are happy to accept patients over age 35 in our practice. Please ask us if you are unsure if you are appropriate for midwifery care.
  • Where will my baby be delivered?

    We attend birth at Tampa General Hospital (TGH). TGH offers the best of all worlds. Given that TGH has had nurse-midwives on staff for over 20 years, the staff are well accustomed to the midwifery model of care and are encouraging of normal physiologic childbirth. TGH is also a regional referral center for the most complex pregnancies. In the case of an emergency. At the Jennifer Leigh Muma Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) we offer 24 hours/day staffing of multiple USF OB/GYN physician, anesthesia, and operating room staff.
  • If a nurse-midwife is delivering my baby, can I still choose to have an epidural?

    Epidural anesthesia is available 24 hours/day. Some of our patients know that they have a preference for epidural anesthesia during labor and others may choose an epidural if their labor is long or difficult. We will be supportive of your choices for pain management in labor, and we encourage patients to discuss their birth preferences with their primary nurse-midwife prior to labor.