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Be Prepared for Your Special Delivery

Along with the excitement of having a baby come many questions about the upcoming delivery. With the help of both Sara A. Robert, M.D., obstetrician and gynecologist, and Aliza Chkaiban, certified nurse-midwife, both on the medical staff at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Allen, moms-to-be can finally have answers to some of their biggest questions.

“Educating yourself is the most important part of the pre-delivery process,” Robert says. “Knowing your options for delivery and all that is involved on the front end can help mothers relax during the birthing experience.”

Although many pain medications are available, the two most utilized forms are the epidural — which continuously administers medication through a catheter inserted in the back — and intravenous (IV) pain medication, which helps reduce pain and offers a calming effect.

“Many women opt to receive pain medication, but we also have a whirlpool tub with jets for women who want to give birth naturally,” Robert says. “We have found that warm water significantly reduces labor pains for women, so that is a popular option as well.”

If babies are delivered vaginally, family and friends are welcome to be in the room as long as the path for physicians and nurses is not obstructed. For a cesarean section, Dr. Robert states that only one other family member can be present because traffic is limited in the operating area to preserve the sterile environment.

According to the American College of Nurse-Midwives, caring for women during labor and birth is the central role of a certified nurse-midwife. Midwives have special expertise in supporting women to help them maintain a healthy pregnancy and birth, and they are trained to provide:

• Primary health care to women for comprehensive gynecologic and maternity care

• Knowledge, skills and education to help women during labor and birth

• Prescriptions for many medications and health care products women may need during pregnancy

“The presence of a certified nurse-midwife can reduce the need for high-tech interventions, and when necessary, midwives are trained to help provide safe and scientific approaches to assist during the normal birthing process,” Chkaiban says. “Their services are often covered by insurance and Medicaid.”

Call 1-877-THR-WELL (1-877-847-9355) for help locating an obstetrician or gynecologist on staff at Texas Health Allen. (Spring 2009)

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