October 10, 2008
MGH midwives: Healthy mothers, healthy babies

When Nayomi Edirisinghe, MD, a surgeon from Arlington, learned she was expecting her third child, she turned to an increasingly popular option for many expectant mothers: a certified nurse-midwife (CNM). Midwifery wasn't completely new to Edirisinghe; in 2007, Angela Ferrari, CNM, an MGH midwife, had delivered her second child, Kristhantha. Edirisinghe's experience during that birth was so positive that she elected to have another midwife care for her during her third pregnancy and delivery. Ferrari and Amelia Henning, CNM, provided her prenatal care at the MGH Chelsea HealthCare Center, and a third MGH midwife, Susan Hernandez, CNM, was by Edirisingheƕs side when she gave birth to her son, Nitin, this past July.

Trained to care for women throughout their reproductive life cycles, midwives have been a vital component of the Vincent Obstetrics and Gynecology Service since its establishment at the MGH in 1994. During the past 14 years, the service has grown to include 15 certified nurse-midwives, 24 obstetric and gynecology specialists and five
maternal-fetal medicine specialists. Midwives emphasize a compassionate, family-friendly practice and view pregnancy as a natural and normal process. Last year, midwives attended more than 800 births at the MGH.

"I established a wonderful connection with the midwives at the MGH," says Edirisinghe, whose oldest son, 3-year-old Kumar, was delivered by a physician at another hospital. "We had very warm and caring relationships, and I felt very comfortable. Having a midwife for my pregnancy and delivery was the right choice for me and my family."

MGH certified nurse-midwives are available to provide prenatal care at the main campus and the Chelsea, Revere and Charlestown health centers. Beginning in November, services also will be extended to Mass General West in Waltham. For more information about midwifery at the MGH, call (717) 724-2229. For information about midwifery at MGH Chelsea, call (617) 889-8561.  midwife

MIDWIFERY: From left, Edirisinghe with her son Nitin and Henning

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