Choosing a midwife, from her point of view

Forty years ago in her home country of Iran, Nahid Shokohi Razmpour became a midwife. She’s been delivering babies ever since.

Shokohi Razmpour, part of HealthPartners Medical Group and delivers at Abbott Northwestern Hospital and will work at The Mother Baby Center when it opens in February, loves being a midwife.

“I have a special passion to be with the woman during labor,” she said. “I love to help the woman.”

Last week was National Midwifery Week – the celebration of a profession that’s dear to her.

Nahid Shokohi Razmpour

Of the 4,000 babies born at Abbott Northwestern each year, 600 to 700 are delivered by a midwife, according to Shokohi Razmpour. And the number of women choosing a midwife is growing in Minnesota. Between 1989 and 2008, deliveries that involved a midwife increased from 3.2 percent to 7.5 percent, she said.

“Women feel more comfortable with a female provider,” she said.

Shokohi Razmpour took time recently to chat about what factors to consider when evaluating what kind of practitioner to see for prenatal care and childbirth.

So what should you consider when evaluating whether to choose an obstetrician-gynecologist (OB-GYN) versus a midwife?

From Shokohi Razmpour’s point of view:

  • Whenever possible, a midwife involves the partner on day one.
  • A midwife spends more time with the mother during labor.
  • Because a midwife spends significant time with the mother during labor, relatively few patients require intervention. The midwife encourages medication-free deliveries.
  • A midwife suggests showers, bathing, massage, homeopathy, changing positions and using a birthing ball instead of intervention like medication. However, if pain medication is needed during labor, she supports this choice, as well. She recognizes each person’s birthing experience individually.
  • A midwife counsels the mother during the pregnancy about diet, exercise and emotional support.
  • A midwife also prepares the parents for the arrival – from what to buy to what to bring to the hospital.

“I give (expectant moms) what they want – part of that is service, part of that is love,” she said.

She wants the birth experience to be what the expectant mom wants it to be – an easy and positive experience in her life.

When things don’t go as planned, Shokohi Razmpour doesn’t leave the expecting mother’s side. In the case of a Caesarean section, “I scrub in right away…I stay with my patient as a supporter.”

Post delivery, she doesn’t leave the mother’s side. She encourages breastfeeding and stays with the mother after the birth to assist.

“We take great pride in making the experience more personal,” she said.

Learn more about The Mother Baby Center by visiting its Facebook page.

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