RowanSOM midwives available at new Harrison Township office

RowanSOM midwives available at new Harrison Township office

By Kelly Roncace, South Jersey Times

The term midwife brings about images of helpful women assisting an expectant mother who is giving birth at home.

However, today's midwives are medically certified and care for expectant mothers from conception to birth and sometimes beyond.

The University Doctors Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Rowan School of Osteopathic Medicine (RowanSOM) recently opened an ob/gyn office in Mullica Hill featuring three certified nurse midwives who are registered nurses and have graduate-level training in gynecological, prenatal, and obstetrical care.

Diane Reynolds, certified nurse midwife/master of science in nursing, has been a midwife for 32 years.

She said this new office offers a relaxed atmosphere where patients can feel at home.

"It's an intimate experience, so we made it feel comfortable," she said.

One unique program offered by the RowanSOM midwives is the "Centering" program for expectant mothers.

"Mothers with the same due dates are grouped together," Reynolds said. "They all come in together to learn about nutrition, exercise, and preparing to become a family."

She said there are eight sessions.

"The parents really bond," Reynolds said. "Many of them have reunions after the babies are born and stay friends, on their own."

Midwifery begins during an expectant mother's first visit.

"We're there for the ultrasounds, exams, early stage of pregnancy," she said. "And we do the actual delivery. The only thing we don't do is surgery."

Reynolds explained the midwife and doctor work together.

"They are separate, but work as a team," she said. "If a patient is a high risk, we still have a doctor here."

Dr. Jennifer Hummel, DO, the head gynecologist in the Mullica Hill office, said their office is unique because many don't involve midwives.

"There's nothing like it in the world," she said of pregnancy, labor and delivery. "It's an honor to have the privilege of taking part in that moment of someone's life. And every one is different; each one is unique."

Vicki Asturrizaga, certified midwife, just recently started with the RowanSOM program.

"I was in labor and delivery for 15 years," she said. "It's a different aspect of women's care. Before I was just a part of one piece."

The Mullica Hill office, located at 412 Ewan Road, Suite B, in Mullica Hill, is open three days a week and is currently taking new patients.

For more information, visit the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology website .

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Date Published: Sunday, March 29, 2015 - 10:30
Source URL: nj.com