Midwives: Not just for birthing

When it was time to have her baby girl, Olivia, Rosana Pesantez wanted the birthing done her way.

"I really wanted to be in control of the birthing experience," said Pesantez. "It was very important to me to have a natural birth."

Pesantez did some research and decided she needed a midwife.

"They are there with you the entire time and they give you a lot of pain management," Pesantez said.

Mary O'Meara has been a certified nurse midwife for nearly 30 years and now works with new mothers like Pesantez at St. Petersburg General Hospital. She said 98 percent of all births in the United States performed by midwives are done in a hospital setting.

Midwives will provide after birth care, she said, making sure that mothers are bonding well with their babies. They also help tackle other issues like postpartum depression.

Their medical care isn't limited to expectant mothers. O'Meara said midwives can also help with gynecology, family planning and menopausal care. Pesantez said another bonus is the lower cost.

"The private cost for the OB just for them coming in was somewhere near $2,000 and the midwives charge $600 to $700 and they would be there the entire time with you," she said.

For additional information on the midwives program at St. Petersburg General Hospital, visit its website .


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