40 years: 21,500 babies and counting

by Hennepin Healthcare

HCMC celebrates Nurse-Midwife service milestone

Contact:  Christine Hill, 612.873.5719

Hennepin County Medical Center’s (HCMC) Nurse-Midwife Service is celebrating 40 years of service to the Twin Cities metropolitan area. They plan to mark the occasion with an open house on Saturday, September 24.

HCMC is the first nurse-midwife service in Minnesota and the only unit within a hospital in the country. Since its opening in 1971, the certified nurse-midwives have welcomed more than 21,500 babies. “We are proud to have served women and families from our communities for the last 40 years,” says Rita O’Reilly, Nurse-Midwife service director. “We attribute our success to our history of listening when women tell us what is important to them in their birth experience.”

“They were respectful of our culture and showed tremendous patience with us,” says Veronica Velasquez-Barron, mother of three children, ages 4, 2 and 3 months, all delivered on site. “I was thrilled with my experiences there and if I have any more children I will certainly go back.”

The Nurse-Midwife service cares for women throughout their lives, offering women’s health care, family planning services and care during pregnancy, birth, and the postnatal period. The midwives see patients in six locations through the metro area and deliver babies at HCMC. New moms have a variety of choices during childbirth in the nurse-midwife unit, including water birth, the use of pain medications, healing touch and doulas. The Nurse-Midwife unit at Hennepin County Medical Center is located within the Birth Center, giving patients access to a full range of services, including anesthesiologists, obstetrics physicians, pediatric services, Level III Newborn Intensive Care Unit, and lactation services.

The open house will be held from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 24 in the Blue Building courtyard at 900 South 8th Street, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Anyone interested in learning more about the service is encouraged to attend. To learn more, please visit http://www.hcmc.org/midwives/.