Originating from a pre-healthcare era in which women were responsible for supporting themselves and other women during childbirth, came the earliest reports of midwifery. Today, professional midwife services can be found within traditional healthcare facilities.
New to Tri-County Health Care's midwifery team is Allison Freese-Johnson, certified nurse midwife. “I want to make a positive impact in the lives of women and their families. I’m a big believer in preventive health care and want to empower women to achieve a healthy lifestyle at any point in their life.”
Midwives have come a long way, now securing specialized training in the field of women's health in order to provide high-level care to patients wishing for an alternative to a traditional medical doctor.
"Midwives can offer many services including well woman visits, annual exams, contraceptive counseling, preconception counseling, infertility services, prenatal care, labor and delivery services in the hospital, postpartum care, newborn care, gynecological care and menopause management," stated Freese-Johnson, who completed her undergraduate studies at Minnesota State University, Mankato, before completing her education at Bethel University.
Freese-Johnson practices within the Tri-County Health Care facility, explaining that providing midwife services from a clinic-based setting allows patients and providers access to technology, such as ultrasounds, lab work and emergency medications and services, if needed.
With the resources available to midwifery services within a traditional healthcare setting, come the options for pain management during the birthing process — epidurals, IV medications, nitrous oxide, water birth tubs and more. The setting also allows laboring patients a continuous support system throughout their labor and delivery. Babies can be monitored for distress and induction of labor services and an operating room, in case of emergency, are also readily available.
A common misconception regarding midwives is that they are bound to prenatal care and labor and delivery functions, but this is not the case. From annual physicals for young women and old, midwives can function as primary providers for patients.
At time, however, there is a need for a medical doctor to step in. This is especially true in the case of certain complications during pregnancy or during the birthing process — preterm labor, preeclampsia, breech birth, birth of multiples and the need for a cesarean section would all require the care of a medical doctor, though the midwife would continue to assist with care.
Tri-County Health Care is excited about the addition of Freese-Johnson to their midwifery staff. “She is a great addition to our growing obstetrics department!" expressed chief ambulatory officer, Medley Shamp. "Families in the area need people like her to lead them through life’s most beautiful but stressful time. I can’t wait to hear from the mothers that get to work with Allison.”
Dedicated to her family, Freese-Johnson embraces rural living and loves everything Minnesota has to offer. A yoga enthusiast, she is also a runner, participating in three marathons to date.
More information about midwifery services is available at Tri-County Healthcare online at TCHC.org.