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What is Midwifery? Meet a Certified Nurse Midwife at Ochsner

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Nicole Koppi estimates that she has delivered about 70 babies since starting her career as a midwife. Nicole is a certified nurse midwife at The Perkin Alternative Birthing Center at Ochsner Baptist Women’s Pavilion and says she loves being a part of new life being brought into the world. “I think birth is a transformative experience. I think women’s health is a sacred and sensitive process and being trusted with that is so special and rewarding, and I think it’s the best job ever.”

What is midwifery?

Midwives encourage women and their families to actively participate in their healthcare by providing individualized education, counseling, prenatal care, labor and delivery services along with postpartum support. All midwives must complete a graduate-level midwifery program accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education. Certified nurse midwives have additional training and are also registered nurses.

Midwives collaborate with board-certified OB/GYNs, who fully support the beliefs and practices of midwives. OB/GYNs are readily available to assist should it become necessary at any stage of labor or during the birthing process.

What does an alternative birthing center offer?

The Perkin Alternative Birthing Center at Ochsner Baptist in New Orleans and the Family Birthing Center at Ochsner Medical Center - Baton Rouge are two of four alongside birth centers of their kind in the country. The alternative birthing centers offers a variety of alternative birthing options designed to meet each patient's unique labor and delivery needs and goals.

At our alternative birth locations, our experienced certified nurse midwives offer a variety of personalized options, including:
• Birthing balls
• Birthing chairs
• Birthing tubs for water births
• Natural births
• Showers
• Walking during labor