November 9, 2020

Wayne Health nurse midwifery program celebrates 40 years

Michigan’s first nurse midwifery service celebrated 40 years of bringing new lives into the world in October.

The Wayne Health nurse midwifery program, based at DMC Hutzel Women’s Hospital, includes approximately 75 certified nurse midwives who have delivered more than 42,000 infants since 1980.

Hutzel, the first hospital in the state of Michigan to grant hospital privileges to nurse midwives, continues as a leader in maternity care with its birthing rooms, hydrotherapy and water birth accommodations.

Wayne Health midwives, who serve patients in Detroit, Dearborn and Southfield, help deliver low-risk babies, defined as births that do not involve pre-term labor or other health complications. They are highly qualified practitioners with at least a master’s degree in nurse midwifery.

Although nurse midwives can attend the birth of any low-risk newborn, they are specially trained and equipped to support women who choose natural childbirth by teaching, empowering and encouraging them throughout every phase of a natural delivery.

Should the need arise, physicians from Hutzel’s Obstetrics and Gynecology Department can step in to assist with a natural delivery that becomes higher risk, offering expectant women the best of both worlds.

Mary Lewis, C.N.M., director of the division of Nurse Midwifery, estimates that she has helped to deliver more than 20,000 babies during her 50-year career as a nurse midwife. She salutes all the highly-qualified and dedicated women who have served as midwives for families in the metropolitan Detroit community the last four decades.

The nurse midwife practice is a division within Wayne Health’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, incorporated in 1993. As an academically-affiliated practice, Wayne Health nurse midwives serve as educators as well as clinicians. The nurse midwives were instrumental in Wayne State University’s development of a graduate Nurse Midwifery Education program and serve as the primary preceptors for students in the program.

Wayne Health’s nurse midwifery practice was also a primary clinical preceptor site for the University of Michigan Nurse Midwifery Education program, and precepts students from several other nurse midwifery educational programs at Georgetown, Case Western and other educational institutions.

For more information about Wayne Health's midwife program, call 877-929-6342 or visit Wayne Health.