health care,
education and
social services

health care,
education  and
social services

Prenatal Care in the Hands of Midwives

Why did I become a Midwife? I could not have known that my very, very early experience (my own birth) would eventually inspire me to become a Midwife, but it did!
 
Of course I don't remember, but in 1959 when I was born in New York City, mothers were separated from their babies for most of the day/night. The moms would be in one area of the maternity ward and the babies would all be in the nursery. In that era and area of the country, formula was believed to be the best nutrition for babies. Well, my mother knew this wasn’t true, so to give birth to me she sought out the only hospital that was reasonably close to us which offered rooming in. “Rooming in” is when the babies stay with their moms almost 100% of the time, unless it is medically necessary to separate them and/or certain tests need to be done. In most hospitals today, mothers are encouraged to breastfeed their newborns, with newborns usually nursing about every 2-3 hours in the first few weeks. This only works if you have your baby with you to feed on demand. Now we know that breast milk provides the best nutrition possible for the baby, meeting the exact nutritional requirements for each month as the baby grows and also providing antibodies to protect against infections and decreasing the chance of developing allergies and asthma. Breastfeeding also promotes bonding between the baby and mom.
 
To make a long story short, after working as a labor and delivery nurse for 3 years after college and having heard my mother relate this story to me, I realized that midwifery was my passion. I attended and graduated from SUNY Downstate Midwifery School. I would later return to get a Masters in Midwifery.
 
Of course, we are trained as well to screen for complications so we can make sure both mom and baby are safe. We either consult or transfer to OB GYN doctors if a high risk situation develops. Fortunately, we have excellent OBGYN docs here on the Mary’s Center staff to assist us.
 
At Mary’s Center we have several Midwives between our 4 locations in DC and Maryland. We are all Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs), which means we are Registered Nurses as well as trained Midwives, having attended extra training and received a CNM qualification after nursing school, so we're ready to take the best care of your pregnancy and gynecological needs!
 
By Wendy Sobey, CNM, MS
 
Ms. Sobey has been a midwife for 25 years and joined the Mary’s Center team in 2006. She earned her degree at State University of New York at Downstate and previously worked in New York and Arizona. Ms. Sobey currently sees patients at Mary’s Center clinics on Georgia Avenue in Petworth, D.C and Adelphi, Maryland. In her free time, Ms. Sobey enjoys swimming in the ocean, yoga, tennis, zumba, traveling, and spending time with her two children.
Ms. Sobey says: “I think the health care providers at Mary’s Center give the highest quality of care that I have ever seen in the many places I’ve worked. I am happy to be a member of this caring crew.”

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