FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. (WKRG) — A new program is using certified nurse midwives in Northwest Florida for childbirth and maternity care. Dr. Melaine Mosier with HCA Florida Fort Walton-Destin said the CNM program is one-of-a-kind.

“We are the only hospital-based midwifery program, so we can go into the hospital, we can do deliveries, we can round on our patients and provide that care.”

HCA Florida said there is an increase in women wanting low-intervention natural childbirths. Dr. Mosier agrees and said the program is all about giving safe options in a hospital setting.

“It gives those women that want to deliver in a hospital that kind of safety net, but yet they want that same shared decision making, evidence-based research presented to them and it allows them to have someone on their side,” said Dr. Mosier. “If they don’t want an epidural, they don’t have to have one, but if someone wants an epidural, but they can have an epidural. So it gives them another avenue they can choose for their health care.”

The program works directly with physicians and OB-GYNs at the facility to give immediate emergency care if needed.

“If the need was to arise, you know that my patient needed to go to C-section, I would call my collaborating physician, give her report, and she would come in and take over that portion of the care,” said Dr. Mosier.

CNM’s work with low-risk and routine pregnancies. The midwives have extensive childbirth and nurse experience to help with a number of services.

  • Adolescent health care
  • Birth control counseling and management
  • Family planning
  • Maternity services (including prenatal, childbirth and postnatal care)
  • Menopause management
  • Wellness education
  • Well-woman exams

“We’re thrilled to have such strong support from the women in our community to offer midwifery services in the Tri-Counties,” said HCA Florida Fort Walton-Destin Hospital’s Chief Operating Officer, Caroline Burris. “Our dedicated and experienced midwives have a strong passion for educating moms, and we’re excited to be able to offer women the opportunity to deliver safely and close to home.”

The program currently has Dr. Mosier and is adding two more CNMs by the end of the year. Dr. Mosier said they are looking at adding more natural-birth options to the growing program.

“We are looking at different options that we can bring to these women such as laboring tubs, possibly nitrous to help with coping. You know, there’s something called sterile water injections into the back and that helps really even back labor,” said Dr. Mosier. “So there are different options that we can use. We have labor bars, we have birthing balls, we have wireless monitoring so our moms can be up and moving around and we can still see what’s going on with their babies.”

To look at midwife options with HCS Florida or learn more call 850-315-8360.