Kaiser Permanente is now offering midwives to would-be moms

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Mothers having babies at Kaiser Permanente have a new choice in the birthing center.

Baby Emmitt is a bundle of joy.

"It's a joyous time when they finally come into the world. You finally get to see what they actually look like," said new mom Mykaela Millard.

He's already won over his mom, Mykaela's heart, and staff at Kaiser Permanente.

He came into the world on Nov. 11 with the help of one of Kaiser's new midwives.

"I didn't know we had a midwife at the Fresno Kaiser and me and my husband were like 'midwife'? Oh ok. So I got to labor how I wanted to labor and it was less invasive this time," Millard said.

Patients have a choice to use a midwife or a doctor. High-risk patients are cared for by a physician.

"We were able to add midwives to our labor and delivery program, which has been very exciting. Great for patients. Great for the multi-disciplinary approach to caring for patients. It has provided us something very special here in the Valley," said Dr. Jacqueline Marquez.

Robyn Agnew is one of the midwives and has been delivering babies for more than 20 years. She's excited to help laboring mothers.

"Listen to what their hopes and dreams are for the birth experience that they would really like to have. I think that's one of the things we can especially bring to the table for them is to offer them a birth experience that are their preferences," said nurse-midwife Robyn Agnew.

Agnew says she realizes mothers have many choices and wants them to feel empowered.

"It's a moment they will never get again and that it was a good experience. It still always brings tears to my eyes. I love what I do and I feel very blessed that I get to do it," Agnew said.

A birth experience where mothers are now more involved in the planning.

For now, there are two certified nurse-midwives at the birthing center and there are plans to expand in the future.
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