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Posted: June 8, 2013 4:48 p.m.

Health facility adds midwife suite

Danielle Everson /The Covington News/

(From left) Covington Women's Health Specialists office manager Connie Hughes; certified nurse midwife Lynn Stock; patient Amanda Strange; certified nurse midwife J. Dorsey Joiner; and Dr. Cathy Larrimore in the new midwifery suite.

A private practice focused on the care of women and bringing healthy babies into the world, Covington Women’s Health Specialists now has a specific area in its facility devoted to midwifery care and has added two new midwives to care for its patients.

Cathy Larrimore, M.D., opened Covington Women’s Health Specialists in 2004. The practice welcomed two new midwives earlier this year — J. Dorsey Joiner and Lynn Stock and has separate suites for obstetrics and gynecology care.

Connie Hughes, an office manager at the practice, said having a separate area specifically for midwifery care is a new concept for the Covington area, which she said would help grow the practice.

"It’s a new feel for the mothers to come in and when they sit in an office, to sit in an office with only women in the same condition that they are in." Hughes said.

"Women who are expecting or who have children are in here with more children. So we’ve set up a children’s area for that."

Certified nurse midwives Joiner and Stock both said the new suite of the practice offers a more family-centered atmosphere for women who are expecting a child and explained that midwives offer a more personal approach toward delivering babies.

"You get the same high-quality of care, but with the added personal touch. We’re the ones who are there with the patients," Joiner said. "We do everything that we can to facilitate the type of birth experience that they want."

"We have established a [relationship] with them during that seven and a half, eight months that they are coming to see us for care, and it does mean something to us to be there.

"People say, ‘Oh, I don’t care who catches my baby, the guy who cleans the floor can catch my baby,’" Stock said.

"That’s not necessarily true. You know it’s an intimate moment in [a woman’s] life and you don’t do it very often."

Contrary to what some people may think of midwives, Joiner said midwive have guidelines that they follow and that they’re not just out there "winging it."

"We follow very scrutinized guidelines, but within that broad spectrum, we have different ways that we do things," Joiner said.

"Hopefully, the patient will have the birth experience that they want and we want them to feel like we did a job well-done when they’ve had that baby."

Stock added that Dr. Larrimore is the consulting physician if situations arise where they need to consult with her.

Larrimore said Stock and Joiner deliver babies at the Newton Medical Center, though Covington Women’s Health Specialists is a private practice. The midwives don’t conduct home deliveries; and they also don’t deliver babies through water births, being that the hospital is not equipped for the practice and it’s also controversial.

"I think the misconception is that midwives only birth at home," Stock said. "We’re midwives who are privileged to [deliver] at the hospital; we work in a hospital setting.

"We’re trained professionals. Midwives are more centered and focused on birth and the care of pregnant women…midwife means, with women."

Covington Women’s Health Specialists is at 4181 Hospital Drive, Suite 104. An open house at the new suite will be  June 20 from 4 to 7 p.m.

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