At Henrico Doctors’ Hospital, our goal is to help you achieve your best birth. For women who are interested in a low intervention birth experience, we have a unique team to help. An experienced team of certified nurse-midwives are available to provide high-touch, low-tech labor and delivery care.
Meet the Midwives
Meghann’s journey into midwifery began in 2000, as an undergraduate nursing student at the University of Virginia. She was completing a comparative healthcare course at Oxford when she had the opportunity to shadow the midwives in England and fell in love with the profession. After receiving her BSN, she worked as a nurse all over the country in various subspecialties including newborn intensive care, pediatric emergency and postpartum nursing. She received her MSN from Georgetown University in 2008, is board certified through the American Midwifery Certification Board and a member of the American College of Nurse-Midwives. She joined the nurse-midwife program at VCU health system in 2009, became the director of the midwifery program in 2013, and was given faculty status as an associate professor in the obstetrics and gynecology department in 2014. Meghann has continued her academic pursuits and completed her Doctorate of Nursing Practice at Duke University in 2016 and her doctoral capstone work, “Implementation of a hydrotherapy protocol to improve postpartum pain management” has been accepted for publication in 2017.
Meghann joined the Henrico Doctors’ team as the director of nurse-midwife hospitalists in January of 2016. She is excited to expand access to midwifery care and low intervention birth options at HDH. In addition to her work as a midwife, she is a mother to three children: Maxine (8), Maisy (5), and Sully (2) and enjoys triathlon training and photography in her free time.
The birth stories of my own children inspired me to become a midwife.
In the 1960's I was young, pregnant and married. No childbirth classes were available. Tours of the labor and delivery rooms were not offered. Husbands were not allowed back in labor and delivery. I read a book by Dr. Grantly Dick-Read on natural childbirth. I was inspired by his thoughts on birth being a natural event and not to be feared. When I was in labor, I was put in a small room big enough for a bedside table and a bed. The only time I saw the nurse was to be checked, and that was by a rectal exam. I was offered pain relief and given an injection of demerol and scopolamine. This mixture was known as 'Twilight sleep’. With the urge to push I was taken to a delivery room to a delivery table, with my arms and legs strapped down. I was told to push and quickly put to sleep and forceps were used to deliver my baby. I did not see him for 12 hours and that was from the doorway the nurse held him up for me to see. At 24 hours he was brought to my room for the first time to touch and breastfeed.
I felt robbed of my birth experience. I wanted to know what had happened to me in those hours of my heavily medicated labor, being delivered of my child while being put to sleep, and the time I was recovering from all the medications. I was determined then that the next birth would be different.
Now we are in the 1970’s, four years later. With this pregnancy I took childbirth classes and understood well what my choices were. They still prohibited husbands from being in with their wives while giving birth, so I stayed with my husband in the husband's waiting room until I was 8 cm dilated. I repeatedly said to the nurses who pleaded with me to come back to be checked, if he cannot be with me, I will be with him. When I did go back to labor and delivery, my doctor expected me to cry out for pain medications, but I understood what phase of labor I was in and was not afraid of the intensity. I soon was taken to a delivery table and this time only my legs were strapped down. There was a nurse anesthetist to my left ready to put me to sleep. I firmly said to her "Do not touch me". What joy it was to be awake and aware at the birth my second child.
My third birth was even better. I found a supportive doctor in a different city. He was very enthusiastic of The Lamaze method of childbirth. At last my husband was at my side for the birth of our third child. I felt accomplished.
Soon after this birth I became an ASPO certified Lamaze instructor and have been teaching childbirth classes now for 40+ years. I also became an International board certified lactation consultant (IBCLC). After working as a labor and delivery nurse for 14 years, I knew it was time for me to pursue my education as a Certified Nurse Midwife. I became an LPN in 1970 at Leigh Memorial Hospital, received an Associate’s degree in Nursing in 1988, a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing at MCV VCU in 1997, and a Master’s degree in Nursing with a concentration in Midwifery from East Carolina University in 2000. I am board certified through the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB).
I am now able to support women through this life enhancing experience of giving birth to their infants. For the last 16 years I have been working as a midwife in a private practice with a solo obstetrician birthing many babies days, nights, and weekends. These women have taught me a great deal about birth and what is important to them when they are vulnerable in labor.
Rhonda has been a Certified Nurse-Midwife since February 1996. She is a U. S. Military Veteran. She completed her BSN from the University of Florida “Go Gators” in 1994 and her MSN, specializing in midwifery, at the University of Pennsylvania in 1995. She is board certified through the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB). She is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Nursing Practice at Case Western Reserve University.
Rhonda promotes the midwifery model of care. She has worked in birth centers, her own home birth practice, and in the hospital environment. She has attended over 1,000 births and she considers it an honor to be a part of the family’s birth experience. She also believes in quality well-woman health care which includes the traditional annual exam, family planning, stress incontinence therapy, menopause and female sexuality counseling.
Rhonda was an active Board Member on the American Association of Birth Centers for more than six years and was a site visitor for the Commission for the Accreditation of Birth Centers for 15 years. Rhonda has taught child birth classes; and she was a Nursing Professor at Florida Southwest State College (formerly known as Edison State College) in Florida.
Rhonda has been married to her husband Bob for over 34 years; he is a retired U. S. Naval Officer. They have two children, Robert and Monica, both born into the hands of midwives and two grandsons, Jack and Evan. Her son is a FAA Air Traffic Controller and lives in Florida with his wife Meghan and their two sons. Her daughter Monica is a Human Resource Naval Officer stationed in Millington, Tennessee.
Rhonda’s other passions include her faith, Pilates, spinning, hiking, quilting and curling up near a fire and reading a great novel. Since she is an empty nester, her new “kids” are her two dogs—Trixie (Boston Terrier) and Abby (Texas Heeler) who love taking walks with their mom.
Originally from Holland, Amber attended births in Germany, Belgium, Holland, Japan and New Zealand before working as a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) in the US. Amber has supported women at home births and birth center births, as well as hospitals in the US and abroad. She has been a Certified Childbirth Educator and a Certified Labor Assistant for more than 20 years. Amber received a Bachelor in Behavioral Science from the University of Maryland, followed by a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Old Dominion University. She completed her graduate degree at the University of Cincinnati, graduating with a Master of Nursing in Midwifery, and a post-Masters certificate in Global Women’s Health. She received her Doctorate from Johns Hopkins University, with a research focus on the intrapartum monitoring of obese patients and improving maternal-fetal outcomes. She is board certified through the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB), and is a voting member of the American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM).
Amber worked as Director of Midwifery in a rural birth center in the Northern Neck of Virginia, and in a busy practice in Hampton Roads, before joining the faculty at VCU Medical Center as Associate Professor in 2011, where she became Director of Centering Pregnancy and eventually the Director of Midwifery. In 2015, she was nominated for Birth Advocate of the Year. Amber has been with Henrico Doctors’ Hospital since August of 2015 as administrator of the Women’s Pavilion and Vice President of our Women’s & Children’s Services. In this role, Amber has been instrumental in building the infrastructure that helps support all mothers and babies that receive care at Henrico Doctors’ Hospital. She is a strong proponent of Evidence Based Practice, and Family Centered Care, promoting an environment where all birth choices are honored and supported. In her free time she loves to fish with her husband of 28 years and her two daughters, hike, read, paint, and grow oysters on the Rappahannock River.
How does the Midwifery Service work?
If you are interested in midwifery care for your delivery at Henrico Doctors’ Hospital, you should talk with your prenatal care provider. They will continue to provide you with routine prenatal care. In addition, you will meet periodically with the nurse-midwives to discuss low intervention birth preparation, your personal birth preferences, and review the process for communication during labor. There is opportunity for group and individual meetings.
If you need assistance finding a physician or certified nurse-midwife for your prenatal care, please contact us. Transfer of care is fast and easy, often with same-day appointments available.
In labor, you will contact the midwife who will help guide you through the labor process. Our nurse-midwives will care for you from admission through the birth of your baby, and afterwards during your postpartum stay. After you are discharged from the hospital, you will return to your doctor or certified nurse-midwife for your postpartum follow up visits.
How do the nurse-midwives support low-intervention birth?
Our nurse-midwives offer education and support during your pregnancy to help prepare you for the hard work of labor and birth. During labor, they offer guidance on laboring at home and when to come to the hospital, encourage you to work with your body and your contractions, and help facilitate your birth through:
- Personalized support
- Wireless monitoring
- Alternative labor and birthing positions
- Skin to skin after birth
- Delayed cord clamping
Who can use the Nurse-Midwives?
Our nurse-midwives generally care for women who are experiencing a low-risk pregnancy. They will work with you and your prenatal care provider to determine if there are any risk factors that would exclude you from their care.
What if I need to be induced or decide I want pain medication?
Nurse-midwives can provide induction or augmentation of labor if necessary. Midwives know that each labor and woman are unique, and will continue to support women who choose pain medication.
What happens if I have a complication during my birth?
Your nurse-midwife, prenatal care provider, and our hospitalist physicians work as a team to provide excellent care to you and your baby. If you experience a rare unexpected complication, the nurse-midwives and physicians work together to ensure a safe delivery. Midwives stay with their patients even if the need for intervention arises.
Do you accept insurance?
Yes. There is no additional charge for midwifery care and billing is handled through your prenatal care provider’s office.
Are there times when a midwife is not available?
No. Henrico Doctors’ Hospital has midwifery care available 24/7/365.
For questions about midwifery care at Henrico Doctors’ Hospital or to meet with the midwifery team, please call (804)381-7946 or email email@example.com.