Care For Women offers services by a certified Nurse-Midwife, Karen McNeal, who can provide many of the services of our physicians. Click here to read more about Karen.
Midwifery care is a holistic approach to women’s health and wellness care. Your nurse-midwife will partner with you as a unique individual who is actively involved in choices about your health care through information, support and guidance.
What is a Certified Nurse-Midwife?
A Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM) is an advanced practiced registered nurse (nurse practitioner) who has completed a graduate degree specializing in women’s health and midwifery. A certified nurse-midwife also must pass a national certification exam given by the American Midwifery Certification Board to be certified and licensed by the Texas board of nursing. Certified Nurse-Midwives adhere to the standard of care and scope of practice set by the Texas board of nursing and American College of Nurse-Midwives.
Gynecology and Well-Woman Care
A nurse-midwife provides a full scope of care throughout the stages of a woman’s life- from adolescence to menopause and beyond. Well-woman care is vital with a focus on education and preventative health care for each individual woman’s needs to empower you to make the best decisions to achieve optimal health.
Meeting with your nurse-midwife can help optimize your health and pave the way for a healthy pregnancy prior to conceiving.
Prenatal care is an important part of staying healthy during pregnancy. Certified nurse-midwives are trained to provide comprehensive prenatal care. Throughout your pregnancy, the nurse-midwife will monitor both your and your baby’s health. At each visit, your nurse-midwife will provide education that is specific to your stage of pregnancy, and you will be given the opportunity to discuss any concerns that you may have. Your nurse-midwife will provide you with information to help you manage common discomforts of pregnancy. Towards the end of your pregnancy, the nurse-midwife will talk with you about what you desire for your birth options.
Labor and Birth
Each labor and birth are as unique as each pregnancy is for a woman. The nurse-midwife will work with you to help you have the birth experience you desire within the safety of the hospital environment.
The certified nurse-midwife will continue to follow you through your postpartum care to help you through the new transition of being a parent.
Nurse-Midwifery Care includes the following and more!
Gynecology and Well-Woman Care
Labor, Birth, and Postpartum
Can a midwife do my well-woman care?
The nurse-midwife can provide well-woman care throughout a woman’s life. A nurse-midwife is an excellent choice for both young women having their first gynecologic office visit and for women in their post-menopausal years, and every woman in between.
What happens if there is a problem or complication with my health?
If the care you require is not in the nurse-midwife’s expertise or scope of practice, your midwife will consult and work with or refer you to the physicians at Care for Women.
Can I get the prenatal testing done if I see the nurse-midwife?
A nurse-midwife can order the testing needed during your pregnancy, including genetic screening, growth ultrasounds, lab tests and more if required.
What happens if there is a complication in my pregnancy or during labor?
If it is needed during your pregnancy, the nurse-midwife will consult and work with or refer you to the physicians at Care for Women. During labor, your midwife keeps the physician on call up to date to ensure a seamless transfer to physician care if required.
If I have a nurse-midwife can I have pain medication or an epidural in labor?
Nurse-midwives can prescribe pain medication and/or consult with an anesthesiologist for an epidural. If you desire, your nurse-midwife may be able to help you manage pain with different positions and techniques while in labor.
Do you attend births at home?
The nurse-midwife at Care for Women is very happy to help you have the birth experience you desire at Kingwood Medical Center. The nurse-midwife does not attend births at home.
Can I have a water birth?
We do not offer water-births currently.
Is a doula the same as a nurse-midwife?
A certified nurse-midwife is a trained health care provider who can provide prenatal care, order tests if needed, follow your and your baby’s health throughout your pregnancy, provide support and monitor your progress during labor and birth, including postpartum recovery. A nurse-midwife can continue to provide well-woman care for your preventive women’s health maintenance.
A doula’s primary role is a non-medical role in providing emotional and physical support to a woman during labor, birth and postpartum. A doula can assist a woman with relaxation techniques, positioning, breathing and other techniques to help cope with labor.
Bachelor’s: Science in Nursing – Summa Cum Laude, Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, Arizona
Masters: Science in Nursing-Midwifery – Magna Cum Laude, Frontier Nursing University, Hyden, Kentucky
Board Certified: American Midwifery Certification Board (CNM); National Certification Corporation Credential in Inpatient Obstetric Nursing (RNC-OB)
Member: American College of Nurse-Midwives; National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health’s; Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses; Texas Nurse Practitioners
My passion for midwifery began with the births of my four children. After raising my family and working as a labor and delivery nurse for more than twenty-seven years, I decided to follow my dream and further my education to become a certified nurse-midwife. I believe women are empowered when making healthcare choices through knowledge, support and guidance to find what works for their lifestyle and provide the best possible outcome. Being a certified nurse midwife allows me to partner with women to provide evidenced based, compassionate health care that leads to a path of better health for the whole family. I am excited to apply my experience and knowledge in women’s health and midwifery care to provide healthcare for women in our community as a member of the Care for Women team.
My personal interests include travel – U.S. and international, motorcycle riding, and spending time with my husband, our blended family and puppies.