Midwives & Natural Birth

Certified Nurse-Midwives

Elizabeth Bary, RN, CNM, Alison Reid, RN, CNM, CLC and Nicole Sichting, APRN, WHPN-BC, CNM are three Certified Nurse-Midwives in the Louisville metropolitan region employed by WomanCare. They are all well known, established leaders in midwifery with over 20 years of experience in the field. All three are available to provide moms with an intimate and personal birth experience at Clark Memorial Hospital’s Family Birth Place.

The number of births being overseen by nurse-midwives is on the rise. The American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) estimates that soon 10% of babies in the U.S. will be delivered by Certified Nurse-Midwives, up from 3% just ten years ago. Worldwide, midwives deliver more than two-thirds of births.

Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs) are Bachelor's-prepared registered nurses who graduate from a masters nurse-midwifery program accredited by the American College of Nurse-Midwives, and pass a national certification exam. CNMs are educated extensively in both nursing and midwifery and can practice anywhere in the U.S. (In contrast, Direct-Entry Midwives, also called Lay, Licensed, or Professional Midwives, practice midwifery, but they are not registered nurses, and are not certified.)

A nurse-midwife is an advanced practice nurse with additional education and board certification. Their training allows them to independently care for laboring women, deliver unassisted and provide prenatal and postpartum care to women and newborns. They are very involved in labor and delivery, able to be more present and supportive during labor, and will consult with a collaboratory physician who may become involved in the delivery if needed.

Although qualified to administer drugs and perform medical procedures, those interventions are not routine for nurse-midwives, and they are used only when the mother requests them. The nurse-midwife believes in and trusts the natural birth process.

Nurse-midwives also provide family planning and birth control counseling, and normal gynecological services such as: physical and breast exams, pap smears, and preventive health screening. Our nurse-midwives may prescribe medications.

Be sure to like our WomanCare Midwifery Services page on Facebook.



Natural Birth

For women who choose the more personalized birth experience of using a nurse-midwife, WomanCare offers the expertise of three Certified Nurse-Midwives — including the region’s most experienced — providing:

  • Personalized birth plans.
  • Comprehensive OB care.
  • Natural deliveries.
  • Fertility Counseling.
  • Hydrotherapy (water labor).
  • Well-woman care across the lifespan.
  • Lowest cesarean section rate in the region at 6% in 2015.
  • Delivery at Clark Memorial Hospital and Tree of Life.
  • Collaborative care with experienced, trusting and supportive OB/GYNs.

Normal, Healthy Birth

Normal, healthy birth is supported by physical and psychological factors that promote effective labor.

  • Labor begins and progresses on its own.
  • Move around freely in labor.
  • Give birth in whatever position you feel comfortable.
  • Receive support from people you choose.
  • Labor results in a vaginal birth with normal blood loss.
  • Mother and baby stay together after birth, skin-to-skin.
  • Breastfeeding begins right away.