Partners. That’s how Amy Gastright has always viewed the midwives at St. Elizabeth Physicians Women’s Health.
Like many women, Mrs. Gastright first began seeing them for gynecological care when she was still a teenager. The 33-year-old Taylor Mill woman says she started forming strong bonds with them at her very first visit with veteran midwife, Shauna Zerhusen.
"I was just 18 or 19, and I remember she took me into her office first and she really talked to me like I was an adult," Mrs. Gastright recalls.
"Since that point, I’ve never felt uncomfortable. You never feel rushed … because they really take time with you. It’s just kind of special."
That relaxed partnership is what the physicians and midwives at the practice – with offices in Florence and Cold Spring – say many of their patients are seeking when they choose midwives for gynecologic and obstetric care. It’s a partnership that’s always been a perfect fit for Mrs. Gastright, who naturally went to see one of the midwives when she and her husband, Doug, wanted to have a child.
Unfortunately the Gastrights faced complications that forced them to spend years seeing fertility specialists for treatments, which all ultimately proved unsuccessful.
"I’ll Never Forget That Day…"
At wit’s end, and frustrated with all the complex medical treatments, the couple decided to try a more holistic approach to their problem. That’s when Amy Gastright went back to Shauna Zerhusen and received a referral to an acupuncturist. Within two months, the Gastrights were expecting their first child.
"I’ll never forget that day when I found out I was pregnant – I was absolutely hysterical I was so happy," Amy recalls.
Fortunately, there were no complications with Amy’s pregnancy, so she could receive all her care from the midwives at St. Elizabeth Physicians Women’s Health. Complicated pregnancies are always referred to the care of the physicians at the practice, while the midwives there specialize in normal pregnancies.
"All our midwives are advanced practice registered nurses, with master’s degrees in nursing. We’re all also nationally certified by the American College of Nurse Midwives … and we all can prescribe drugs, as well," Ms. Zerhusen said.
Partners with Physicians, Too
All five midwives work in partnership with the three obstetricians and one gynecologist at St. Elizabeth Physicians Women’s Health to ensure every woman gets the care she needs, even if problems develop. In fact, Dr. Robert Flick, Assistant Medical Director at the St. Elizabeth Obstetrics and Gynecology Outpatient Center in Florence, said at least one physician is at the hospital when every patient gives birth.
"We’re still in-house 24 hours a day … so if a woman should suddenly need a C-section, for instance, we move in," Dr. Flick said.
"Otherwise, the midwife is right there laboring with them, hour after hour, tapping into their expertise to try to lessen their discomfort."
The birth of Amy and Doug Gastright’s first son, Brycen, two years ago was a blessedly normal one, so they were able to take complete advantage of their midwife’s full attention. In fact, the birth was such a good experience that this May the Gastrights delivered a second boy the same way. It’s the kind of repeat business that this group of midwives just can’t get enough of.
For more information, contact St. Elizabeth Physicians Women’s Health:
Florence: (859) 212-5125
Cold Spring: (859) 912-6500
Editor’s Note: This is a special advertising section provided by St. Elizabeth Healthcare.