Childbirth activist and author Sheila Kitzinger said, “In all cultures, the midwife’s place is on the threshold of life, where intense human emotions, fear, hope, longing, triumph, and incredible physical power enable a new human being to emerge. Her vocation is unique.” 

Providence Medical Group – Centralia Women’s Center is proud to announce the arrival of Certified Nurse Midwife Cheryl Carney. She joins Drs. Mark Nishiyama, Jennifer Scalici, Elisha Mvundura and Duong Than.

Health care is complex. If you feel confused or overwhelmed, Carney recommends bringing someone along to take notes and help ask questions. Photo courtesy: Providence Health and Services.

Carney decided to be a midwife after living in Japan, where she taught English. With limited books to read in English, going to the bookstore was a big event. That’s where she purchased Myles Textbook for Midwives. “I consumed it and thought, when I have a baby, I want to have a midwife as my provider,” she says.

It was challenging to find a midwife in Japan but Carney did. As a result, she had exactly the kind of birth she wanted. “I had such a great experience, I wanted other women to have that same kind of experience,” says Carney. “That is when I decided this is what I would do.”

While midwifery has been around since the beginning of humanity, misconceptions still linger. One is that midwives only deliver home births. Carney delivers babies at Providence Centralia Hospital. If things get out of her scope of practice, one of Centralia Women’s Center’s four doctors steps in as needed.

“Midwifery care is the best of both worlds because as long as everything is healthy and normal, we can really tailor their pregnancy and birth experience to what they are looking for,” Carney says.

Providence Medical Group focuses on helping people with kindness and compassion – a good fit for Carney. Photo courtesy: Providence Health and Services.

Another misconception is that only pregnant women see a midwife. Recently a 60-year-old patient told Carney, “I don’t need a midwife.”

“I told her it’s not just delivering babies that we do,” Carney says. “We also see women from adolescence through menopause.”

With a variety of services ranging from well-women health care, preventive care, PAPs, STD screening and treatment, and even a limited amount of primary care, midwives treat women through all stages of life. Carney also offers birth control options, including IUDs and implants.

Carney’s favorite part of the job is pregnancy care. She enjoys sharing this special time with patients and their families. “It’s that anticipation and getting ready while learning how to be a parent,” she says. “That’s the best part.”

First-time parents are some of Carney’s favorite patients. “It’s always gratifying to see the transition from coming in as young people, maybe not making the most healthy choices, and then becoming mature parents by the end of it all, ready to focus on the baby,” she says. “I like that whole process over the one event of birth. Although, when dads cry at the delivery, that still gets me every time.”

“Come on in and see the differences from community midwives or doctors,” says Carney. “We are a team here – the five of us – and the doctors are just a phone call away if we need help.” Photo courtesy: Providence Health and Services.

Carney’s advice to those considering midwifery care is to do some research beforehand. “See what people who used midwives say and hear about those who used doctors as well,” she says. If you’re looking for pregnancy care, “read about birth and what that experience is like. Think about what you want to experience.”

After 23 years as a midwife, Carney’s experience adds to her considerate bedside manner. Establishing patients now, she’s excited to add the medical services offered to the community by Providence Medical Group.

Carney’s mission is to help patients get the birth experience and treatment they want. Her addition to the Providence team brings excellent midwifery care to Lewis County. “Women are not always aware they have choices,” she says. “That’s a big part of it, letting people know they have options.”

The introduction of midwifery services is a response to patient demand for delivery options. Providence heard those requests and brought Carney on board, offering personalized midwifery care for expectant mothers and general gynecological services for women through all life’s stages.

“I am hoping to grow a nice steady practice here and have it go so well we need to bring in more midwives to the group, so there is always one on call at the hospital,” Carney says. “That is my goal and dream.”

Centralia Women’s Center
1000 S. Scheuber Rd.

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