Support For Mom And Baby

By Linda Chong Tim
Interviewed by Melissa Moniz
Wednesday - June 02, 2010
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Linda Chong Tim, CNM, MSN
Certified Nurse Midwife

Where did you receive your schooling and training?

I was born and raised in Kaneohe, graduated Castle High. I went to the University of Hawaii, where I received my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing, with specialty training as a women’s health care nurse practitioner. I then went on to pursue my nurse midwifery education through San Jose State University.

How long have you been practicing?

I’ve been practicing as a certified nurse midwife for 12 years.


What is the role of a midwife and how can expectant mothers benefit from these services?

I think, as a CNM, we support women and their choices, and try to provide them with as much information and guidance as possible while providing a safe and healthy birth experience. We also support the family and significant others who may be involved. We are trained to listen to the concerns and desires of the patient and provide her with information to aid in decision-making. An OB/GYN physician, as well as an extended team of specialists, are always available at Moanalua to assist if a patient’s labor becomes abnormal or other complications arise.


Can you discuss your role as a CNM at Kaiser Permanente and the team approach involving OB/GYNs?

CNMs are highly trained medical professionals who are prepared to manage normal pregnancies and birth, including comprehensive prenatal care, delivery, breast-feeding support, postpartum care and family-planning services. We educate our mothers on nutrition and healthy lifestyles and go over preparations for labor and birth. In addition, CNMs tend to the health care needs of women from puberty through the menopause and post-menopausal years. We work collaboratively with physicians when consultation and/or referral is needed or desired.

When did Kaiser begin offering the service of certified nurse midwives?

Last August. There are five CNMs on staff and we are excited to announce the recent hire of our sixth CNM, who is starting in July. CNMs include Brenda Jackson, Carol Thomason, Reagan Turner-Bell, Cindy Urbanc and Connie Conover.

We have CNMs available at most of our major clinics - at the Kailua and Ko’olau clinics, where I practice, as well as at our Waipio, Honolulu and Maui clinics. So patients can choose to make appointments with us or with the OB/GYN physician. Our midwives work side-by-side with OB/GYN physicians on high-risk cases, and we manage most of the normal, low-risk labors and births. Members with routine pregnancies and maternity services as a covered benefit are welcome to see a nurse midwife at no extra charge.

What has been the feedback from expectant mothers who have utilized midwife services?

It’s been wonderfully positive. Many of the labor and births at our Moanalua Medical Center are covered by midwives. The patients and their families have been very receptive to our care. We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback about the care provided by our midwives, which I believe is why we are growing as quickly as we are.

What are some ways or methods that you teach and offer women to cope with the pain during labor and delivery?

It depends on what the patient’s birth plan entails. Some women want to try to have an unmedicated birth. Some pain-relief measures include walking, position changes, rocking, massage/counter pressure, relaxational music, use of a birthing ball, birthing tubs and water therapy. But if a woman desires pain medication or epidural anesthesia, it is always available. We also have cordless fetal monitors so we can monitor the baby’s heartbeat and contractions without having to be plugged into the machine. This provides laboring mothers the freedom and mobility to move about while assuring the well-being of the fetus. It is a beautiful blend of support and safety.

You mentioned the use of a birthing tub. Does that mean water births are available at Kaiser?

We have had women set up a labor tub through privately hired doula services. We haven’t delivered underwater as of this time. But women who use the tub for water therapy during labor find it to be very soothing and aid in diminishing the sensation of pain. Our goal is to have a tub available for low-risk laboring mothers on a regular basis and we are actively pursuing this.


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