McLaren Brings on Midwife to Provide More Options for Moms in Lansing

Author: Sarah Barber

"The word midwife means 'with women.'"


Whether you are expecting your first baby or your last, pregnancy, labor, and delivery can be both joyous and come with challenges. It’s important to have a team of people around you who support you during this special time in life. This support team should also include a medical provider.

Throughout pregnancy, moms have periodic prenatal visits to ensure that both mom and baby are healthy. These visits are typically done with an OBGYN or nurse. However, McLaren Greater Lansing is giving moms in our community another option – a Certified Nurse Midwife.

“The word midwife means ‘with women,’” said Hannah Bieber, Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) at McLaren Greater Lansing. "A lot of women who come to us are looking for a natural birth, however, it doesn’t always happen, and that’s okay. We are there to educate and support, whatever that looks like."

Bieber is hoping to be there for her patients for every step of their pregnancy, labor, and delivery. From pre-natal appointments to labor support and ultimately delivery, she will play a role in their entire journey.

"I am trained extensively in labor support and hands-on labor management," said Bieber. "There are a lot of techniques we can do to help moms get through labor, including hip squeezes, massages, acupressure, stretching, positioning, and sterile water injections. All of the same medical pain management techniques are also available, including an epidural."

CNMs are not only there for the pregnancy journey but also can care for their patients long after.

“We also help new moms with breastfeeding and general women’s health care,” said Bieber. “It’s a common misconception that certified nurse midwives are only there for the childbearing years. However, we can also perform annual exams, manage all forms of birth control, and treat STIs, UTIs and yeast infections.”

While CNMs can provide a wide range of health care services for women, there are some differences between a Certified Nurse Midwife and an OBGYN doctor. A CNM is not able to care for some moms with high-risk pregnancies (depending on the risk), perform surgeries (including C-sections), or use vacuum- or forceps-assisted deliveries.

"Our philosophy is fewer interventions are better," said Bieber. "However, interventions exist for a reason, and a mom needs help or a C-section, we support using them when necessary."

Bieber completed the Nurse-Midwifery program at the University of Michigan and will begin seeing new patients at McLaren Greater Lansing Women’s Health – Okemos and McLaren Greater Lansing Women’s Health – North Lansing starting in August. If you or someone you know is interested in a Certified Nurse Midwife, call (517) 975-1400 to schedule an appointment.

McLaren Greater Lansing has plans to continue to expand the Certified Nurse Midwife program in Lansing, with the goal to have two additional CNMs by 2023.