My Unique Midwifery Care

The following is a guest blog by our new CNM, Danielle Duquette.

Becoming a midwife has been my dream for a long time. When I finally accomplished that dream, I had to decide where I wanted to practice and what that practice would look like. Because of my own personal delivery experiences, I knew that here in Austin, we have wonderful options for patients who desire home birth and birthing center births, but the ability to have a midwife in the hospital was lacking. I am changing this.

I knew that Dr. Mushtaler and Dr. Browne’s practice (Capital Ob/Gyn Associates of Texas) was the small intimate practice I desired, that would allow my patients the comfort and compassion of a midwife, as well as having the physicians in the practice here to support me collaboratively in the care of higher risk patients. With the hearts and support behind me from Dr. Mushtaler and Dr. Browne, I knew I could give many women the options they desired.

The unique role I will have as a midwife at Capital Ob/Gyn allows me to see my patients all the way through their pregnancy and delivery, as well as to see patients for their well-woman and gynecological visits. Patients will have the opportunity to meet each of the physicians during the course of their prenatal care. The physician collaboration portion of my care allows patients to remain with me for prenatal care and deliveries even if patients “risk out” of traditional midwifery care or require cesarean section for safe delivery.

For some patients, this unique aspect of our practice is an important financial consideration. Many midwives have a separate fee for their care. However, in our practice model, our patients will be only be responsible for one set of fees for their pregnancy. This is not the case for patients who plan a birth outside of the hospital but need to change to a hospital birth because of additional risk factors. Some patients may not know this, but I am also a surgical first assistant for Dr’s Mushtaler and Browne, so if one of my patients were to need a cesarean section, I will be at their bedside through the whole process to help my patients and my physicians.

-Danielle

To learn more about Nurse Danielle Duquette, visit here. 


My Journey to Becoming a Certified Nurse Midwife

The following is a guest blog by our new CNM, Danielle Duquette.

First, I decided I wanted to be a mom, and through that process I became a midwife. When I had my first baby I was receiving prenatal care from a midwife at a birthing center. At that time, I was working at the birth center and I had a dream of delivering naturally there as well. The wonderful childbirth educator there was also a doula and one of the most amazing people I had ever met. She was a wealth of knowledge and such a tender soul.

My birth did not go as planned. I ended up being transferred to the hospital while pushing, but my doula made this experience a lot less scary and everything went smoothly. I became great friends with this doula, and after the birth of my first child, I decided to become a doula myself. I spent the next five years as a doula and loving my job.

Unfortunately, life doesn’t always go as planned. Following my husband’s diagnosis of a heart condition, I needed to find a job with benefits and flexible hours. I landed a job as a patient care tech on the labor and delivery unit in my town. I worked there for several years as I went to nursing school. I continued my career in the birth world as a labor and delivery nurse. After spending 6 years in several different labor and delivery environments, both in hospital, as well as birthing centers and home births, I knew that my dream of becoming a midwife was calling to me. I wanted to be the one helping moms achieve the births they desired and deserved.

After graduating, I was faced with finding a place to work. There were many times as a mom when I was faced with few options for delivering my baby. I attempted to have my 4th baby vaginally birth after 2 cesareans. That option didn’t exist in the hospital but I was able to find one homebirth midwife who was willing to take a risk with me. With her help I had a beautiful vaginal birth after 2 cesareans at home.

For the birth of my 5th child, I had relocated from Iowa to Texas. My pregnancy was complicated by gestational diabetes and history of cesarean section. I could not find a midwife who could care for me. I was lucky enough to find a practice that fell in line with my beliefs to deliver in the hospital, but I still had no option of a midwife. This was when I knew I wanted to provide obstetric care to moms in the hospital with the ability to have me for their entire pregnancy as well as deliver in the hospital if they risk out of care or require a hospital delivery. Many moms are not aware when planning delivery with a midwife, that if they risk out, not only could they be forced to change providers and location, but they could be hit with additional expenses they were not prepared for. It all boils down to options. I hope to provide these options.

-Danielle

To learn more about Nurse Danielle Duquette, visit here.