New service offers option for women giving birth at West Penn Hospital

Allegheny Health Network (AHN) is now offering midwifery services to mothers-to-be seeking an alternative birth experience with the additional security of a hospital environment. Certified nurse midwives Lisa Ferrill and Nicky Rawson of Allegheny Nurse Midwives have joined AHN and will attend births at AHN’s West Penn Hospital. <>

Ferrill and Rawson – with more than 48 years combined midwifery experience – offer women hands-on care before, during and after childbirth. They also perform gynecologic and obstetric exams, offer contraceptive services, and support breastfeeding efforts.

Though they focus on dealing with pain during childbirth by using natural methods, they will also order pain medications or even epidural anesthesia when requested.

 Midwives are health care professionals who specialize in pregnancy and childbirth, developing a relationship of trust with their clients and centering on a woman’s intuitive knowledge of pregnancy, labor and delivery. Midwives provide comprehensive prenatal care and education, guide labor and birth, address complications and care for newborns.

 Midwife services appeal to women who are looking for a more natural approach to childbirth. The safety and benefits of midwifery care have been demonstrated for many years in countries across the world, including the United States. Midwives now attend about 8 percent of births nationwide, up from 3 percent in 1989, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

 Ferrill is a graduate of Rush University in Chicago, where she received her nursing degree, her graduate degree in parent-child health and her nurse midwifery certification, and also did doctoral work in the field.

 Rawson received her nursing doctorate in community health from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, and her certified nurse midwife and master’s in public health degrees at Boston University School of Public Health.

Ferrill and Rawson collaborate with the obstetrician/gynecologists of Allegheny Women’s Health < in the event of complications developing prenatally or during labor. They are welcoming new patients and offering outpatient services at Allegheny Nurse Midwives, with offices in Pittsburgh, Wexford and Gibsonia. For an appointment, call 724.449.3245.

Allegheny Health Network is a regional and national leader in advanced obstetric and gynecologic care. West Penn Hospital, Forbes Hospital in Monroeville and Saint Vincent Hospital in Erie provide inpatient obstetric care, as well as neonatal intensive care for premature infants. West Penn Hospital’s obstetrics program is recognized by CareChex®, a division of leading healthcare industry analyst Comparion Medical Analytics Inc., as the best in western Pennsylvania for high quality care, superior outcomes and exceptional patient experience. In addition, state-of-the-art gynecologic care is provided for women of all ages at numerous locations around the region.