The Midwife Center's programs and services have a direct impact on improving health outcomes in our region. Our programs are designed to provide personalized and evidence-based care that is based on the needs of our clients and their families. This approach contributes to The Midwife Center, as well as birth centers nationally, having significantly better health outcomes compared to national statistics.*
The Midwife Center has prioritized making its care more accessible to diverse populations through the programs below, which are made possible by individual and business donations and foundation grants.
You can ensure that all individuals have access to safe, satisfying care at The Midwife Center. Donate now!
Our goal is to respect individuals and provide them with safe and satisfying care.
With Woman Fridays and Con Mujeres are walk-in programs for gynecological services like annual exams, contraceptives, sexually-transmitted infection screenings and more. These programs were designed to minimize some of the barriers that keep individuals from seeking healthcare, such as lack of insurance, finances, lack of childcare, and difficulty keeping appointments.
With Woman Fridays and Con Mujeres attract individuals of all ages and different experiences, including people who have avoided the healthcare system because of bad experiences in their past. Our goal is to provide care and support, establish a trusting relationship, and help address the client's current and future health care needs.
Named after the meaning of the word “midwife” (with woman), With Woman Fridays and Con Mujeres have served thousands of individuals since 2003. In 2016, we saw more than 400 individuals for appointments during the programs.
With Woman Fridays and Con Mujeres are supported by contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations.
The Midwife Center recognizes that not all of the individuals and families who come to our center have insurance or medical assistance. With help from individual donations and from funding we receive through Adagio Health, we are able to offer primary gynecological care, prenatal care, and childbirth services to individuals without insurance or who don't qualify for medical assistance.
Our expanded building is accessible and we also have a phone interpretation line.
In order to provide comprehensive care, The Midwife Center offers support to help both primary gynecological and prenatal clients connect with additional resources and clinical referrals at our center and in the community. Resources could include ways to obtain affordable health care and childcare, food assistance, free diapers, behavioral health care, information about smoking cessation, and more.
We began offering additional support and resources to all clients after we saw improved outcomes among prenatal clients during the three-year Center for Medicaid and Medicare Innovation Strong Start program grant. The grant enabled The Midwife Center and other birth centers to provide additional resources and emotional support for pregnant clients on Medicaid. Initial data from the Strong Start program demonstrates that women who participated in the program had significantly better outcomes than the national average. Once the Strong Start grant period ended, we decided to prioritize offering additional support to all clients in our expanded birth center.
In order to provide families with additional support during the initial postpartum period, in 2008, The Midwife Center began dedicating nurse time to make postpartum phone calls to every first-time mother and clients in need of additional support. During these phone calls made over a six-week (and sometimes longer) period, a TMC nurse and lactation consultant can help new mothers with breastfeeding, discuss nutrition and safety, talk about any challenges with transitioning to motherhood, and provide referrals as needed. In 2016 we made nearly 1,000 calls to postpartum mothers.
The Midwife Center's clients have better success with breastfeeding than mothers overall in Pennsylvania. In 2016, The Midwife Center had a 94% breastfeeding initiation rate, and at six weeks postpartum 90.3% of clients partially or exclusively breastfed. In contrast, a PA Dept. of Health study using data from 2008 showed that 72.4% of moms in Pennsylvania breastfed their baby at least once, and 48.3% were still breastfeeding after eight weeks.
- Midwife Center client stats
- Pennsylvania Dept. of Health, Pennsylvania Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System, Breastfeeding Report, 2012
The Midwife Center offers three core classes which help clients become fully prepared for childbirth and caring of a new baby – Childbearing Essentials, Breastfeeding and Newborn Care. In addition to these core classes, The Midwife Center offers Childbearing Refresher for clients who have had a prior labor and delivery.
The Midwife Center requires that expecting first-time mothers take the three core classes, and we offer scholarships for individuals who qualify based on income and family size. These scholarships are supported by individual donations and foundations, and help ensure that all of our clients have access to these important classes.
Learn more about our classes and how to obtain a scholarship. Please call our front office at 412.321.6880 to sign up for classes.
With our fellowship, we mentor the next generation of midwives while impacting maternal and infant health outcomes in our region and beyond.
The Midwife Center developed the Ruth Brexendorf Stifel Fellowship in 2010 to address the growing demand for our services. Between 2010 an 2015, the number of births per year increased from 244 to 454.
Named after our founding Medical Director, Dr. Elizabeth Stifel's mother-in-law, the fellowship is designed to attract and support new graduate certified nurse-midwives with a strong desire to practice in a birth center setting. Up to one year long, the fellowship provides a supported entry into the midwifery profession with close mentorship in the skills necessary to practice independently in both the birth center and hospital.
The fellowship helps The Midwife Center address the national shortage of midwives with birth center experience and therefore have more of an impact on maternal and infant health outcomes in our region and beyond. It also addresses TMC’s long-term goals of providing educational opportunities for midwives to strengthen the midwifery profession and birth center model of care, which are being recognized locally and nationally as providing high-quality, low-cost care.
The fellowship is funded by reimbursements from the additional births the practice can accommodate, as well as generous contributions from individuals and local foundations. Contributions to the Ruth Brexendorf Stifel Fellowship help keep The Midwife Center’s unique services accessible to more individuals and families in our region, and contributes to the future of birth centers in the United States.
Ruth Brexendorf Stifel Fellows
Theresa Schmidt, CNM, MSN – 2010 fellow. Currently on staff at The Midwife Center
Emily McGahey, CNM, MSN – 2011 fellow. Currently on staff at The Midwife Center
Aoife O’Brien, CNM, MSN – 2012 fellow
Kellie Northam, CNM, MSN – 2013 fellow
Annie McFarlane, CNM, MSN – 2013 fellow
Phoebe Lehr, CNM, MSN – 2014 fellow
Sarah LaGrand, CNM, MSN – 2014 fellow
Amanda McPherson Shafton, CNM, MSN – 2014-2015 fellow. Currently on staff at The Midwife Center
Dia Brooks, CNM, DNP – 2014-2015 fellow.
Jatolloa Davis, CNM, MSN – 2015 fellow. Currently on staff at The Midwife Center
Nia Graziano, CNM, MSN – current fellow
Learn more about applying for our fellowship.
* Read about the National Birth Center Study II (NBCSII), which The Midwife Center participated in.