Midwife Matters

Pregnancy preparations, women's health, and care options

Michele Stegeman, CNM

Bloomington Clinic

My interest in midwivery started in 1981 when I moved to the Twin Cities after being a RN for a few years at a hospital in South Dakota.  I was an OB nurse there and all the births were done in the delivery room with women ‘restrained’ with leather handcuffs to the delivery table.  Patients all had perineal shaves, enemas and medication for the birth.  They also all  had episiotomies and very few partners were allowed in the delivery area.  My first job in the Cities was at Fairview and one of my first deliveries was with a midwife, Mary Jo Rourke, who started the midwife practice at Health Partners.  She delivered the patient on her side in a birthing room – I had never seen a delivery in a birthing room, never seen a patient deliver on her side and never seen a birth without an episiotomy.  It impressed me so much that birth could be done in such a calm, relaxed environment.  Mary Jo seemed to have a ‘sixth sense’ about birth – knew which patients were going to have issues, knew which patients were going to deliver easily  – she was someone I admired and respected and I know it was her influence that led me to pursue a midwifery career.

I have been at Health Partners since 1984 and have had the privilege of attending several thousand births.  The nurse-midwives, doctors, nurses, and ancillary staff that I work with are all people who are dedicated to giving patients the best experience possible – I couldn’t ask for a better job or for better people to work with.

Aside from midwifery — I am the mother of two sons (Ryan and Zack) and have a Golden Retriever (Mia).

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