Meet Mon Health OBGYN’s Midwife: Gail Rock
She’s welcomed 2,338 newborns, guiding mothers through every step and season of their pregnancy, labor, delivery and postpartum experience.
Mon Health Certified Nurse Midwife and Lactation Consultant Gail Rock found a calling for midwifery after 14 years of coaching women through birth as a labor and delivery nurse.
“Patients would ask me ‘why didn’t you just deliver this baby?’—and so I furthered my education and became a midwife,” said Gail. “The 2,338 number only reflects my vaginal births, not including my and other providers’ cesarean births I have assisted with.”
Why do people choose midwives?
For women with uncomplicated pregnancies, midwives are an alternative to traditional care under an obstetrician. They are trained and certified in all-things pregnancy and birth, and are equipped with medical knowledge necessary to keep both mom and baby healthy from pregnancy to postpartum.
“One reason patients come to me is because they want to be an active participant in their pregnancy and birth experience,” said Gail. “When you see a midwife, we discuss pros and cons of all your medical options. My patients have a huge say in the kind of birth they hope to have, and I try to be a supportive advocate in helping them achieve that desired birth experience.”
How does care under a midwife differ?
Midwifery philosophy supports “watchful waiting,” which is a plus for women hoping to avoid many medical interventions in the case of a standard, low-risk birth.
In recent studies, researchers found midwives had “lower rates of cesarean birth, lower rates of labor induction and augmentation, significant reduction of third and fourth degree perineal tears, lower use of regional anesthesia and higher rates of breastfeeding.”
For this reason, some women who wish to go the route of a natural, unmedicated birth opt for a midwife.
“I support whatever birth method a mother chooses, whether natural or with an epidural,” said Gail. “In the case of a medical emergency, such as an unexpected cesarean section, we always have surgeons on standby to step in right away—and I’m right there with my patients throughout that process.”
Is a midwife only there until delivery?
Gail, who is also a Certified Lactation Consultant, remains a resource to her patients during the postpartum transition and beyond.
“I’m here to help patients in their adjustment to motherhood—that means being someone they can turn to for struggles with breastfeeding, mental health and other common postpartum issues. I’m only a phone call away,” said Gail. “I also still see patients after the postpartum period—from teenage years to menopause.”
At Mon Health Obstetrics and Gynecology, Gail works closely with the obstetricians to ensure her patients have the care they need when they need it.
“We work well together, and patients can choose to rotate through our obstetricians during their prenatal appointments, as well,” said Gail. “We want our patients to feel comfortable and confident with all of our providers as we’re all here to help our patients have a safe labor and delivery.”