Meet Certified Nurse Midwife Mary Thompson. Born in South America and educated in England, Mary is a medical pioneer in Central New York, having been among just a handful of midwives in Syracuse during the early 1980s.
With 30-plus years delivering babies in private practice, Mary joined Crouse’s medical staff more than a year ago, making her the first midwife to be employed by the hospital full time.
Providing Personalized Care
Mary’s role is to provide personalized attention to expectant mothers, making them as comfortable and cared for as possible during the birthing process.
“Hospitals are associated with illness,” says Mary, who is also a family nurse practitioner, “but giving birth is natural, a joyous celebration of bringing forth life.”
Midwives are trained to recognize signs of abnormalities during pregnancy and birth, but also to support the mother in treating this time as the ‘normal’ life event it is.
According to Mary, “The best scenario is a healthy mom, a healthy baby and as little medical intervention as possible.”
Historically, midwives primarily attended births in Europe, as they do today, yet in America, the role of obstetricians during labor increased in the early 1800s. During the 1970s, the profession of midwifery enjoyed a revival, and today these trained and certified professionals work in collaboration with OB/GYNs.
Although long associated with home birthing, midwifes deliver about 99 percent of their babies in hospitals.
Supporting OB Physicians
In addition to benefitting women in labor in our Kienzle Family Maternity Center, Mary’s presence adds an additional layer of comfort for the physicians who’ve been caring for them during pregnancy.
Knowing Mary is on staff, right at Crouse tending to their needs, allows our OB doctors to care for other expectant moms in their offices as patients here progress through the stages of labor.”
Mary, who’s delivered more than 3,000 babies, also enjoys her other role: Serving as a mentor to OB residents who assist physicians with deliveries at Crouse. “I know they get much training in technology, but I especially like helping young doctors see how a mother laboring normally should be treated.”
She also appreciates working with her fellow midwives who deliver at Crouse. “Assisting with each birth is a privilege, and I’m very proud to see how my profession has evolved in Syracuse over the years.”