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Midwifery Option for Prenatal Care and Childbirth

We are pleased to be able to offer our patients who desire midwifery care the ability to see the midwives affiliated with the Center for Women’s Health and Midwifery (CWHM) located at 789 Howard Avenue, New Haven (Phone 203-789-3029).

Few times in life are as exciting and full of opportunity as the time when you are expecting a new baby. Choosing a birth setting that fits your values and preferences is an important part of the experience.

Yale Health now offers two choices for care during pregnancy and when the time comes to welcome your new baby into the world. Both options use the Labor and Birth unit at Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital which is at the 20 York Street Campus of YNHH.

One option is to continue to receive your care during pregnancy from our team of physicians, nurse practitioners, and registered nurses at Yale Health, with your birth attended by one of our obstetricians.

A second option is to receive your care during pregnancy and childbirth from certified nurse midwives at the Center for Women’s Health and Midwifery (CWHM) who see patients at 789 Howard Avenue, New Haven. This option requires a referral from your Yale Health Ob/Gyn clinician.

With either choice, you will receive prenatal care during the first three months of your pregnancy at Yale Health.  After the first trimester, you will be able to transfer your care to the midwifery group if you so choose, assuming you have no complicating medical conditions. If you are interested in this option, you should discuss this with a clinician during one of your appointments in early pregnancy, and together decide if transferring your care to the midwifery group is a good choice for you. If this is deemed to be a good choice, the clinician will then enter a referral to our Referrals office to recommend approving the coverage for midwifery care at CWHM.  Once approved, you would then schedule prenatal care appointments with CWHM by calling their office.

If you choose to transfer your care to CWHM but unexpected complications arise during pregnancy, you may need to be transferred back to Yale Health. For example, if your baby is breech and you are advised to have a scheduled cesarean delivery, you would return to Yale Health Ob/GYN for the remainder of your prenatal care and for the cesarean delivery surgery.

Regardless of whether you get care at Yale Health or care with the certified nurse-midwives at Yale New Haven Hospital, you should:

  • Use Quest Diagnostic Services at any of their locations in New England (Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island) for all lab services/testing.
  • Use the Yale Health Pharmacy in order to get prescriptions with the standard copay.
  • Receive all other medical care (including Acute Care not related to the pregnancy) at Yale Health.
  • Share labor and birth preferences with your clinicians. Both obstetricians and midwives always do their best to accommodate these, keeping in mind our shared primary goal of a healthy baby and mother. Preferences may include VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) and natural childbirth.

Other things to be aware of if you decide to transfer your care to CWHM

  • There is always an attending obstetrician present at Yale New Haven Hospital in case complications develop during labor or a cesarean section is necessary.
  • You will need to come to Yale Health for scheduled imaging or other tests, unless authorized for another location.
  • Injections such as Rhogam, Flu vaccine, TDAP vaccine need to be given at Yale Health.
  • Any testing recommended during your pregnancy such as fetal nonstress tests will need to be done at Yale Health, unless authorized to be done elsewhere.
  • If intravenous iron is recommended for iron deficiency anemia in pregnancy, this will need to be given at the Yale Health Infusion Center at 55 Lock Street.
  • If you plan to breastfeed, an electric breast pump can be ordered for you at the Yale Health Pharmacy (no charge) within 60 days before or after the birth (once every 3 years). One of the midwives can order this for you at our pharmacy.
  • You should continue to use the Yale Health Pharmacy for prescriptions. The midwives are able to order medications for you there.
  • You will have an office visit with CWHM about six weeks after childbirth. Any further ob/gyn care will need to be provided by the Yale Health Ob/Gyn office.
  • If you desire an IUD or subdermal implant (Nexplanon) for contraception after you give birth, this will need to be scheduled at Yale Health Ob/Gyn office postpartum.
  • If any other services are recommended to you, such as physical therapy, these need to be scheduled with Yale Health network providers.

Yale New Haven Hospital offers for all patients

  • Certified Baby-Friendly care.
  • Hydrotherapy, nitrous oxide and other comfort measures.
  • Necessary interventions, including cesarean section, epidural or spinal pain relief, and other comfort measures.
  • The ability to respond immediately to an unexpected emergency or concern about your baby’s health.