Providing leading midwifery care for women throughout their lifetime


When you choose midwifery care at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, you’ll receive natural, holistic care from our team of Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM). Our advanced practice nurses are specially trained in gynecology and obstetrics, providing leading midwifery care for women during pregnancy and other life stages.

When it comes to pregnancy and delivery, studies show that women who choose a midwife for care may experience fewer hospitalizations during pregnancy, fewer episiotomies, and feel more in control during childbirth.

In addition to supporting you throughout pregnancy and delivery, our midwives care for women during other phases of life, providing well woman exams, pap smears, contraception and preventative care.

All babies are delivered at the Ohio State Maternity Center with access to the latest equipment and resources for every kind of pregnancy and delivery. 

Why Choose Ohio State?

Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center’s comprehensive midwifery program provides the care you want, when you want it. Here are some reasons expectant mothers choose our midwives:

  • We focus on providing personalized, hands on care throughout labor and birth.
  • We are committed to your birth choices and incorporating your individual needs into your care plan.
  • We offer hydrotherapy during labor.
  • Our state-of-the-art facility includes private rooms and the latest equipment and resources for every kind of pregnancy and delivery.
  • We are experts at empowering women to take an active role in their health care.

Our Services

Ohio State’s Midwifery Program offers comprehensive care in obstetrics and gynecology for women of all ages. Our midwives provide a compassionate approach to all aspects of women’s health care. We currently offer midwifery care at two locations. Ohio State's midwives offer a variety of care including:

  • Annual well-woman exams
  • Methods of contraception
  • Pregnancy care and delivery
  • Prescriptions
  • Treatment for common infections

In addition, if you develop a medical condition that requires more specialized treatment, our midwives refer you to an obstetrician or other specialist.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a certified nurse-midwife (CNM)?

A CNM is a type of advanced practice nurse. CNMs are registered nurses (RNs) who also completed graduate education and training specializing in midwifery. CNMs are certified by the state to provide a lifetime of care for women, including routine gynecologic care, birth control options, as well as pregnancy, delivery and postpartum care. In Ohio, CNMs work with physicians in a collaborative agreement. Visit for more information.

Why do people use CNMs?

Women who choose a midwife are generally looking for a provider who will offer them choice in their healthcare options, and a partner in helping them make important decisions regarding their health. Midwives have provided this type of care for hundreds of years. As midwives, we consider ourselves experts in normal pregnancy and birth.

Here are some good explanations from the web site,

“When you decide to visit a midwife, you can expect a special kind of care. Some midwives spend up to an hour with first-time patients, and all midwives stay with women through the entire birth process. Midwives strive to become partners in care rather than simply providers of health care.”

“Midwives approach birth, puberty and menopause as normal life events rather than potential medical emergencies. These are times when women need special education or support, but nobody needs to cure or fix them. Midwives believe that if women are given the correct information, they can make safe and satisfying choices.”

“Midwives are trained to recognize complications early and refer you for appropriate care. In a midwife you’ll find the best of health care and human support in one savvy professional.”

Do you attend deliveries at home?

No. While we support a woman's right to give birth where and with whom she chooses, we are not permitted by our malpractice companies to attend home births.

Are you anti-pain medication/anti-epidural?

No. We believe in informed choice. If, given accurate information, a woman believes an epidural or pain medication is the correct choice for her, we will support her in that decision.

Where do you attend deliveries?

We attend deliveries exclusively at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

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Will my insurance cover a midwife?

We accept OSU Health Plan, BCBS, United, Caresource, Molina, Medicaid and some Tricare plans. Please call the office to inquire about insurance coverage.

Can I just see the CNMs? When would I see the obstetrician?

If you are experiencing an uncomplicated pregnancy, then most likely you will only have visits with the midwives. If complications arise during your pregnancy, you may have a visit with one of the physicians in our practice. During labor, if an emergency arises, one of the staff physicians will be immediately available.

Do you have experience with the Bradley Method? Hypnobirthing? Hypnobabies?

Yes. We are familiar with each option and have worked successfully with women who are using them in their childbirth. This is another decision we will support you in when you decide what is best for you.

Can I have a doula?

We welcome doulas at your birth.

Can I labor/give birth in any position?

Absolutely. Not only are we fine with changing position, we strongly encourage it. We find that keeping mothers moving throughout labor is helpful for pain relief, as well as for correctly positioning baby. We are familiar with the majority of birthing positions and will help find the one that feels best for you at that moment.

Do I have to be hooked up to monitors the whole time?

If the pregnancy is normal and full term, most women are generally not on the monitor the entire time. Upon arrival to labor and delivery, you’ll be placed on the monitor for 20 minutes to evaluate baby, and ensure that baby is handling labor just fine. If all is well and you fit the criteria, we follow the intermittent monitoring guidelines established by Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center. This entails listening to baby every 30 minutes before, during and after a contraction during active labor, and every 15 minutes during the pushing stage. We’re happy to discuss this policy with you further.

Do I have to have an IV?

No, although we prefer our patients to have an IV port placed in case of emergency. This would not be attached to anything and you would still have the freedom to move around.

Can I have hydrotherapy?

Yes. We know that hydrotherapy is very beneficial for pain relief. We offer hydrotherapy during labor within our Aquadoula tubs which are available in all of our labor and delivery rooms.

Water births are now available again as an option for women who are enrolled in a research study through our practice. If you are interested in a water birth, please ask your Certified Nurse Midwife for more details at a prenatal appointment.

What if I'm Group Beta Strep (GBS) positive?

The recommendation for women who are GBS positive is to be treated with IV antibiotics while in labor. This generally does not restrict your freedom to move around or labor and/or birth in the water if you choose.

Do you do routine episiotomies?

We do not cut episiotomies routinely. If a baby is intolerant of labor and needs to be born immediately, the decision to cut an episiotomy might be made, though this rarely happens. Our current rate of episiotomy is approximately 1.7 percent.

Do you practice delayed cord clamping?

Waiting for the cord to stop pulsating before clamping and cutting is a practice we are very familiar with and routinely engage in.

Can my husband/boyfriend/partner cut the cord?

Absolutely. If all is well with your birth and baby, we are happy to allow your partner to cut the cord. We understand that the birth of a baby means the birth of an entire family, so partner involvement is very important.

I want to breastfeed right away. Is that OK?


What if I want to decline the Vitamin K injectin or erythromycin eye ointment for my baby?

In deciding to decline medication or treatment, we ask, as in everything else, that you are educated in your decision. For this reason, we recommend discussing this option with your pediatrician. If you decide that declining one or the other is the best option for your family, you’ll be asked by the nursing staff to sign a waiver at admission.

How soon after delivery can I leave?

Mothers generally do great after childbirth. An early discharge at 24 hours is something we support as long as the mother is stable. More concerning is how baby is doing in the first 24 hours. We recommend speaking with your pediatrician about his/her policy on early discharge.

Do you attend VBACs (Vaginal Birth after Cesarean)?

Yes. We are happy to offer this option to women who are delivering their babies at the The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

What is your Cesarean section rate?

We understand that C-section is major surgery. Because of that, we work very hard to ensure that when it is needed, it is absolutely medically necessary. Our current rate of Cesarean section is 13 percent.

Will medical students or residents be involved in my birth?

Although Ohio State is a major medical center and teaching hospital, resident and medical student involvement in your birth process should be minimal, if at all. If you are sent for evaluation for possible labor or a problem, you may receive care from a resident at that time. However, please know that they are simply evaluating you, and notifying the midwife on call of their findings. The midwife or collaborating physician is in charge of your care at all times. On a side note, if you are willing to have a resident or medical student observe your birth, it is a great experience for them to witness natural childbirth and learn from it. Of course, allowing their presence is always your choice.

Which midwife will deliver my baby?

We work as a team here at Ohio State, and because of that we like each woman to have several prenatal appointments with each midwife. We split call evenly because we want you to feel comfortable with whomever is on call when you go into labor.

Tips From Our Midwives

Tips From Our Experts

Choosing a trained certified midwife

Misconceptions about midwifery at Ohio State

The advantages of choosing Ohio State for your pregnancy

What to expect with midwifery care

How midwives approach patient care

Labor and delivery choices with a midwife

High touch, low tech delivery with Ohio State Midwifery

Creating your birth plan

When to call your midwife

When to call your midwife

How midwives deal with complications during labor and delivery

The differences between a physician and midwife for pregnancy care

The differences between a doula and midwife

Is midwifery care covered by health insurance?

How partners can help during labor and delivery

Can I have an epidural if I use a midwife

Hydrotherapy and water delivery options at Ohio State

Our Experts


Rebecca Wagner, CNM

Rebecca graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a nursing degree in 1997. She then proudly served her country as an Army Nurse for 4 ½ years in a variety of locations. Her nursing experience is varied and includes labor and delivery and a visiting nurse to pregnant and new mothers. She then returned to school and graduated with her master's degree and a certificate in nurse-midwifery. She is excited about working with women in all stages of their lives and feels especially privileged to work with women through pregnancy and birth.

Care Philosophy


Laurie MacLeod, CNM

Laurie completed her bachelor's degree at the University of Cincinnati and then worked as a labor and delivery nurse. She graduated with a Master of Science in Nursing in 2006. She worked in Albuquerque in private practice for several years. She is excited to be back in her hometown and to be a part of the growth of midwifery at Ohio State. Laurie partners with patients to educate them about their health and empowers them to become active participants in their health care. Laurie enjoys the relationship that develops through caring for women and their families during pregnancy and beyond.

Care Philosophy


Elizabeth Austin, CNM

Beth received a bachelor’s degree from Duke University, where she discovered her passion for women's health care and midwifery. In 2007, she earned her Master of Science in Nursing degree, specializing in Nurse-Midwifery, from Vanderbilt University. Before moving to Columbus in 2013, she practiced in Cleveland and attended births at Lakewood Hospital, a "baby friendly" hospital. Beth is excited to expand midwifery services at Ohio State. She has special interests in contraception, water birth and empowering women to be active decision makers in their healthcare choices.

Care Philosophy


Patricia Dodge, CNM

Pat Dodge became a certified nurse midwife in 1997 after many years as a labor and delivery nurse. She studied midwifery at the Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing and earned her master's degree from Case Western Reserve University. She has been a longtime champion of midwifery and performed one of the first underwater births in Columbus in 1998. Her interests are low intervention birth, midlife health, and empowering women and families to be active decision makers in their health care.

Care Philosophy

Emily Neiman

Emily Neiman, CNM

Emily pursued nurse-midwifery beginning in 2005 and graduated from The Ohio State University in 2009 with a master’s degree in science and a certificate in nurse-midwifery. Emily has experience with both in-hospital and out-of-hospital births and is committed to offering women options in the hospital setting. She is passionate about working with women throughout their lives, and particularly during pregnancy and birth. She believes strongly that pregnancy and birth are normal, natural life events and works to partner with women in their care.

Care Philosophy


Cassandra Sampsell, CNM

Cassandra graduated from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2005. She then worked at The Ohio State University Medical Center as an RN in a variety of areas including labor and delivery. It was there she discovered her true calling, serving the women of our area throughout their lifespan. She attended graduate school at The Ohio State University and graduated with her master's degree and certificate in Nurse-Midwifery.


Lily Zimmermann, CNM

Lily received her BS in Allied Medicine in 2009 from The Ohio State University. During that time, she was exposed to midwifery and her passion for women’s health grew. Lily pursued a career in nursing at Vanderbilt University, where she completed her MSN specializing in Nurse-Midwifery in 2013. After returning from Nashville, Lily worked for a FQHC providing comprehensive prenatal, postpartum and gynecological services to women. Lily focuses on serving women with competent, compassionate and patient centered care; and empowering women to be active facilitators in their healthcare.

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