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UF Health introduces midwifery practice

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) – After years of practicing at the hospital, UF Health’s team of midwives now have their own practice.

UF Health officials, midwives and other labor care professionals cut a ribbon Tuesday for a midwifery clinic and practice for the five women who do the work at the hospital.

Midwives traditionally deal with low-risk and normal pregnancies. Libby King has been a midwife for almost 30 years. She is happy to be back where she started at UF Health.

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“Almost every OBGYN practice now has a nurse midwife. While that was not true 30 years ago, we were few and far between,” King said.

Natalia Prieto is another midwife who works at UF Health. She has been trying to get this practice going for years.

“We put a lot of work and effort into this and we’re here today and we’re very, very excited,” Prieto said.

Dr. John Smulian is the chief of gynecology and obstetrics at the University of Florida. He says having a midwife service in the home is something that comes up during surveys done by the hospital.

“Midwife care brings an important part of quality care and can help improve outcomes across the board, so we expect their presence here to improve care not just for their patients, but all the patients we care for, Smulian said.

The team of midwives has been working in the hospital since September. They plan to add two more midwives to their team in the coming months.

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