On Dec. 13, Brandi Stein delivered a little girl named Jazee Murphy at CHI Health St. Francis in Grand Island.
It was hardly the first birth in which Stein was involved. She was a registered nurse for 23 years. But Jazee was the first baby Stein delivered herself as a certified nurse midwife.
Stein is the first certified nurse midwife in Grand Island. Her office is in the CHI Health Women’s Health Clinic.
The Dec. 13 delivery, on the hospital’s second floor, went beautifully, Stein said. “It couldn’t have gone better.”
Stein has been a midwife for three months. But she already has her hands full. She is currently working with 17 expectant mothers.
One must be a registered nurse to become a certified nurse midwife.
Stein has a master’s degree in nursing, with a board certification in midwifery. Her master‘s degree is from Frontier Nursing University.
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Another midwife, Andrea Carkoski, will be joining CHI in Grand Island at the end of February.
Outside of Grand Island, the closest hospital to offer certified nurse midwives is Mary Lanning Healthcare in Hastings.
When women choose a midwife, they get more personalized care, Stein said.
She likes to spend more time with her patients. “There’s no rush when you see me. I take my time with you. You kind of get to guide the visits and you have plenty of time to ask questions,” Stein said.
Stein believes it’s important to give women options “and more hands-on holistic care.”
Stein tells her patients the risks and benefits of everything, but they make their own decisions in the end.
She treats a woman throughout the course of her pregnancy, providing prenatal care. She’s with the patient throughout the delivery process, taking care of her after the birth and discharging her from the hospital.
A midwife will collaborate with a physician “on anything that’s out of the norm,” Stein said.
Those cases include a high-risk birth or anything out of the scope of a midwife.
“They say midwives are keepers of normal. So if there’s anything that is abnormal, then I consult with them,” Stein said.
There are some myths about midwifery.
“I don’t go to homes and deliver babies,” she said. Nebraska law allows certified nurse midwives to deliver babies only in a hospital setting.
Another myth is that midwives don’t believe in pain controls, such as epidurals. “I believe in supporting the woman in whatever she wants,” Stein said.
In delivering babies, she follows the woman’s agenda, not hers. During labor, she provides support and encouragement.
But Stein points that she does more than “catch babies.”
She does women’s health. She can see teenagers, menopausal and post-menopausal women. She does annual exams and screens for sexually transmitted diseases.
She checks her patient’s vital signs and does the lab work. Instead of going through a nurse, Stein communicates with her patients directly.
Stein grew up in Leigh. After high school, she majored in nursing at the College of St. Mary in Omaha.
Before going back to school, Stein was a labor and delivery nurse at CHI Health in Grand Island for 12 years. CHI Health helped with her transition to becoming a midwife.
Her husband is Kevin Stein, Northwest High School’s head football coach.