An alternative method of healthcare for women is now available in the Bismarck area.
April Kautzman spent years in the healthcare field, working eight years in labor and delivery at CHI St. Alexius when she realized there was a need in the community.
That’s when she decided to become a certified nurse midwife.
“They had to make the decision whether they were comfortable doing a home birth and now women can still get that midwifery experience that they might want with me during their pregnancy. But we’ve got the safety net of the hospital available should anything unexpected come up during labor and delivery,” explained Kautzman, the Certified Nurse Midwife at Mid Dakota Clinic.
As of now, Kautzman is the only Certified Nurse Midwife in the Bismarck area — and she says it’s not only women who are having babies that can pay her a visit.
“We can take care of women for their annual well-women exam, preconception care, family planning, contraception visit, gynecologic problems. We can kind of take care of women for any needs they have throughout their lifespan,” explained Kautzman.
Midwifery takes more of a non-interventional approach when it comes to health.
But with Kautzman’s medical background, she can identify when additional medical attention is necessary.
“She also has the understanding and knowledge to decide which patients are high risk. And for those patients she’ll make the appropriate referral to an obstetrician for subsequent care and delivery,” explained Jerry Obritsch, an obstetrician at Mid Dakota Clinic.
She says her goal is to connect with her patients in order to have a deeper understanding of what aspects play a role in their daily health.
“That we recognize the therapeutic value of human presence. So we spend more time with our patients during our visits. We really like to talk and get to know patients and educate people,” explained Kautzman.
Mid Dakota says midwifery health is typically covered by insurance companies.