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Returning Providers Hoping to Dispel Myths About Midwifery

January 9, 2020

There’s a myth about the kind of care that midwives provide, and Melissa Koch would like nothing more than to dispel it.

As announced recently, a new Women’s Health Outreach Clinic will open at UnityPoint Health – Marshalltown on January 13, 2020. That means that Koch and Autumn Schmoker, who are certified nursing midwives, will return to Marshalltown to provide women’s care.

Koch believes it’s never been more important for the community to understand the type of care a midwife helps manage.

“Midwives are not just here to provide care for pregnant women,” Koch said. “We’re here to address any concerns related to women’s health, including preventative care, birth control support, or any problems or questions women might have about their health.

“When I first started practicing as a midwife in Marshalltown, a lot of patients didn’t feel they could benefit from a midwife because they weren’t pregnant. So, I want women to know that’s a myth. We provide care to women through all stages of their life, and it’s not just specific to pregnancy.”

The clinic is the result of a partnership with UnityPoint Health facilities in Des Moines and Waterloo. Initially, the clinic will be open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Monday, and it’s anticipated the clinic will add additional days of operation in the future.

Specifically, the midwives at the clinic will provide women’s care such as initial OB visits, routine prenatal care, gynecological exams, screenings and vaccinations, fertility counseling, family planning, and menopausal care. Babies will not be delivered locally, but the midwives will be instrumental in transitioning care to birthing centers in surrounding cities and connecting families with pediatric providers at UnityPoint Health – Marshalltown.

“I can say with complete confidence that any person who decides to come see us will be so pleased and happy with the care they receive,” Schmoker said. “I’m truly blessed to work with the group of women I do now, and they are all amazing and so caring. When someone is passionate about what they do, it really shows.”

“It’s important for this community to have this service,” Koch said, “and it feels good to be able to bring it back.”

To schedule an appointment in the Women’s Health Outreach Clinic, contact the Multi-Specialty Clinic in Marshalltown at (641) 844-6259.

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