Submitted by Mason Health
Whether you have a low-risk pregnancy or need more specialized care during your delivery, Mason Health expectant mothers now have more options for their care. In January 2023, Mason Health unveiled new midwifery services at Mason Clinic-Women’s Health, with the addition of Certified Nurse Midwife Alisha Wedding-Lambert, CNM, to the practice. Wedding-Lambert joins Obstetrician/Gynecologists Danielle Blood, MD, Andrea Martin, MD, and Carey Martens, DO, in delivering babies at Mason General Hospital; they all practice alongside Women’s Health provider Carley Jacobs, PA-C, at the clinic. Wedding-Lambert, a longtime Mason County nurse and area midwife, brings midwifery services to Mason Health for the first time.
“I grew up with a lot of strong women, and my family has always had a lot of children,” Wedding-Lambert reflected. “Being around strong women and kids is my comfort zone. I feel like this is my calling. The Birth Center at Mason General Hospital has an amazing culture and I’m happy to be here.”
Certified nurse midwives are registered nurses with, at minimum, a master’s degree in nursing. They are also board certified by the American Midwifery Certification Board. Certified nurse midwives work primarily with low-risk pregnancies and births and often have experience with home and water births. Midwives cannot perform C-sections and do not manage high-risk or complicated pregnancies, such as those involving multiples or preexisting medical conditions.
“As a certified nurse midwife, we have a base in the physiology of birth,” Wedding-Lambert said. “We know the medical side and we have more of a focus on the normal process of life, rather than the pathologies that can develop during pregnancies. For some people, choosing a midwife may be what is right for them, while others, choosing an obstetrician may be the best option.”
Wedding-Lambert grew up outside of Olympia and after high school moved to Utah with friends. She enrolled in the Utah College of Massage Therapy, where she graduated in 2002. It was during massage school that she first encountered the idea of working with pregnant women.
“We had an instructor in pregnancy massage who also coached women through labor as a doula,” Wedding-Lambert recalled. “I’ve always been comfortable around pregnant women, who are so appreciative during massages. I felt like I could really help them even more as a doula, and I thought ‘I could do this.’”
Doulas are trained professionals who provide physical, emotional and informational support to their clients before, during and after childbirth to help them achieve a healthy and satisfying experience, according to DONA International, the world’s leading doula certifying organization. Countless scientific trials examining doula care demonstrate remarkably improved physical and psychological outcomes for both pregnant, birthing, and postpartum people and their babies.
Wedding-Lambert studied and trained to become a doula, but then during the process, as she assisted friends giving birth, she realized she wanted to become a midwife.
“Seeing people not being given options and just told what to do when they are in the delivery room became upsetting to me,” she said. “I wanted to allow people the autonomy to make their own decisions. I wanted them to understand the ‘why.’ This is a vulnerable group of people and there were things I saw that did not allow space for autonomy. I felt called to do this.”
There are multiple paths to becoming a midwife, and it can vary state-by-state. Certified professional midwives are licensed and certified by the North American Registry of Midwives, while certified midwives have post-graduate degrees and have been certified through the American Midwifery Certification Board. Certified nurse midwives are registered nurses with a master’s or doctorate degree in nursing and are also certified by the American Midwifery Certification Board.
Wedding-Lambert chose to become a certified nurse midwife to ensure that her license and certification would be valid in every state. She went to nursing school at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, graduating in 2012. At that point, however, she found great satisfaction working as a Labor & Delivery nurse. She worked postpartum care in Utah, before moving back to Washington in 2013, with her husband and son, for a nursing job at what was then Grays Harbor Community Hospital in Aberdeen.
For the next four years, she worked alongside Dr. Carey Martens, DO, at the Aberdeen hospital, while also picking up per diem shifts at Mason General Hospital and other area hospitals. She thoroughly enjoyed her work, and one day, Martens asked her if she had ever thought about becoming a midwife.
“He thought I would be really good at it, and I said, ‘Well, actually, that was my original plan,’” Wedding-Lambert remembered. “That night I went home, and I applied for a program the next day.”
In 2017, Wedding-Lambert began Georgetown University’s certified nurse midwife program and graduated in 2019. She did clinical rotations at Mason General Hospital and other hospitals, working alongside Martens, who had begun working at Mason Health in 2018. In 2019, Wedding-Lambert started work as a certified nurse midwife for Multicare Tacoma General Hospital with a cohort of other midwives and OB/GYNs, assisting in or leading more than 176 deliveries during her time there.
Because of her experience at Mason General Hospital as a per diem nurse and through clinical rotations, Wedding-Lambert knew the culture at Mason Health and saw the respect that providers and nurses had for pregnant women and their families. She is excited to be a part of the Mason Health team.
“My hope is to build a midwifery group at Mason Health and bring that feeling of safety at the hospital to patients who may be feeling more nervous about giving birth in that setting,” she said. “I would like to build and be part of a local coalition of home and hospital birth providers working together to decrease maternal and infant morbidity by making sure that we build bridges and respect one another.”
Wedding-Lambert is also interested in pursuing funding for a prenatal group care model that would bring expecting parents together for appointments, classes, group discussion and cross-cultural relationship-building.
“Mason Health is clearly devoted to patient care,” she said. “I love the providers here and it is an incredibly welcoming environment.”
In her spare time, Wedding-Lambert loves to read, spend time in nature and snorkeling.
Mason Health, Public Hospital District No. 1 of Mason County, is ISO 9001 Quality Management System certified by Det Norske Veritas (DNV) and is a licensed and accredited acute care hospital with a level four emergency trauma designation. Mason General Hospital and Mason Clinic are ENERGY STAR certified and Mason Health is the recipient of Practice Greenhealth Partner for Change Environmental Excellence Awards. There are more than 100 physicians on staff in 19 specialties. For more information or to find a health care provider, visit the Mason Health website. To learn more about DNV, visit the Det Norske Veritas website.