Certified nurse midwives are in high demand these days. Patients tell us they want a more personal experience when it comes to their pregnancy journey. They want someone who will stand beside them guiding, supporting but also problem solve when things get a little crazy as it oftentimes does during labor.
Lauren Hemzacek, MSN, CNM joined Lone Tree OBGYN & Midwives in 2022. She is a proud 7th generation Colorado native. Her desire to be a midwife started in her teens.
“I knew I wanted to be a midwife when I was 16 years old. I was in a high school program that required job shadowing and after diving into my interests - a lot of cold calling. I was able to shadow a midwife at Denver Health Hospital. It took one birth to know that I was being called to do the work.”
CNM’s require rigorous advanced degrees that allow them to provide wellness exams, oversee family planning and contraception, write prescriptions and treat women for most of their gynecological life. While highly trained to deliver babies vaginally, they are best known for their ability to provide emotional support to mothers during labor and delivery.
“A few years ago, I was in a birth where the patient's mother and eldest daughter supported her in labor. When the baby emerged (another girl), the patient's mother cried, watching her daughter birth her youngest granddaughter, while holding her eldest granddaughter. The patient, her mother, and her daughter all cried. I cried. It was just really special and was a birth that I felt particularly honored to participate in. It's something I think about after every birth, being in the presence of the making of families.”
According to ZIPPIA.com the career trajectory for being a CNM is expected to grow by as much as 26% between 2018-2028 potentially opening up 62,000 jobs. Yet the burn out rate can be as high as 40%. The demands of the job come with long irregular hours, high levels of stress, potentially sad birth outcomes and the possibility of being sued. Seasoned CNM’s report being exhausted and struggling to find work life balance. So why do this?
Hemzacek explains it. “We are expected to give our absolute best to everyone at all times because it’s such a sacred space. With that being said, the work is an honor and also very exhausting, due to those expectations. I've literally told a family their baby has passed away and then gone down the hallway to congratulate a new family with a healthy and viable pregnancy. The job is not just about babies, it's about being emotionally available to support all facets of life and all of its vulnerability”
And the positives of being a CNM? The biggest bonus is being there for the beginning of a family and offering another view point when it comes to patient wellness.
“I’ve seen providers and healthcare staff become more open to providing holistic medicine alongside medical medicine. They are both needed and I’m happy to see patients are offered more of a spectrum based on their specific desires and needs.”
Hemzacek received her Bachelor of Science of Nursing from the University of Northern Colorado and her Masters of Science in Nursing degree from Frontier Nursing University. When she is not busy at the clinic or the hospital, she enjoys sleeping in and taking long walks with her husband and dog.