Sentara Albemarle Medical Center announces new midwifery program, celebrates first birth by midwife 

By on February 15, 2024

Beth Uzzle, SAMC’s newest midwife, holds Selah Ker after successful birth Feb. 8  (Photo courtesy Ali Ker)

A baby girl from Currituck is the first child delivered by a midwife since Sentara Albemarle Medical Center launched its new midwifery program on Feb. 1.

Selah Ker was born on Feb. 8 to parents Ali and Travis Ker. The baby girl weighed 9 pounds, 4 ounces after a 17-hour natural birth. This is the couple’s fifth child.

“It is awfully painful; however, having a good midwife can change everything and having somebody who knows how women‚Äôs bodies work actually helps to enjoy the process,‚ÄĚ said mom Ali Ker.

Sentara Obstetric and Gynecology Specialists hired its first midwife, Beth Uzzle, who delivered the baby. The practice is actively recruiting three additional midwives. The team of four will work side-by-side with physicians to deliver babies at the medical center in Elizabeth City.

The new midwifery program gives women more options for care and allows them to deliver their babies in a more natural way closer to home.

Midwives not only deliver babies; they provide gynecological and breast exams, contraception, nutrition services and can answer general questions about women’s health.

‚ÄúSentara has really made a huge investment in midwifery care because they know patients want midwives and they know they can help reduce caesarian section rates,‚ÄĚ Uzzle said. “We do high-touch, low-tech care. While we love technology, it’s important we do the low-tech things involved in a delivery. We are about helping people cope with labor. We try to get to the bottom of their emotional well-being and educate them. We address the whole person and the whole family.”

In 2023, doctors delivered 370 babies at Sentara Albemarle Medical Center.

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