Healthcare Heroes: WVU Medicine Children’s Midwives

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – It’s not every day that a family has a child, but when they do, it’s almost guaranteed that a midwife will be involved. But, what exactly do they do?

Lemon

We primarily do care for women prenatally, so we see them for their pregnancy, we manage their labor, we are them when their baby comes, so we catch their baby. And then, we follow them postpartum, and then we also do well-woman care.

Kelly Lemon – Certified Nurse Midwife, WVU Medicine Children’s

Lemon said she works with like-minded nurses who are dedicated to the positive health outcomes of their patients.

One of her colleagues, Kayla Pomp-Steurer, said the reason she and others are so dedicated is that they like what they do.

Pomp-Steurer

I have the best job ever. I care for patients like women and families throughout the lifespan, from adolescence to helping people get birth control through prenatal care, postpartum, helping them with lactation, all the way up through menopause, so it’s a pretty great gig.

Kayla Pomp-Steurer, Certified Nurse Midwife, WVU Medicine Children’s

Pomp-Steurer had her first child about two years ago and delivered her at WVU Medicine Children’s. It was, in fact, Lemon working as the midwife during delivery.

Lemon holding Pomp-Steurer’s daughter

That is why she personally knows and understands what the patient experience is like at WVU Medicine Children’s.

Despite that, knowing her own dedication and that of her colleagues, Pomp-Steurer said she does not see herself as a hero. And neither does Lemon.

“I don’t think I’m a hero, no,” Pomp-Steurer said.

Instead, both nurses said they are far too focused on their patients to think about their own accomplishments.

“It’s not about me when I walk in,” Lemon said. “It’s completely about them and making sure that feel that they are safe and that they are loved and supported.”

Pomp-Steurer with a patient after delivery

That love and support have been even more important during the COVID-19 pandemic, she said. That’s because, unlike many other hospital services, pregnancies could not be put on pause.

Lemon and her colleagues had to work hard to create “a sense of normalcy” in what can be the most anxiety-ridden day of women’s lives.

“Having a baby is one of those cases where you’re stepping into a healthcare setting and most of the time something isn’t wrong, something is really right,” Lemon said. “Your family is growing, so to be able to kind of step out of the world that is really crazy weird right now, and to try to make an experience for families as we watch them grow and love and they gain a new little family member, that’s really cool.”

This passion and dedication demonstrated by Lemon, Pomp-Steurer and all their colleagues will continue when they move into WVU Medicine Children’s new hospital.

Artist rendering of planned WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital in Morgantown.

The state-of-the-art, nine-story, 150-bed tower is currently under construction and it will include:

  • A Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, which includes a cardiovascular intensive care unit and an epilepsy monitoring unit
  • A Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
  • A Pediatric Acute Care Unit, which includes an inpatient cancer unit
  • A Birthing Center
  • Private inpatient rooms with a window view
  • A dedicated emergency department
  • Operating rooms, cardiac catheterization, interventional radiology, and endoscopy facilities
  • A medical office building, including pediatric heart and vascular institute, blood disorder and cancer center, infusion center, and maternal-fetal medicine clinics
  • A pharmacy, pediatric imaging services, a cafeteria, and a gift shop
  • A family resource center

“I’m really excited to get in there and see what it’s like whenever it’s done,” Pomp-Steurer said. “I think that having a state-of-the-art facility like that in North Central West Virginia is going to be huge for families. It’s going to allow us to give the best options of care for folks, the most evidence-based and really give people a lot of options, so I’m really excited about that.”

She continued.

“I hope to have a baby there on my own one day because I can’t wait for it. And I trust all the nurses and the doctors and other midwives that I work with so much. I know that we are all really, really excited and are excited to serve our community, for sure.”

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