Pregnancy    

Giving birth on your own terms



Shaye Arnold of Health Quest Medical Practice discusses midwifery


Childbirth is a truly amazing experience. Those that have witnessed the birth of their child know it is hard to describe the intense rush of emotions felt as your child enters the world. Shaye Arnold, a certified nurse midwife at Health Quest Medical Practice, knows exactly how empowering childbirth can be, which is why she knew she was destined to become a midwife.

The road to midwifery
“I’ve been interested in women’s health, birth, midwifery, and women’s empowerment for as long as I can remember,” says Arnold. After graduating from Columbia University, she worked for four years as a registered nurse. “As an RN, I was able to work in Buea, Cameroon, and on a Navajo reservation.” These experiences proved to be a powerful shift in Arnold’s life. “It was so touching to be able to deliver babies for women of all different backgrounds,” says Arnold.  Shortly after, she graduated from Emory University as a certified nurse midwife.

Fostering empowerment
Midwives understand the wide range of women’s needs, including personal and cultural values. They are licensed to perform annual gynecological exams, prescribe birth control, and provide routine prenatal care throughout a woman’s pregnancy. “My overall goal is to foster a sense of empowerment for my patient’s healthcare and overall wellbeing,” says Arnold. “I encourage my patients to make informed choices, and I work hard to create an atmosphere in which my patient is able to celebrate the miracle of birth.”

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Making an impact
One of Arnold’s most memorable moments as a midwife came when a young woman in her 20’s enlisted Arnold for help after learning that she was pregnant with her first child. “Prior to her due date, we discussed her desire to have a medication-free birth,” says Arnold. “There was so much excitement in the room the day of the delivery, but my patient was nervous,” says Arnold. 

When Arnold arrived, the expecting mother was in the bathroom alone and in pain. “I went straight into the bathroom, got on her level and told her she could do this.” The expecting mom was fearful and having painful contractions, but Arnold managed to get her up to the standing position – what happened next was nothing short of mesmerizing…“I got her to stand up and I began hugging her,” says Arnold. “We swayed, did some deep breathing exercises, and finally she relaxed.”  The now calm expecting mother decided it was time to get into the tub. “She pushed a few times and then gave birth to a healthy baby girl. “Everyone was crying and I was proud to have been a part of that special moment,” says Arnold. “I was also proud to know I helped her give birth the way she wanted.”

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After the birth, Arnold continued to build a relationship with the new mom as a patient; she comes to Arnold for postpartum check-ups, birth control, and annual gynecological screenings. “I love what I do and knowing that I’m a part of the community and my patients’ lives.”

Shaye Arnold, certified nurse midwife, sees patients in Health Quest Medical Practice OB/GYN offices in Rhinebeck and Kingston. She delivers babies at Northern Dutchess Hospital in Rhinebeck.


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