Lead Midwife Nona Smith has always dreamed of offering a more holistic approach to women’s health care, particularly for those critical months before, during, and after a pregnancy. A self-described “workaholic,” Nona is experienced in all areas of fetal and maternal medicine. In addition to providing incredible care, she loves spending time with her adult sons and her grandchildren. Get to know her better!
B+C: Hi, Nona! We’re so excited to be opening this new center in Winston-Salem and look forward to having you on the team. Can you tell us a bit about your professional and educational background?
NS: I have a bachelor’s degree in nursing from UNC Greensboro. I also received my master’s degree in nursing with a concentration in midwifery from East Carolina.
I started out as an ICU nurse, and then I worked for labor and delivery. From there, I moved to prenatal assessment and the post-anesthesia care unit. I spent several years as a research coordinator for maternal fetal medicine before going back to school to become a midwife. After I received my master’s degree, I worked at a private practice in Winston-Salem before moving to Tennessee, where I helped to develop a telemedicine network for pregnant women. Eventually, I came back to Winston-Salem and started working as a midwife here.
B+C: It sounds like you have a lot of experience in maternal and fetal medicine!
NS: I do! I truly love what I do. There are a lot of misperceptions out there about what midwives actually do. So many people think, “Oh, midwives don’t do this or that,” but we do, and we’re great at it! I’ve provided services like hormone replacement therapy, we’re able to do ultrasounds in the office – and of course, we also offer contraception options, pap smears, and annual exams. A woman shouldn’t have to switch care providers when she becomes pregnant. You can see your midwife before, during, and after your pregnancy. Midwives take care of all women, including those who want to become pregnant and those who don’t.
B+C: So what started you on the path to midwifery?
NS: As a nurse working in prenatal assessment, I saw that the patients weren’t always adequately informed about testing. The brief time spent with each mother didn’t allow me to establish those trusting relationships. I wanted to make long-term connections with the women and families I worked with, and midwifery is all about continuity of care. As I mentioned, a midwife can perform well visits, offer pre-conception advice, and be there through every step of a pregnancy and beyond. I have patients I’ve seen for years. I was with them through their journeys when they’ve had young children, and now their kids have grown. That’s an incredible experience to be a part of.
B+C: What are you most looking forward to about working with Baby+Company?
NS: Baby+Company has merged with my employer, Novant, and now we’re going to be able to offer many more services to the women of this area. Instead of supporting in-hospital births with midwifery care, we can now give Triad women the option to give birth entirely out of the hospital. We can perform water births and just focus on normal physiologic birth, which has sometimes been difficult to do in a hospital environment.
B+C: With so many years of experience, you’ve seen all kinds of things. What advice would you offer to future parents?
NS: Expect the unexpected! Things will not always go as planned, and that’s true for pregnancy, birth, and even while your child is growing up. You have to be flexible and roll with the punches.