If you’re looking for a welcoming and warm hospital experience to bring your baby into the world, you’ll find it at Trinitas Regional Medical Center, an RWJBarnabas Health facility in Elizabeth. Not only is the hospital’s midwifery program the second-longest running in New Jersey, but it’s also home to certified nurse midwives with decades of experience who speak more than seven languages. The derived meaning of the word midwife translates to “with woman,” and the NJMOMs we spoke with who birthed their babies at Trinitas say they felt that theme of nurturing support through their entire delivery experience. Read on for what to expect at the hospital and how the midwives care for their patients in a way that feels more like family.
Trinitas Regional Medical Center welcomes patients from all walks of life and a wide variety of backgrounds
Serving a diverse patient population has been the main thread of Trinitas Regional Medical Center since it opened in 2000. With that in mind, its midwifery program has made it a priority to care for patients in a way that meets them where they are, particularly women who may be new to the community or even the country.
“We try to make every patient feel comfortable. Some of their stories aren’t easy, and midwives have compassion and empathy that goes along with that,” says Carol Rose-Trzaka, Trinitas’ lead certified nurse midwife.
“We have a great variety of patients here at Trinitas,” adds Iwona Lewinski, another certified nurse midwife at Trinitas Regional Medical Center. “They come from all over. We have a variety of staff speaking other languages—nurses, midwives, and doctors. We have midwives speaking Haitian and Creole, and I speak Polish and Russian. I think patients feel more at home when they can speak their language,” she says. Shirley McDuffie, a midwife who’s been at Trinitas since 2013, agrees. “It’s comforting to a new mom to know someone can relate to them and is from the same ethnicity and background,” she adds.
For Emi Astuti, having someone who could understand her was vital. She says the midwives helped her every step of the way as she welcomed her first child Alicia into the world. Her husband Matthew recognized they needed to find a supportive team that understood her concerns as a first-time mom, especially not having family nearby.
“She doesn’t have much family here because she just moved here last year,” says Emi’s husband, Matthew Nistico. “So she was stressing because she wishes her mom was here. The midwives supported her through the whole process.”
Patient Sneha Sreekomar, her family, and her Trinitas midwife Shirley McDuffie
So, what is a certified nurse midwife?
Certified nurse midwives are highly trained and experienced in more than just the actual delivery. They are well-versed and practice in prenatal, postpartum, newborn, and routine gynecological care. So, they’re not only carrying on a centuries-old tradition of assisting women in safely delivering their babies, but they’re also drawing on advanced modern medicine techniques to be with women every step of their reproductive health journey. For patient Sneha Sreekomar, who also happens to be a doctor herself, her midwives’ bedside manner during her delivery was something that really struck a chord. “When you’re delivering, it’s very nerve-wracking—you feel vulnerable, and there’s a lot of emotion. But coming here, I felt like everybody was very calm. I was just like, wow,” says Dr. Sneha Sreekomar. “I was very fortunate to deliver with the midwives. I almost felt that I was home, and they were treating me like I was their own family member.”
Rose-Trzaka says that’s the staff’s goal—to put patients at ease while offering a warm environment rich with experience. “The people who work at Trinitas are here because it’s home to them. I believe that and think the patients feel it as well,” she says.