Meet Our Certified Nurse-Midwives

          Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs) are registered nurses who have obtained a Master’s degree in nursing and specialize in women’s health.  A CNM has passed a national certification exam and renews their certification every eight years.  The South Denver Midwives (all CNMs) provide a wide range of healthcare for women:  From a teenager’s first period, through pregnancy/birth/post-partum, and extending into menopause.


          In Colorado, CNMs are licensed by the Colorado Board of Nursing, and are independent health care providers who can prescribe a full range of substances, medications and treatments.  With their advanced education and focus on research and partnering with women, they are among the most modern, forward-thinking health professionals in the United States today.

Midwifery: The Holistic Obstetrics Care

With Woman

The origin of midwife means “with woman”. The philosophy of care focuses on the specific needs of a woman, empowers women to participate in their health care and minimize unnecessary intervention. Midwives view adolescent changes, pregnancy, birth and menopause as natural life transitions. Yet the midwife can intervene if the transition is a bumpier road for some. Education and listening are key components of the midwife style of care.

The Holistic Approach

In general, midwives tend to have more time to answer all your questions and help you learn about the physical and emotional changes you experience throughout pregnancy. A midwife can also help you think about what kind of birth experience you want – and she’ll support you in your decision. For example, a midwife will guide you through an un-medicated labor if that’s what you choose, but an epidural will still be an option if you wish to have anesthesia.

Midwifery Core Beliefs

A Certified Nurse-Midwife affirms the power and strength of women and the importance of their health in the well-being of families, communities and nations. We believe in the basic human rights of all persons, recognizing that women often incur an undue burden of risk when these rights are violated.

High Risk Pregnancies

During pregnancy and birth, CNMs use less medical intervention. However, if complications arise during a pregnancy or birth, a CNM is trained to intervene medically. Our CNMs and our physicians work together closely, so that there is always a physician available for consultation or transfer of care for higher risk conditions. Because of this, our midwives can help with deliveries that traditional midwives would have to avoid due to being high risk.

What Does A Certified Nurse-Midwife Believe?

A Midwife believes in the best model of health care for a woman and her family:

  • Promotes a continuous and compassionate partnership

  • Acknowledges a person’s life experiences and knowledge

  • Includes individualized methods of care and healing guided by the best evidence available

  • Involves therapeutic use of human presence and skillful communication

  • Our Midwives honor the normalcy of women’s lifecycle events.

Our Midwives Believe Every Person Has A Right To:

  • Equitable, ethical, accessible quality health care that promotes healing and health

  • Health care that respects human dignity, individuality and diversity among groups

  • Complete and accurate information to make informed health care decisions

  • Self-determination and active participation in health care decisions

  • Involvement of a woman’s designated family members, to the extent desired, in all health care experiences

We Believe In:

  • Watchful waiting and non-intervention in normal processes

  • Appropriate use of interventions and technology for current or potential health problems

  • Consultation, collaboration and referral with other members of the health care team as needed to provide optimal health care

We affirm that midwifery care incorporates these qualities and that women’s health care needs are well-served through midwifery care. We value formal education, lifelong individual learning, and the development and application of research to guide ethical and competent midwifery practice. These beliefs and values provide the foundation for commitment to individual and collective leadership at the community, state, national and international level to improve the health of women and their families worldwide.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I meet you before I decide if I want a midwife or if my partner or family has questions?

We offer a complimentary 15 minute meet and greet visit with one of our midwives.  Please call our office at 303.738.1100 to arrange this meeting.

Can I have an epidural?

While many women who desire natural birth seek midwifery care, many of our patients use epidural anesthesia during their labor. We are supportive of all ways women chose to have a baby, and have many options available at the hospital.

What is your episiotomy rate?

Our episiotomy rate is about 1%.  It is safer to tear then it is to have an episiotomy, so we never routinely do episiotomies.  We do many techniques to help avoiding a tear during birth.

What is your Cesarean Section rate?

Around 10-15%. National average is 33% and we are very proud of our low rate.  When we recommend a cesarean section, it is always for a legitimate medical reason.

What positions can I be in during labor and birth?

We encourage you to move into positions you are comfortable in, both in and out of the bed during labor and birth.  Our women try a variety of positions, including on a birthing ball, in water, walking, squatting, or in bed.  If you have an epidural, then you are restricted to the bed, but we will work with finding comfortable potions in the bed which will aid in labor progression and pushing.

What if I become high risk during my pregnancy or labor?

We collaborate with fabulous physicians at South Denver OB/GYN, who are available 24/7 if need be.  Some scenarios require a one time consultation, some require co-management between the doctor and midwife, and in certain situations, a transfer during your pregnancy to the care of physician.  Because we work together, you do not need to transfer clinics if a complication arises. Certain situations include, but are not limited to: Diabetes requiring insulin, Pre-Eclampsia, Vaginal birth after a cesarean, Twin pregnancy, and the need for a cesarean section.

Can I wear my own clothing during labor?

Yes, absolutely.  We want you to be comfortable.

What is the difference between a CNM and a doctor during labor and birth?

Generally speaking, CNMs not only attend the birth, but provide support through out the labor and spend more time with you during the whole process.

If I have a midwife, does that mean I deliver at home?

We do not attend home births.  All of our families have their baby at Castle Rock or Littleton Adventist Hospitals.  Our Certified Nurse-Midwives graduated from a Masters or Doctorate program accredited by the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM), are board certified, and have hospital privileges.

Why do we have our families deliver at Littleton Adventist Hospital or Castle Rock Adventist Hospital?

Our families rave about their experience at both Littleton and Castle Rock Hospitals.  Not only do the nurses have an average of 15 years of experience, the birthing center is well-equipped with Jacuzzi tubs, portable and waterproof fetal monitoring (if needed), complimentary therapy options (including aromatherapy) and a massage therapist postpartum (Littleton).   Both birth center staffs enough lactation nurses to provide support to all women postpartum.

To help you feel confident about your upcoming delivery,  the hospitals offer a program called Birthday Wishes (Littleton) or Birth Concierge (Castle Rock) which allows families an opportunity to meet with a nurse at the hospital during their pregnancy, discuss and fill out their birth preferences for their file and receive a tour.

Most importantly, these hospitals provide top notch care with excellent outcomes.  The hospitals have an on-call obstetrician in-house every night, a neonatal nurse practitioner (NNP) and 24 hour anesthesia coverage.   With Level II (Castle Rock) and Level III (Littleton) Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) you can have peace of mind that if a complication would arise with your baby, the likelihood of your baby needing to transfer to another hospital with a higher level of care is very rare.   And, finally, we like that both hospitals have a reputation for avoiding overmedicalized birth and avoiding unnecessary cesarean sections.

Can I have an induction OR When do you require an induction?

Inductions have contributed to our countries skyrocketing 33% cesarean section rate.  Due dates are guesses as to when your baby will be born, give or take 2 weeks.  While inductions can be a safe option, they do come with risks, and can double the chance of a cesarean section for a first time mom.  While we discourage inductions for non medical reasons, we believe our families are capable of making informed decisions based on the known risks and benefits.  In most cases we offer induction between 41-42 weeks for healthy pregnancies.  We also have a variety of natural ways to go into labor.

Can I do delayed cord clamping?

There are many newborn benefits to not immediately cutting the cord after birth (typically waiting 3-10min). We routinely practice delayed cord clamping for healthy babies.

Do I have to be on the fetal monitor continuously when I am in labor?

If you are low risk and not using medication, you qualify for intermittent fetal monitoring of the heart rate and contraction patterns.  We follow recommended guidelines by ACOG and ACNM for how often your baby needs to be monitored.  If any condition required continuous monitoring, both the Littleton and Castle Rock Hospitals have portable monitors available giving you the freedom to labor outside of the bed or in water.  Everyone will have a 20-40 minute monitor strip on admission.  As long as the baby looks healthy on the monitor, we generally listen to the heartbeat for a few minutes every 30 minutes.  Research shows that outcomes for babies did not improve after the invention of continuous electronic fetal monitoring for low risk women (not on medication, including induction medication or epidurals).

What is a doula?

A doula is a professional birth coach. They are not trained in offering medical advice, but are certified to give support and education during pregnancy and labor.  Women who use doulas have higher rates of natural labor and lower rates of cesarean section.  We are welcoming of doulas, and work closely with Jacie Gonzalez of South Denver Doulas. Doulas are independently hired by our families, and can be hired during labor and/or the postpartum period after discharge from the hospital.

Should I make a birth plan?

Birth plans are not required, but a great way to communicate your wishes, preferences, and fears.  Most of our families will at least to a birth wishes tour at the hospital, and fill out a preference sheet for their file.

Should I take classes before giving birth?

Most women have less fear and feel more prepared if they take labor, newborn, and breastfeeding preparation classes.  Our clinic offers hypnobirthing, labor and breastfeeding classes on location (please inquire or visit for more info).  We have a complimentary healthy pregnancy class that we encourage every pregnant woman to attend as soon as they can in their pregnancy.  We also have a variety of recommendations for classes at various locations including Littleton Hospital, Sweet Beginnings (downtown Littleton) and Natal to Nest.

  • 5* South Denver saved my life, literally! I went into the practice for my second visit with Redd (she is the best!!!) and I'd been having some AWFUL side pain (it felt like appendicitis except there was no fever, vomiting, etc and I'd been having the worst cramps, so I knew it wasn't that). They were able to get me in for an ultrasound and low and behold I had an ectopic pregnancy. They scheduled me for emergency surgery that day. Dr. Bergstrom (also amazing!!!) performed my surgery. He was a wonderful surgeon, and I really feel at ease with everyone in the practice. They know my name and are just wonderful to be a patient with! I will not ever use another practice as long as I can help it!

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  • Dr. Roy G. Bergstrom, MD     22 Reviews 5/5 Stars Dr. Scot C. Graham, MD    13 Reviews 4.5 / 5 Stars Dr. Kelly M. Lennon, MD   25 Reviews 4.5 / 5 Stars Dr. Kimberly P. Vanscriver,  34 Reviews 4 / 5 Stars

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  • This is the best office! The staff is very friendly and really cares about their patients. Dr. Lennon is such a great doctor. He has diagnosed 2 substanital problems that have been puzzling to other doctors I've seen over the last 3 years. I highly recommend Dr. Lennon and South Denver Obstetrics & Gynecology

    Jan 10th, 2012 Vitals Review

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    The Best Staff,
    Diagnosed 2 substantial problems

  • I had my first baby with a different practice. I loved all the Drs I met, but when it was time to give birth, I had an on call Dr that I was very uncomfortable with.  He was rude and actually told me I was not going into labor (when I actually was) I had never met him before and he made my birthing experience horrible. A friend recommended this practice. I didn't want a male Dr because I was uncomfortable with it and so I decided to go through the midwife route. I absolutely love all the Midwives here in this practice! I have met all of them but I wanted to give props especially to Cassie Applegate! She is amazing, caring and actually takes the time to hear my concerns. She helped deliver My second child. She was there for the whole thing, which was totally different from my first birth where the Dr was there only for the last 5 minutes of the hour and a half pushing i did. Even though I had some complications after the birth, Cassie made me feel comfortable and safe. She's approachable and really cares about her patients.

    5* 4/22/2015 Yelp Review

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  • Dr. Payne is awesome! After three doctors in Denver I finally found her and she was the only one who actually listened. Within two months of my first appointment I had outpatient surgery to remove a fibroid, and was started on thyroid medicine and hormone therapy. Feeling like a new woman!

    5* 8/4/2015 Yelp Review

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    Cesarina D.,
    Finally found a physician I trust