Pregnancy App is a Hit with Moms-To-Be and Their Midwives

Babyscripts Remotely Monitors Pregnant Patients and Provides Real-time Feedback and Intervention


Washington, D.C., January 11, 2018 – A new mobile app is changing how expectant mothers are receiving prenatal care at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. Midwives at the Hospital Center can now remotely monitor their pregnant patients’ progress and health using the Babyscripts™ app. It’s the first mobile clinical tool that allows the midwives to elevate the prenatal care experience for their maternity patients.

Mothers enrolled in the program receive weekly educational updates tailored to their gestational period through the mobile app. The moms also track their weight and blood pressure through a Bluetooth®-enabled blood pressure cuff and weight scale, and the information is sent to their midwife. If the blood pressure or weight gain is too high or considered abnormal, the data is flagged, and the midwife can call for the mother to come in. These two metrics are important because they could indicate potential complications, such as preeclampsia, a serious condition that causes high blood pressure, kidney damage and other problems.

The combination of home monitoring plus notification of ‘abnormal triggers’ has reduced the number of face-to-face visits, some from 14 to nine prenatal visits, but that can vary depending on the individual. The program is offered to women whose pregnancy is considered low-risk.

“We piloted the app with our patients about a year ago and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. They loved it,” said Loral Patchen, PhD, CNM, director of Midwifery at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. “Babyscripts creates additional flexibility within our practice and provides a common bank of knowledge that allows us to personalize care to a greater degree during office visits. And both midwives and mothers appreciate that opportunity.”

Additionally, Babyscripts will be working with the Hospital Center’s Teen Alliance for Prepared Parenting (TAPP) program to provide a technology to promote healthier living and improve the overall well-being of pregnant and parenting youth. The Babyscripts Care Navigator module is the first-of-its-kind initiative for pregnant teen moms, providing automated patient education in the form of daily tips, along with the ability to interact with the moms through a HIPAA-compliant secure text messaging platform.

Currently, the Babyscripts features are only available to patients of MedStar Washington Hospital Center’s Midwifery Practice and the TAPP program.


About MedStar Washington Hospital Center:
MedStar Washington Hospital Center is a 912-bed, major teaching and research hospital. It is the largest private, not-for-profit hospital in the nation’s capital, among the 100 largest hospitals in the nation and a major referral center for treating the most complex cases. Its cardiology program is highly acclaimed and its cardiac surgery program has consistently earned the highest national rating–three stars–from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. It also is a respected top facility in the areas of cancer, diabetes & endocrinology, Ear, Nose & Throat, gastroenterology & GI surgery, geriatrics, gynecology, nephrology, pulmonology and urology. It operates MedSTAR, a nationally-verified level I trauma center with a state-of-the-art fleet of helicopters and ambulances, and also operates the region’s only adult Burn Center.

Media Contact

So Young Pak
[email protected]

Breastfeeding: Providing Infants with Optimum Care from the Start of Life

Celebrate World Breastfeeding Week!

This week, the Midwives of MedStar are celebrating World Breastfeeding Week from August 1-August 7. This year’s theme, “Breastfeeding: A key to Sustainable Development,” aims to raise awareness not only about the significant maternal and infant health benefits of breastfeeding, but also its advantages for a healthy planet.  While the marketplace may try to convince you otherwise, all a mother and baby really need to breastfeed is one another.  Certainly breast milk pumping and storage generates some consumer products and waste, but much less than what is associated with using breast milk substitutes.  Breast milk also is free and is always the right temperature for your baby.

One of the best ways to ensure you achieve your breastfeeding goals is to begin the conversation about how you will feed your baby with your partner and your provider early in your pregnancy.  Did you know that the benefits of breastfeeding extend beyond infancy? In addition to providing disease-fighting antibodies, and all the vitamins and nutrients your baby needs in the first few months of life, babies who are breastfed have lower risks of asthma, lower respiratory infections, eczema, diarrhea, type II diabetes, childhood obesity and SIDS.  As for mom, it also lowers the risk of postpartum depression, anxiety, certain breast cancers and ovarian cancer.

At MedStar Washington Hospital Center, all nurses who work with new mothers and infants receive 20 hours of breastfeeding specific education and skills development.  We also have lactation consultants who help you and baby get off to a good start.  More important, the hospital has adopted the 10 best practices recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) to support breastfeeding mothers and infants, including immediate skin to skin time after delivery. 

It’s not unusual for some mothers who start the process of learning to breastfeed to feel nervous and tentative.  Yet with knowledgeable and support, these hesitant starts quickly blossom into successful feeding rhythms with a confident mother and content, healthy baby. 

For moms returning to work, be sure to review your insurance coverage.  Many plans under the Affordable Care Act cover electric breast pumps (with many covering lactation services as well). A good rule of thumb is to begin pumping about two weeks before returning to work, so the baby can get used to eating from a bottle and you can begin to build up a supply of stored breast milk.

Did you know that workplaces are required by law to provide adequate time and a clean, private place to pump (bathrooms don’t count). Ensure you have a refrigerator or cooler to store the breast milk until you return home.

Need more information? Check out the upcoming Baby Care & Breastfeeding Basics, District of Columbia Breastfeeding Resource Guide, the Breastfeeding Center for Greater Washington, La Leche League and the World Health Organization for more information.

World Breastfeeding Week is coordinated by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA).

Happy breastfeeding!


Have Questions?

Please call the Midwives of MedStar Washington Hospital Center at 202-877-2303 and ask to speak to a nurse coordinator.

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Midwives of MedStar Washington Hospital Center

The Midwives of MedStar Washington Hospital Center are dedicated to the delivery of exceptional care to women and their families across the Washington, D.C. region. They are committed to achieving optimal health outcomes by offering safe, evidence-based, family-centered and individually responsive care.

The practice recently introduced a new option for women giving birth at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. Nitrous oxide, also referred to as laughing gas, is another method to use for pain relief while in labor. The blend is a lower concentration from the form used during dental care, and is designed so women maintain consciousness during labor- a safe, non-invasive alternative for those desiring a low intervention birth experience.



Location Information

To schedule an appointment with a certified nurse midwife, please call our scheduling line.

Physicians Office Building 
106 Irving Street, NW 
North Tower 4400 
Washington, DC 20010


Our Hours

Our midwives are available 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week for labor management and emergency phone calls.

Office hours vary during the week, updated information is available at any time by calling our central office at 202-877-2303.

Frequently Asked Questions

Discover answers to some frequently asked questions. You will find information about midwifery care, pain management, postnatal hospital recovery, and even routine women's health. 

Monthly Meet and Greet

Join us for a live webinar the second Monday of each month at 7:30 p.m. Learn about the midwifery practice at MedStar Washington followed by an Q & A session. Registration is required. 

Walking Tours and Maternity Classes

To prepare you for your birthing experience, please join us for a walking tour of our maternity facilities or browse our catalog of prenatal, postpartum, and childbirth classes.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a Certified Nurse Midwife?
    A Certified Nurse Midwife
  • How does midwifery care differ from physician care?
    Midwifery Care
  • What should you expect when you initiate care with Midwives of MedStar?
    The Midwives of MedStar
  • What if I have a complication during pregnancy or during labor?
    Pregnancy Complications
  • Pregnant Woman Meeting With Nurse In Clinic to discuss pregnancy
    Can I choose which midwife I want to deliver my baby?
    Your Relationship with a Midwife
  • What if I want pain medication or an epidural during labor?
    Pain Management
  • Do you allow vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC)?
    Vaginal Birth After Cesarean
  • How long do I have to stay in the hospital after my delivery?
    Postnatal Hospital Recovery
  • I’m not pregnant, not planning to have a baby, or done with childbearing, can I still see a midwife?
    Routine Women's Health

What is a Certified Nurse Midwife?

A certified nurse-midwife (CNM) is a health care provider trained in the two disciplines of nursing and midwifery and is certified by the American Midwifery Certification Board. Midwives provide primary health care to women of all ages, during pregnancy, childbirth, the postpartum period, for gynecological exams, family planning, and menopausal management. Midwives believe that interventions should be kept at a minimum unless medically necessary. The Midwives of MedStar provide services at the MedStar Washington Hospital Center and its out-patient office sites. We attend births on the Labor and Delivery Unit at the hospital. We work independently but have access to the team of physicians at MedStar Washington for consultation and referral if needed.

How does midwifery care differ from physician care?

Generally, the medical care we provide will be very similar to that provided in a regular OB/GYN office.We see patients every month at the beginning of pregnancy, every two weeks from 28 weeks and every week from 36 weeks to delivery. We offer all the routine prenatal testing available including blood work and sonograms. We spend a lot of time discussing your individual situation, concerns and desires. We spend a lot of time on education to help you maintain a normal pregnancy and deliver a healthy baby vaginally. We employ a "High Touch, Low Tech” approach whenever possible.

We specialize in laboring mothers who desire un-medicated birth. We spend time supporting you through your labor in order to facilitate a normal vaginal delivery of a healthy baby with as little intervention as possible. We encourage mobility, use of birthing balls and showers while intermittently monitoring fetal well-being. We also encourage, teach, and support breastfeeding through the use of skin-to-skin contact.

What if I have a complication during pregnancy or experience an emergency during labor?

Midwives are experts in normal pregnancy and labor. If complications do arise, we will work closely with the team of staff obstetricians, anesthesiologists, and neonatologists at MedStar Washington Hospital Center to determine the best course of action. We will remain involved in your care even if primary management is transferred to the physicians.

Can I choose which midwife I want to deliver my baby?

The Midwives of MedStar work closely together. So although you may not have met each of us over the course of the pregnancy, we discuss all of our patients together at least once a month. We know you even if you do not know us. The midwives as a group cover our patients 24/7 and rotate our on call schedule, therefore, you will not be able to choose who will be at the birth. We understand the anxieties that surround labor and birth and your need to feel as secure as possible. We get to know our patients very well during the labor process and are able to provide each of you with the individualized care you desire.

What if I want pain medication or an epidural during labor?

The Midwives of MedStar will provide a labor experience that is in keeping with safety and patient satisfaction. Should you desire pain medication, the midwives can help you choose which is best for you given your individual circumstances. We have anesthesiologists on the Labor unit at all times who are available to us as we need. A variety of pain management options, including epidurals, are available.

Do you allow vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC)?

In general, we and the OB department at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, support Trial of Labor after Cesarean and VBAC for women who desire it and whose medical circumstances allow it. There are rare cases in which a trial of labor is not advised. Please discuss your individual circumstances with the midwives. Your individual circumstances will be reviewed and assessed during your initial visit.

How long do I have to stay in the hospital after my delivery?

Typical hospital stays for a normal vaginal delivery are 48 hours. Typical stays after a Cesarean Section are 72 hours. However, we have recently started a voluntary early discharge program. Healthy moms and babies with uncomplicated deliveries now have the option to leave the hospital 24 hours after birth. Please speak with your midwife after you deliver to determine if you meet the criteria for an early discharge.

What if I’m not pregnant, not planning to have a baby, or done with childbearing, can I still see a midwife?

Absolutely! The Midwives of MedStar provide routine gynecological care for women of all ages including annual physical exams, breast exams, pap smears, birth control, sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment, as well as peri-menopausal care.

Midwifery Meet and Greet

Second Monday of the month at 7:30 p.m.

This is a live webinar hosted via Zoom.

Click here to register in advance for this meeting. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Please also include your questions when registering. We will send you meeting details once we receive your registration request.

Please note that you will be muted when you enter the zoom space. We will discuss when everyone is present the best way to ask questions and communicate with the group. Thank you for understanding and we look forward to spending time with you.

Meeting Agenda:

  • Welcome and opening remarks
  • Discussion of midwifery practice at MedStar Washington Hospital Center
  • Q&A from participants (based primarily on questions submitted to us prior to the session)

Please email your questions and/or comments before our gathering to [email protected].


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