Herbs are a foundational root in medicine and health treatments, dating back thousands of years throughout every culture around the world. Modern Western herbalism comes from ancient Egypt. The Greeks developed a comprehensive philosophy of herbal medicine by 100 BCE and the Romans built upon it to create a variety of medical practices, some of which are still used today.



Psychological hardiness is an individual’s resistance to stress, anxiety and depression. It includes the ability to withstand grief and accept the loss of loved ones. Alternative medicine is a more popular term for health and wellness therapies that have typically not been part of conventional Western medical approaches but are often used along with conventional medicinal protocols.  Coping and dealing with stress in a positive manner play a major role in maintaining the balance needed for health and well-being.



Interest in complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM) is increasing as consumers and health care professionals search for additional ways to treat anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders. Some of these remedies include:

St. John’s Wort.  More than 30 studies show it to be effective for treatment of mild forms of depression,…


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The UK Midwife Clinic opened in 2017 when the Lexington-based Womankind Midwives was brought into UK HealthCare. From primary care to prenatal, birthing and postnatal care, the midwife clinic offers health services tailored to women’s needs in a reassuring environment.

The warmth, compassion and encouragement shown to every patient starts with the UK Midwife team.

“We have a lot of love for one another, which translates into a fun, supportive and team-oriented work environment,” said Chrissie Adams, APRN, CNM, who was inspired to pursue midwifery following the midwife- attended births of her niece and nephew. “This further translates into supportive, personalized care for our patients and their families.”

Welcome to the UK Midwife family

When moms have to bring their children to appointments, the UK Midwife family is there to make sure the mom is able to get the undivided attention she needs.

“The staff are always eager to entertain children, hold them, soothe them and love on them while the midwife spends some quality time with the mama,” said Dee Polito, APRN, CNM,MSN, who was always


drawn to being a nurse and midwife, particularly after having three children of her own. “One day I was about to examine a mama who had her 1-year-old with her. I cracked the door open and asked, ‘Can anyone hold this baby for a minute?’ Two of our techs came racing to the room, as well as Lori from the front desk.”

The joy of bringing new life into the world is common at the midwife clinic, but occasionally, they experience the sad reality of miscarriage. The midwives and staff ensure these families receive comfort and guidance.

“We light candles in our waiting room when someone is experiencing a loss,” said Polito, director and chief midwife at the UK Midwife Clinic. “It’s very important to us to acknowledge those losses, especially during a time when there is so much hope and happy expectations for the future. It’s just our gentle way of saying: ‘We understand. We are with you.’ We laugh with our patients, and we cry with them, too. We are women caring for women.”

As part of the family, the women who go to the UK Midwife Clinic are at the center of the team’s mission to provide exceptional care. “We won’t stop until every woman feels heard, cared for and respected,” Burris said.

Polito added: “We all will go above and beyond for patients who trust us with their care. We constantly strive to exceed expectations.”

A family that works well together stays together

The UK Midwife family is a tight-knit group because of the respect and concern members have for one another and their patients. They show interest in people’s lives outside of the clinical space, and everyone is willing to step outside of their comfort zones when someone needs help, Adams said.

“We call our patients by first name and take special interest in their stories, trials and triumphs,” said Hayden Murrell Meza, APRN, CNM, who knew midwifery was her calling after witnessing women’s health disparities when she lived and worked for nearly three years as a healthcare provider in Uganda.

At the midwife clinic, meetings are more like friendly gatherings. When challenges arise, as they frequently do in healthcare, they only serve to strengthen the team’s cohesiveness. Problem-solving and decision- making are collective efforts.

“We listen to each other,” Polito said. “We respect each other. We care about each other. We value one another’s opinions and views. Families will always have challenges to work through. Having that basic philosophy

allows us to overcome those challenges and move forward.”

Care throughout the lifespan

Certified nurse midwives (CNMs) are registered nurses who have earned a master’s of science degree in nursing with additional certification in midwifery. It takes about eight years or more to earn the degree and the certification. Some nurse midwives have a doctorate.

Polito has been a CNM for 22 years. “I’ve always been fascinated by the process of pregnancy and birth, and I wanted to become an advanced practice nurse and be able to care for women all throughout the lifespan,” she said. “That’s what interested me in midwifery.”

The phrase “catch the baby” gives an understanding of the midwife’s role at a birth. “We as midwives believe the woman delivers the baby,” Polito said. “We don’t say we deliver babies because the mother delivers her own baby. We often facilitate that process and have a woman really be a part of and participate in the birth. … That’s why we say we catch the baby.”

Midwifery goes beyond pregnancy and birth. “We are primary care providers for women,” Polito said. Midwives offer different types of birth control and provide annual checkups, manage other issues such as hypertension, diabetes and substance abuse disorders, and help women through menopause.

They also make referrals when necessary. “We really take care of women’s needs all throughout the lifespan,” Polito said.

About the University of Kentucky Midwife Clinic


The UK Midwife Clinic offers midwifery (obstetrics), gynecology and primary healthcare to women across the female reproductive lifespan, from puberty to menopause.

The midwives offer compassionate care designed to empower women to create an individualized birthing experience. Patients also have access to the region’s highest-level neonatal ICU. The UK Birthing Center is located on the third floor of UK Chandler Hospital.

Whether planning for a baby or entering menopause, every woman deserves a healthcare provider who respects her values, preferences and personal goals.