Posted: Wednesday, August 13, 2014 3:38 pm | Updated: 7:21 am, Thu Aug 14, 2014.

Sawyer Hogue, just 3 weeks old, slept peacefully as his mother looked down at him, smiling and rubbing his back.

It had been a rough three days of labor, but now Kaitlyn Hogue, 21, was resting and doting on her son. She lights up looking down at him, explaining that motherhood had nearly escaped her.

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When she was 18, doctors informed her that her polycystic ovary syndrome would make it difficult to carry a baby and deliver naturally. She and her husband, Spc. Geoffrey Hogue, started to look at other options when they found out she was pregnant.

At that point, Kaitlyn Hogue said she knew she wanted to have a natural birth at Womack Army Medical Center.

"I have no regrets," Kaitlyn Hogue said. "I had the best experience possible."

The hospital's midwifery program, which started as a clinical site in the early '90s, celebrated its 20th anniversary this week. Staff gathered at Weaver Auditorium on Wednesday to listen to a lecture from Holly Powell Kennedy, who has done extensive research at Yale on the impact of midwives.

Afterward, the staff mingled to share their stories and accomplishments.

Womack's program became established with a full midwifery staff in 1994. The hospital reports about eight births per day, which makes it the most active service in the Department of Defense.

"Our primary mission is to attend normal pregnancy and birth," said Lt. Col. Jarold Johnston, chief of the midwifery services. "The midwifery service at Womack provides the majority of the routine obstetrician care at Womack."

Last year, the hospital had 17,881 routine obstetrician encounters and 1,506 births, he said.

Ruth Boone, staff midwife who helped start the program in 1994, said she hopes the program continues to expand.

"We want more people to look at us," she said. "We want to assure that leadership sees the cost benefits and positive outcomes by having midwives involved in all births."

Page last updated Mon August 18th, 2014 at 19:25