Promise Community Health Center prenatal care team

Promise Community Health Center prenatal care team
Promise Community Health Center's midwifery care team consists of (standing) certified nurse midwives Belinda Lassen and Pam Hulstein and their support team, clinical assistant/interpreter Ruth Hernandez and registered nurses Erica Robertson and Kari Ney.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

What is evidence-based maternity care?

by Belinda Lassen, CNM, ARNP
Certified nurse midwife Belinda Lassen
holds baby Lidia during a checkup at
Promise Community Health Center.
According to, evidence-based maternity care are practices that have been shown by the highest quality, most current medical evidence to be most beneficial to mothers and babies with care tailored to the individual.

Did you know that in the United States the majority of women in labor are attached to an electronic fetal monitor? This will often limit the mother’s ability to move about, walk and, in turn, limit her ability to manage her pain. Research has shown us over and over that routine and continuous monitoring can increase the need for pain medication and C-sections, without making birth safer for mom or baby.

The lower-cost, scientifically proven, better option is to offer intermittent auscultation. Using this option allows the mom to be out of bed and mobile. Evidence-based maternity care has shown that listening to the baby’s heartbeat with the Doppler intermittently has the best outcomes.

So, moms, ask for intermittent auscultation! Some labors will require continuous monitoring, such as an induction using the drug Pitocin or other conditions where there are more risk factors. If your pregnancy has been healthy, and your labor is normal, we would highly recommend that you get out of bed and walk, rock, soak, bounce or dance through your labor!

For more great evidence-based information, click on to these websites: and

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Meet the latest Promise baby!

Anthony was born Tuesday, Feb. 10, weighing 7 pounds, 8 ounces and measuring 21 inches.

Nurse Kari Ney listens to baby Anthony's heartbeat during a
checkup at Promise Community Health Center in Sioux Center.


Friday, February 20, 2015

Chia seeds are packed with proven health benefits

by Kari Ney

Chia seeds. Are they a fad food? What are they good for?

In our clinic at Promise Community Health Center, we talk chia almost every day.

Did you know these tiny, black-and-white seeds -- formerly known only as starter to growing your favorite Chia Pet purchased from a late night infomercial -- actually have dietary value?

Let’s start with: What are they?
Kari Ney

Chia seeds are an unprocessed, whole-grain food and pack a punch of nutritional worth.

One ounce -- about 2 tablespoons -- contains 139 calories, 4 grams of protein, 9 grams fat, 12 grams carbohydrates and 11 grams of fiber, plus vitamins and minerals such as calcium, iron and niacin. They contain omega-3 antioxidants and claim they can help reduce cholesterol and blood pressure among other health benefits.

So how do the Promise midwives use Chia seeds?

As we are proponents of evidence-based care, we have witnessed the evidence in the numbers.

During pregnancy, iron is one of the numbers we keep our eye on. Your iron level or hemoglobin in your blood determines how well oxygenated you and your baby are.

Another term you may hear is anemia, or you may be told you are anemic. Your symptoms may be lack of energy or fatigue and sometimes shortness of breath. Adding an iron supplement to your prenatal vitamin is one way to boost the level, but this often comes with side effects such as constipation and upset stomach.

By adding chia seeds and iron-rich foods to the diet, we have seen iron levels jump an entire point in two weeks for many of our patients!

How do you eat Chia seeds?

Chia can be eaten in a variety of ways. Here are some great ideas to get these seeds into your diet: Toss them dry on your salad to add a little crunch. Add them to granola. Put them in pudding, or make chia pudding using 1 cup of sweetened almond or coconut milk and add 1 tablespoon of seeds, let the seeds plump and thicken. Make chia fresca -- add 1 tablespoon to 8 ounces of fruit juice and let sit about 15 minutes.

Seeds will take on the flavor of what you put them in as they swell when wet and are a lot like the texture of tapioca. Add to soups or sauces, or bake in breads.

The possibilities are endless!

For more information on chia seeds, check out these articles: and

Meet the latest Promise baby!

Lidia was born Tuesday, Feb. 10, weighing 6 pounds, 4 ounces.

Jefferson, 6, proudly looks at his baby sister, Lidia, as
clinical assistant Ruth Hernandez listens to her heartbeat
at Promise Community Health Center in Sioux Center.


Friday, February 13, 2015

What is the midwifery model of care?

Certified nurse midwife Pam Hulstein
holds a baby who was recently born
and came in for a regular checkup.
by Kari Ney

Are you thinking of having a baby? Where are you seeking prenatal care? What is the difference? What are my options?
Kari Ney

So many questions in this exciting time!

Did you know that Promise Community Health Center in Sioux Center has offered the midwifery model of care to northwest Iowa for six years?

The midwifery model of care includes prenatal visits and hands-on care throughout labor, birth and right after. This model results in less chance of complications, fewer interventions and a healthier birth for you and your baby. More and more women in the United States are learning that pregnancy and childbirth are normal, healthy processes, not diseases.

In their 40 combined years of midwifery, Belinda Lassen, certified nurse midwife, and Pam Hulstein, CNM, have safely delivered thousands of babies in following this model of care. In addition to prenatal care, they also provide newborn exams, well-woman health exams, family planning and fertility counseling. Currently, the midwives do not assist with births in the local hospitals but do offer home birth as a safe alternative.

The midwifery care team at Promise encourages women to be partners in their health care and to be educated about their choices when it comes to prenatal and birth care. We welcome detailed questions and respect your informed decisions.

In 2014 alone, 148 women came to Promise seeking the midwife approach for prenatal care. Some women even drive up to 90 miles to come to their prenatal visit with Pam and Belinda. We welcome you to come and find out for yourself what a wonderful difference the midwifery model of care is!

Here are some resources for you to learn more about the midwifery model of care: and

Friday, February 6, 2015

Introducing: The Midwifery Care Team

Pam Hulstein and Belinda Lassen
By Belinda Lassen

In addition to medical, dental and mental health care, Promise Community Health Center in Sioux Center offers high-quality prenatal care with a personal touch.

Prenatal care is provided by our experienced certified nurse midwives, nurses and clinical assistants/interpreters. We are your experts in normal and healthy pregnancy and birth!

Our team consists of certified nurse midwives Pam Hulstein and Belinda Lassen, registered nurse Kari Ney, and clinical assistant/interpreter Ruth Hernandez.

Pam and Belinda have more than 40 years of combined experience in midwifery and have attended greater than two thousand births. Kari Ney has 15 years of nursing experience and assists with prenatal teaching, breastfeeding support and well-baby visits. Ruth is a valuable asset as our interpreter and medical assistant and has been on staff at the health center for six years.

To learn more, call us 712-722-1700.

Coming soon! . . . “Wonderfully Made”

Our weekly informational blog posting will provide you with pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and parenting advice from the midwifery care team at Promise -- your experts in normal pregnancy and birth.

We invite you to return often to this at Promise -- your experts in normal pregnancy and birth.

We invite you to return often to this blog for the latest information on evidence-based care, midwife-to-mother advice and tips, and pretty much anything that has to do with pregnancy, birth, babies and moms! We love taking care of moms and babies! We hope that you will use our site as a source for education and networking with other moms in our community.

See you soon!