Offering respectful, competent, gentle health care to women throughout their lives
Welcome to Midwifery Care Associates.
We offer the full scope of midwifery services including: prenatal care, labor support and delivery, postpartum care, annual well-woman exams and Pap smears, birth control options and consultations, and uncomplicated gynecological problems.
The certified nurse-midwives of Midwifery Care Associates believe in the power of presence and listening. We recognize that each woman's needs must be addressed with respect for cultural values and personal preferences. We value social support and we strongly encourage family-centered care and participation. Our goal is to help each woman meet her highest level of health and well-being throughout her lifespan.
Meet our Certified Nurse-Midwives
Welcome Melissa Zarych
Melissa attended nursing school at Georgetown University and completed her master's degree at the University of Pennsylvania.
"I wanted to work for a practice that honors the belief that every woman deserves to choose the type of care that is right for her."
Meet our Consulting Physicians
Our practice is the midwifery division of Simmonds, Martin & Helmbrecht, which is a collaborative practice of OB-GYN physicians and certified nurse-midwives.
We offer the full scope of midwifery services
- Prenatal care
- Labor support and delivery
- Postpartum care
- Annual well-woman exams and Pap smears
- Birth control options and consultations
- Uncomplicated gynecological problems
- In-office lab services (provided by LabCorp)
We offer mental health counseling services in our Rockville, Gaithersburg, and Frederick offices led by therapist Christy Van Horn and Advantia Mental Wellness.
Christy earned her master's degree in Mental Health Counseling from Lesley University, and she is available to help people who are struggling with anxiety, depression, postpartum depression, relationship challenges, and many other issues.
Helpful Links & Information
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is a Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM)?
A certified nurse-midwife (CNM) is a registered nurse (RN) with advanced education in midwifery. CNMs are highly-skilled medical professionals who are qualified to provide excellent care for women and babies. Today, more than 40 major colleges and universities offer either certificate or master's degree programs in nurse-midwifery. All CNMs become certified by passing a national examination with rigorous standards and must meet individual state licensure requirements, including continuing education. In order to ensure safe and effective patient care, CNMs strive to obtain the highest level of expertise. In the state of Maryland, CNMs have prescription-writing privileges, expanding their ability to provide comprehensive care to women.
For more information about CNMs, please visit the American College of Nurse-Midwives website: midwife.org
If I choose a certified nurse-midwife rather than an obstetrician, how will my care be different?
At Midwifery Care Associates (MCA), we believe that there is more than one way for a woman to receive safe and fulfilling healthcare during the childbearing period. Women who are interested in highly personalized attention with a focus on shared decision-making may find midwifery care to be a great fit. As certified nurse-midwives, we strive to educate patients about the benefits of viewing pregnancy, labor, and birth as normal processes.
We believe that minimizing routine interventions, when appropriate, can often lead to a safer and more fulfilling patient experience. However, we also value our training in the quick recognition of what is abnormal, and that which may need further attention. Our physician colleagues at Simmonds, Martin & Helmbrecht are committed to respectfully collaborating with us when complications arise, so that the benefit of having a midwife never comes at the cost of quick access to advanced care.
As midwives, we have a great respect for the intuition of women and right of every woman to make the decisions that are right for her and her family. We also have a great appreciation for modern technology when used appropriately and judiciously.
The midwifery model of care has been shown to produce excellent health outcomes for women and babies, with a high rate of patient satisfaction. For the vast majority of MCA patients, the care of certified nurse-midwives is more than adequate for the entire course of one's pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Except in very complicated scenarios, patients will not need to have visits with our doctors.
Why would I need a midwife when I'm not having a baby?
Contrary to common belief, a woman does not need to be pregnant or planning pregnancy to benefit from midwifery care. Certified nurse-midwives are trained and licensed to provide a full range of women's health care from adolescence through the post-menopausal years. We offer preventative well-woman visits annually to patients of all ages. Sexual health counseling (including review of contraceptive options and testing for sexually transmitted infections), cancer screening (including the Pap smear), and visits to discuss gynecologic problems are among the services offered by our midwives.
Where do the midwives of MCA deliver?
Both facilities provide exceptional patient care for mothers, babies, and their families with state-of-the-art services.
Do you attend VBACs (vaginal birth after cesarean)?
The certified nurse-midwives at Midwifery Care Associates offer the option of a trial of labor after cesarean section (TOLAC) to patients who are appropriate candidates for vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC). With the support of our collaborative physicians, interdisciplinary colleagues, and the practice guidelines of our professional organizations, we strive to offer women who have undergone one or two cesarean deliveries choices in how they want to deliver during the current pregnancy. If you are interested in TOLAC/VBAC with our practice, we request that you obtain records from your previous provider for your first visit. We will review them thoroughly to determine whether TOLAC/VBAC would be a safe option.
What are your cesarean rates?
We are asked this question regularly and are proud to publish our most recent rates:
- Primary cesarean rate (women having their first cesarean birth): 6%
- Total cesarean rate: 12%
Percentages of live births with specified method of delivery per 100 live births:
Source of U.S. Cesarean Rates: Birth Data Files, 2015 User's Guide, cdc.gov
Do you attend breech births, twins, or water births?
We are not currently attending breech births or the births of twins. If these are identified during the course of your pregnancy, we work with our consulting physicians to develop a plan of care.
Although we offer hydrotherapy (use of the tub and/or shower) during labor, we do not currently attend waterbirths.
If my baby is delivered by a midwife, can I still get an epidural?
Epidural pain relief is the most common method used in hospitals during labor. As midwives, we believe that every woman has the right to determine what pain relief is best and safest for her. Many women may choose comfort measures for labor pain that do not involve medication, including position changes, heat therapy, hydrotherapy, and relaxation techniques, to name a few. However, others decide before or during labor that the assistance of pain medications will make labor and delivery more enjoyable. The CNMs at MCA will provide guidance and counseling to patients to equip them with the information needed to make these very important decisions. We will support your choices.
What happens if there is an emergency during my delivery?
Certified nurse-midwives have extensive training in the labor and delivery process. The midwives at MCA are equipped to quickly recognize abnormal signs and symptoms and initiate the appropriate measures. Identifying risk factors that may increase complications during childbearing is an important component to preventing such emergencies. The assessment of each woman's risk status may begin even before her pregnancy and continues into the postpartum period. If an emergency occurs while under the care of the MCA midwives, our physician colleagues at Simmonds, Martin & Helmbrecht are immediately at our disposal to provide high-risk care and surgical interventions such as cesarean section.
Can I select a specific midwife to work with?
The CNMs at Midwifery Care Associates work as a seamless team. In order to serve as many patients as possible, we function on a rotating schedule for your prenatal care. During the course of your pregnancy, you will have the opportunity to meet all of our midwives. We want you to be comfortable with the care of our entire team. Depending on the length of labor and time of day, you may see more than one midwife. We invite you to make your annual well-woman visits with the midwife of your choice.
I'm several weeks pregnant and have been going to another practice. Can I switch to your practice?
Yes. We accept pregnancy patients into our practice regardless of how far along you are in your pregnancy. To get the process started, please call our office. You will then need to send us your complete medical records from your current provider, including labwork and ultrasounds.
We offer FREE orientation / meet-and-greet sessions on the 3rd Tuesday of every month at 6:30pm in our Rockville office.
PLEASE NOTE: we do not hold orientation sessions during the months of August and December.
There is no need to make a reservation; simply show up at the designated time. One of our midwives will provide an overview of our practice and answer your questions.
New Patient Forms
For a shorter time in the waiting room, please complete the following new patient forms before your first visit:
Need to send us your medical records? Click HERE to get our Medical Records Release Form.
- Adventist Healthcare
- Blue Cross Blue Shield
- Cigna Great West
- Coventry (Aetna)
- First Health (Aetna)
- Golden Rule (United Healthcare)
- InforMed (Conifer)
- Johns Hopkins EHP
- Maryland Medical Assistance
- Maryland Physicians Care
- MD-IPA (United Healthcare)
- Optimum Choice (United Healthcare)
- Priority Partners
- United Healthcare
- United Healthcare - MA
- US Family Health Plan
- Veterans Medical Center
The insurance plans we participate with change regularly. Please call our office if you don't see your insurance carrier listed.
We offer our patients secure online access to a Patient Portal, which enables you to safely and easily:
- Request prescription refills
- Review scheduled / future appointments
- Read and learn about symptoms and conditions
- Contact us with non-urgent medical questions
Contact & Locations
Our certified nurse-midwives are available at 3 locations in Maryland: Rockville, Gaithersburg, Frederick.
Phone & Fax
General Questions & Feedback
For non-urgent personal health questions, please use our secure Patient Portal.
For general questions and feedback, you may email us by clicking the Email Us button below.
11921 Rockville Pike, Suite 400
Rockville, MD 20852
Parking: $1 - $2
555 Quince Orchard Rd, Suite 410
Gaithersburg, MD 20878
77 Thomas Johnson Dr, Suite H
Frederick, MD 21702