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Certified nurse midwife GiGi Sutton joins Oaklawn Obstetrics & Gynecology

MARSHALL – As Jennifer “GiGi” Swart grew up in the Flint-area community of Davison, she discovered that a future medical career seemed destined for her. In fact, it seemed almost part of her DNA.

“I grew up in a family of nurses,” she said. “My mom was a labor and delivery nurse, and so were her two sisters. My maternal grandmother also was a nurse. I grew up listening to them talking about babies and birth stories for as long as I can remember.”

As an adult with the married name GiGi Sutton, that same young woman now has served for more than a decade as a registered nurse and is applying her family-inspired interests and professional skills to service as a certified nurse midwife with Oaklawn Medical Group — Obstetrics & Gynecology.

That office is in Suite 3D of the Wright Medical Building at 215 E. Mansion St. Appointments may be made by calling (269) 558-0702.

“I was 16 and 19 when I had my first two children, and that experience blended with having heard those discussions by my family members,” she said. It wasn’t long before GiGi buckled down to become financially independent to support her family.

“Medicine was a doorway to achieving that,” she said. “I already had been interested in going that route, but by the time I was in my early 20s I had decided to work toward that goal.”

She earned an associate of applied science degree in nursing from Monroe County Community College in 2010, then went on to work as a registered nurse for Monroe-based Mercy Memorial Hospital;  Michigan Medicine, formerly the University of Michigan Health System;  Ann Arbor-based Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital; and Lansing-based Sparrow Hospital.

Meanwhile, Sutton pursued additional studies, earning a bachelor of science degree in nursing from Eastern Michigan University in 2017, and in 2021 a master of science degree in nursing from the University of Michigan, focusing on nurse midwifery.

A midwife is a health professional who cares for mothers and newborns at the time of childbirth. A midwife also can take care of the full range of women’s health needs, from menarche through menopause and beyond, Sutton said.

That specialty had struck Sutton as particularly attractive as she went through obstetrical rotations as a nurse.

“It sealed the deal for me to go into that particular specialty,” she said. “There’s something about being present at the first moment when that new life comes into the world. The family is welcoming its new member and seeing the child for the first time.

“Teaching them what to expect and what to do is deeply humbling,” she said. “It’s a huge honor to be there for that moment because it’s such a huge moment in people’s lives.

“One of my passions in my practice is to educate my patients and partner with them to help them make the best decisions for their individual needs,” Sutton said.

Sutton is a member of the Michigan Nurses Association, the University of Michigan Professional Nurse Council, the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses, the American College of Nurse-Midwives and Nurses for Sexual & Reproductive Health.

She is certified in basic life support for health-care providers and holds certifications in the Neonatal Resuscitation Program and Nexplanon clinical training.

In her spare time, Sutton enjoys reading murder mystery and suspense novels and engaging in the outdoor recreational activity known as geocaching.

“We love puzzles,” she said. “We also have four cats and spend a lot of time spoiling them.”

Married since early 2021 to Lisa Sutton, she resides in East Lansing with a combined family that includes young as well as adult children. Her own children are Alyssa, 26; Hunter, 23; Isaac, 15; and Abigail, 10. Lisa’s children are Sam, 20; and twins Keegan and Harper, both 10.

Gigi Sutton said a residential move to Marshall is possible at some future time. Meanwhile, she’s looking forward to her new work at Oaklawn.

“As I’ve looked for this first position as a midwife, I’ve been drawn to the small community hospitals,” she said. “Oaklawn has a real family feel to it. Everyone seems to really care about the place and what they do there. Everyone seems to do more than their fair share — and that is really appealing.”