Meet Sharon Lytle, a Nurse Midwife with Associates in Gynecology and Obstetrics

Imagine you have just arrived in the US. You’re pregnant, young and cannot communicate with others because of your language barrier. It’s a frightening scenario. Then, imagine you begin to have cravings for bizarre non-food items, for example, the sole of your flip-flops.  

            You don’t know why you’re doing it and you wonder what effect it will have on you – or much worse, your baby. But you can’t stop. But then you find the courage to reach out for help, and you find it in a woman like Sharon Lytle, CNM.     

            Sharon is a Nurse Midwife at Associates in Gynecology and Obstetrics and she has, in her own words, “the best job ever.”


Nurse Midwives work in collaboration with OB/GYN doctors, either consulting or making referrals in cases beyond their experience—such as in the example mentioned earlier in this article, says Sharon.

This June, Sharon will celebrate fifteen years as a Nurse Midwife. Having started a nursing career in her hometown of Galesburg, Illinois, Sharon observed Amy Mefford, the town’s first certified Nurse Midwife and knew she wanted to join her.

              Sharon began taking classes to become a Nurse Midwife while she worked as a hospital nurse and was raising a young daughter. As much as she recommends the job to others who may be interested, Sharon found the juggling of roles to be the most difficult aspect.

About Sharon Lytle:

Sharon is Certified by the American College of Nurse Midwives since 1999. Sharon began working in maternal/child health in 1991 as a newborn nursery nurse and one year later in the hospital based birthing center.

            Sharon received her Master's of Science in Maternal-Child Nursing with a Midwifery Focus from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1999.

 “I get to be a part of one of the most meaningful experiences in our lives. As a midwife I hope to empower women to be active partners in this amazing childbirth process. It’s a life changing experience,” she states.

Other than that, Sharon finds her job very rewarding. “I get to be a part of one of the most meaningful experiences in our lives. As a midwife I hope to empower women to be active partners in this amazing childbirth process. It’s a life changing experience.” 

            Traditional Midwifery is the first profession mentioned in the Old Testament. The profession’s popularity began to wane at the turn of the twentieth century with the advent of hospitals and modern medicine. 

            In the US, Nurse Midwifery dates back to 1925 when a proprietary program used public health registered nurses who had been educated in England. These nurses provided family health services, as well as childbearing and delivery care at nursing centers in the Appalachian Mountains. Subsequently, the first formal U.S. Nurse Midwife training program began in 1932.

            In 2012, Certified Nurse Midwives attended approximately seven per cent of total U.S. births according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Nurse Midwives have improved primary healthcare services for women in rural and inner-city areas by improving access to care, and in turn the World Health Organization and National Institute of Medicine recommend that midwives be given a larger role in delivery of women’s healthcare.

            Sharon feels that her personal approach to healthcare is basic: to take good care of yourself. “It starts with a healthy diet and regular exercise. It’s never too late! Like keeping the oil changed in your car – we all know what happens if you don’t. You can pay now or pay later, and healthwise and financially, it’s going to cost a lot more in the end.”


Outside of the office Sharon has learned true appreciation for what matters most. In the blink of an eye she lost her fiancé and dog in a car accident two years ago. Sharon survived the accident and learned that she has a priceless gift in her friends and family members who have taught her that each day is precious. 

            “I used to have a beautiful gold charm bracelet that my father had given to me. I always thought it would be sad if I lost it. I did lose that necklace in the accident. Lesson learned…appreciate what really matters”. 

            Sharon treasures her daughter, Kristi, who graduated and has started her first job at Catamaron Pharmaceuticals in Chicago. She also has a standing weekly canasta date with her girlfriends and she loves living in Sarasota. “After almost four years living here I can’t imagine living anywhere else. It’s a beautiful location with many of the luxuries of a larger city but in a more relaxed environment. It feels like home.” 

            And the young woman with the craving for her flip-flop? She was an actual patient. Sharon and her mentor Amy conferred and diagnosed PICA: a disease which causes a desire to eat unusual non-food items in pregnancy, typically associated with iron deficiency anemia. Sharon orchestrated connections to the Healthy Start and WIC programs, preventing any further toxic damage to the patient and her unborn baby.

            Everyday as a Nurse Midwife working alongside Dr. John Sullivan, Jr. and Dr. Wayne Cohen, Sharon is investing her life in others….that’s what matters most.

Story by Stephanie Knight
Associates in Gynecology and Obstetrics
Call 941.955.8076 or 941.343.0609
2439 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota
For more info, visit




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This page was last updated on 2/5/2014

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