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Midwives versus OB’s–Which Should You Get?

When I was pregnant with my first child, I never “bonded” with my OB. Each time I had an appointment, I felt that she didn’t know who I was, and I had to explain my matters all over again. During my actual labor, I barely saw her, and felt like the nurses did 90% of the work. So when I was pregnant for a second time, I considered having a midwife instead–I had a couple of friends who had used one, and they both had wonderful experiences. The local midwifery practice in my area delivered at a local hospital (a home birth is something that I would never want–why stay at home when you can be pampered by nurses?), and had years of experience under their belts. A doctor would be there to back them up if needed. Why not?

Alas, all my plans fell part. The local hospital shut down it’s birthing doors and the next hospital choice didn’t allow midwifes. And then I had a complicated pregnancy, with a breech baby, and ended up having to have a c-section anyways. But I look back upon the experience, and always wonder, “What if?” If you, too, are thinking of going the midwife route, here’s some info you may be interested in.

  • Most find that a midwife is more compassionate and caring, with only YOU on their mind. OB’s usually have multiple patients at one time, and may even have several in labor at once. As a result, a midwife can spend more time with you during the labor process.
  • Midwifes will come to your house and deliver your baby, while a OB won’t.
  • A OB will have pain medication readily available should you choose to use it, but a midwife won’t.
  • A midwife will be more knowledgeable in natural medicine, and if something, such as a yeast infection may occur, will offer natural remedies.
  • A midwife is known to try and avoid a c-section at all costs, and will be much more open to performing a VBAC.
  • With an OB, if there is an emergency, you’re in a hospital setting (not always true with the midwife) and your OB is right there and ready to go to action.

Erica, who gave birth in Dana Point, CA, chose to go the midwife route because she felt that the only OB taking new patients didn’t listen to what she said. He also had a high rate of c-sections, something she wanted to avoid. After giving birth using her midwife, she has this to say about the experience, “The thing that most impressed me about my midwife was that the experience was so effortless. While she was professional and directive the care she provided was also intuitive and caring. It was like having a very knowledgeable friend to guide me through the process.” A nice way to think about it–a friend delivering your baby instead of a “professional.”

I think this excerpt from Lifestyle sums it up best, “Here is a piece of advice for all women planning to become pregnant or who are already pregnant, do your research. Look up different doctors and midwifes in your area. You can ask your friends what they think, but remember that you are getting a biased opinion based on their personal experience. Even so, they can give you a great lead on who to look into and who to not look into. Most doctors and midwifes will allow you to schedule an appointment to simply meet them and talk about what you want from your prenatal and postnatal care. Parents are advised all the time to research a good pediatrician for their babies, why not start that great care while they are still in the womb. Take a beginning birthing plan with you to the first meeting and make sure that the doctor or midwife can accommodate your desires with the hospital that they work with. When you feel comfortable with a doctor or midwife and their practice, then you will know which professional you will choose.”


Natural Baby Pros: About Midwives and  Have you ever considered using the services of a midwife and/or doula?

Modern Wife: Midwifery Services vs. Obstetrics-Gynecology

Lifestyle: Midwife VS OB/GYN: Which is Better for Prenatal Care?

2 Responses to Midwives versus OB’s–Which Should You Get?

  • alex says:

    Hi there–In answer to your question, I copied this from Natural Baby

    There are two broad types of professional midwives. Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs) are Registered Nurses who have completed additional training in pregnancy and birth. They mainly work in hospital settings or at birth centers, although a small percent attend home births as well. Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) are independent practitioners, or direct-entry midwives, who work primarily in home settings and can also work in free-standing birth centers. Most CPMs must complete a midwifery program, clinical training, and pass rigorous competency testing in order to receive their certification. Some states also provide licenses for midwives (LM).

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