5 Reasons why you should choose a Midwife as your caretaker
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Birth is not only about making babies. Birth is about making mothers.Barbara Katz Rothman
Finding out you’re pregnant is hands down, one of the best feelings you’ll ever experience! I remember the morning I had found out, I was anxiously pacing, waiting for the Women’s Healthcare Center to open so I could call to make an appointment to see what was next. At my first appointment, with strong confirmation that I was actually a mama to be, the nurse’s big question for me was, “would you like your caregiver to be an OB/GYN or a Midwife?” Honestly, I didn’t even realize there was an option. So, I had the nurse explain the difference to me. I’ll do a quick breakdown below…
OB/GYN: an OB/GYN is short for an Obstetrician-Gynecologist. They are doctors who most importantly deliver babies, but also provide family planning, pre-natal and postpartum care and offer gynecological care outside of the baby world. While you will see your OB/GYN on a regular basis up until your delivery day, you might not see your OB/GYN until it’s actually time to push on the big day.
OB/GYNs are typically recommended for pregnancies that are categorized as high-risk. They are also used by expecting moms who are low-risk too. They have a more routine approach during delivery and likely won’t be present throughout much of the delivery process. They deal with any sort of complications during delivery as well and perform cesarian section deliveries.
Midwife: a Midwife is a Certified Nurse Midwife. Like an OB/GYN, they deliver babies, provide family planning, pre-natal and postpartum care and offer gynecological care. What sets a Midwife apart from an OB/GYN, is they are present for much of your delivery and approach delivery from a variety of different angles.
A Midwife will work with you one-on-one throughout your entire pregnancy and during your delivery, and making sure you’ve got the tools and mindset you need for a natural birth. Unless you unexpectedly run into complications during delivery, a Midwife will be by your side and work with you throughout the entire process. An OB/GYN will step in should complications arise… your Midwife will likely stay by your side though!
To recap, both OB/GYNs and Midwives are fantastic in what they do from day to day; they are educated, experienced and work with you to achieve the same goal. I might be a little biased in my next recommendation because I personally used a Midwife to deliver but if you’re a low-risk expectant mom, use a Midwife! Certainly take the time to meet with both an OB/GYN and a Midwife to ask any questions you might have of your own but here’s 5 good reasons why choosing a Midwife to guide you through your beginning journey of motherhood.
- One-on-one care: this is the reason most expectant moms choose to trust a midwife to deliver. You will work with your Midwife during your entire pregnancy to create a birth plan that is right for you. Your Midwife will offer you a variety of different birthing options and work with you to get that baby out. Whether it’s something built into your birth plan or something entirely unexpected the day of, your Midwife will be at your side, helping you towards a natural birth.
- Natural births are advocated [but not required]: a Midwife will work with you during your delivery to help work that baby out naturally. By natural, I mean without [or with limited] medical interventions. Whether it’s walking laps around the labor & delivery wing, bouncing on a yoga ball, dancing, taking a warm shower, or whatever else, your Midwife will encourage you to do what you can to have your baby on your own. If you hit a wall and literally can’t take one more contraction and need pain medication, they’ll order that up for you too, don’t worry! It’s whatever you want and whatever you need that day. Naturally, a Midwife will work to empower you as a super mom to do it el natural but at the end of the day, it’s all about you and what your body needs. When you say I need an epidural, it’s ordered.
- Deliveries actually take place at the hospital: contrary to the myth that Midwives only deliver at home births, they actually deliver at hospitals too, unless otherwise requested. I remember sharing with a few people that I was going to be using a Midwife and I would get the look– the look of, really, you’re having your baby at home? Well, no. A Midwife works in the hospital for deliveries and has an office, just like a doctor’s office, for appointments throughout your pregnancy. My Midwifery practice that I went to was an actual department of the Women’s Health Center in the hospital so I never experienced anything outside of the hospital at all. There’s no at home visits or home deliveries unless you request it.
- It costs less: though I never actually compared my bill against someone who used an OB/GYN, I was told by my Women’s Health Center that choosing to use the Midwifery would be the lesser expensive option. This might fall under the fact that Midwifery practices try to eliminate unnecessary medical interventions, therefore is less expensive but, I do believe there are payment options offered that are beneficial to the wallet.
- Centering: the Midwifery office I went to offered Centering classes for expectant moms and their partners. Instead of having a traditional office visit with your Midwife every appointment, it was a group setting of expectant moms, all with due dates in the same month. Upon arrival, you did have a one-on-one appointment with your Midwife but the other half of your appointment was open discussion with your Midwife, guest speakers and other expecting families. It was an amazing opportunity to get to talk with others who were experiencing the same weird things you were and it prepared us for labor, delivery and postpartum care like nothing and no one else could have.
My overall experience with my Midwife was like no other. After having my baby, I left the hospital saying I never wanted to do that again [don’t we all]… but if there was a reason to have another, it would be to hang out with the Midwives again! It was incredible having someone so passionate and so excited about the baby growing inside you. Every appointment felt like I was hanging out with a friend who cared so much about me and my baby. I wasn’t even scared about giving birth at all because I knew my Midwife would be right there, through the good times… and the bad.
I understand every woman is different but if you can, I hope in your journey through pregnancy, labor & delivery, you choose a Midwife.