OB vs. Midwife — The Bump
1st Trimester

OB vs. Midwife

Hello Ladies!  I am 6 weeks preggers with my first and very excited!  The doctor that I have been going to only does GY and not OB.  She referred me to 2 different offices of OBs that she recommends.  Im just not sure if I want to do OB or Midwife.  My older sister had a midwife with both of her kids and loved it.  But the offices my Dr recommended doesn't have midwife.  Just wanted to get some opinions on who yall prefer?  Thanks!

Re: OB vs. Midwife

  • I was able to make an appt with the local MW service to get some info. I don't have a good argument either way, but my gut told me that I should go to an OB. I wanted a real Dr in a hospital just bc I know there are so many things that could go wrong. I know MWs are trained and specialize in prenatal care and delivering babies, but I just didn't feel like it was for me. I also have a heart condition that swayed me to stay with an actual Dr. I also got a bad taste in my mouth after one of the MWs I met with told me that I would NOT have another loss. Um....excuse me? The chances are the same as any pregnancy and how coudl she even say that?

    I would say make an appt with a MW and an OB and see what they have to offer. It also depends on what kind of care and birth you'd like as well. There's no wrong answer, you just have to do what is right for you.

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  • I go to a practice that has both and I love it - OBs and Midwives working together. There is always 1 of each at the hospital so the midwife can attend to normal, healthy labors and if things get sticky an OB can step in.

    I'd do some research and see if you can find any collaborative practices in your area. They are becoming more and more common and are a great compromise for those of us that seek the personal touch of a midwife with the medical expertise of an OB.

    Good luck! 

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  • Welcome and congratulations!  

    This is also my first pregnancy.  I decided to switch from my OB/Gyn to a midwife because I really want to have a natural, medication free birth if possible.  With a midwife there is a chance to develop more of a relationship and there will always be a midwife with me during the labor process in the hospital.  Also, the hospital that my midwife delivers at has a 24% c-section rate, whereas the hospital my OB would deliver at has a 34% c-section rate.   


  • I am a huge fan of midwives (I'm seeing a CNM). It depends on what kind of birth you want (midwives tend to have less interventions), and where you want to deliver (home, birth center, hospital). There are different levels of midwives. A CNM has essentially the same privileges as an MD/OB, with the exception of c-section. They often deliver at hospitals (sometimes stand-alone birth centers), but just like OBs, there is usually a certain group that can deliver at any given facility. If you're delivering in a hospital with a CNM and something doesn't go as planned, they always have OB backup. There are also licensed midwives, which deliver at home and private birth centers.

    Since you're trying to decide between a midwife and OB, I'd look for CNMs instead of licensed midwives. Like PP said, a lot of practices have both. If you're undecided, most midwives are willing to meet with you to talk about it.

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  • Thanks for the feedback!  I was kinda hoping that one of the offices my Dr recommended had both OB and Midwife, I think that is ideal!  Thanks again!
  • image JustMar82:
    I go to a practice that has both and I love it OBs and Midwives working together. There is always 1 of each at the hospital so the midwife can attend to normal, healthy labors and if things get sticky an OB can step in.I'd do some research and see if you can find any collaborative practices in your area. They are becoming more and more common and are a great compromise for those of us that seek the personal touch of a midwife with the medical expertise of an OB.Good luck!nbsp;


    This is what I do and I love it. I need an OB due to my risk factors, but wanted the midwife experience as well. Since my practice has the OB's and MW's working together, they both have the same philosophies of TLC treatment, and low intervention practices, but I still have the medical expertise that an OB brings to the table. They're a small group of 4 and one of them is guarentee to be at the delivery, and there is always one of the two OB's on call for an emergency.
    I went to a large OB group before for previous pgs and hated it too clinical, they never spent time with me, and I was just a chart. Also, because it was a large group, any of the 10 doctors might be at the delivery, and it's just hard to get to know 10 different doctors in only 40 weeks.
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  • I saw an OB with my first, and he was amazing. I'm seeing a new OB now but haven't met her yet. Do you know anyone who's seen an OB and a midwife in your town? Get their opinions and maybe even do s consultation with one of each to see which you prefer.
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  • This is my second pregnancy, and I went with some midwives last time around.  They worked with a group of DRs at a hospital.  I had some complications afterward with my stitches (very painful and a lot of blood loss) and I came back in only to find out that they had completely fallen out?!  Anyway, they were not tied off properly, I guess.  They pulled in one of the OBs to help me after that and I decided to try an OB this time.  Mistakes happen with doctors, too I'm sure... but at least the dr could fix it.  I generally liked the care overall other than the stitches issue.  I also liked that the MW stayed with me during the entire delivery.  We shall see how it goes with a dr this time around! 
    DD #1 Eva- April 2011
    DD #2 Violet- October 2013
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