Midwife v. Doctor — The Bump
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Midwife v. Doctor

Hey girls! Quick question - how many of you went with a midwife over an actual doctor, or would consider it? I had planned on using a full-on PhD doctor, but I just went in for my first visit, and he was busy so they stuck us with the available midwife. Well anyway - my DH and I loved her so much that we're now thinking about having her deliver our baby. What are your thoughts? I don't want people to look at me like I'm a hippie because I didn't use an actual doctor. As a matter of fact, one of my friends thought that by us using a midwife - that we would be having a home birth. Not that there's anything wrong with them, but they're just not my thing. Thanks! :)

Re: Midwife v. Doctor

  • I would guess there is about 50% midwife and 50% doctor people on these boards from what I've heard. There are pluses and minuses to both sides, go with what works for you!

    From my practice and my experience there were 7 doctors and 4 midwives. You rotate through them and whoever is on call is who delivers you (at a hospital, they don't do home births). The doctors come in at the last minute and deliver the baby, the midwives are with you the entire laboring process which is why I chose them. Some midwives are against epis and drugs and some are not. Go with who suits your personality and has a good record!

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  • I used a CNM with both of my pregnancies (obviously the back-up OB did my c/s with the first but my CNM delivered DD).  I do not consider myself a hippie by any means.  I also don't consider childbirth  "medical procedure".  In reality, a CNM has MUCH more experience than a doctor in uneventful childbirth.  Doctors are trained in medical interventions.  It's what they do best.  Which is why they should be used when interventions are needed.

    When I interviewed an OB for my VBAC, he was really nice and really upfront with me.  At the end he told me that he'd be happy to take me as a patient but after speaking with me, he felt that I would be unhappy with OB care and really seemed more of a midwife person.  He is right.  I don't like having things done"to" me.  I like to be extremely involved in the process.  With a doctor, the visits are generally quick and informal while my midwife would spend upwards of 45 minutes with me at an appointment.  It is different care, but having MD or even PhD after your name does not the better medical professional make. 

    Midwives are a mainstream option these days and if you are comfortable with her, I say go for it.

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  • Midwife! Midwives (my experiences are with CNMs) are typically much more experienced in a normal childbirth than doctors. Especially if you would like to have a med free and/or natural childbirth, I'd stick with the MW. It depends on the person and the practice, but women are less likely to have interventions including inductions, episiotomies, and c-sections with MWs. You are not a hippie by going with a MW. People in this country are far too uneducated about a MW and what he/she actually does.
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  • I have to say that with my last pregnancy, I went to a practice that was run by both midwives and OB doctors. They had like 3 different practices in the city and basically you saw whoever was in the office that day. CNM's were responsible for all routine pregnancies and vaginal deliveries. OB's did all c-sections and high-risk people (and also routine pregnancies). I have to say that seeing a midwife in this practice was not like others have said their midwife experience was. It seemed like my appointments with midwives were shorter. They weren't ultrasound trained, and there was one point in my pregnancy where I was measuring small and they talked to me about low fluid/IUGR and then said well you need to come back for an ultrasound with one of the doctors next week. That week felt like a million years. When I got closer to my due date, I saw an OB and she stripped my membranes and told me that we would 'discuss our options' at my next appointment if I didn't have her by then. Well, one week later I'm still pregnant and go to see a midwife, who acts like she doesn't know what I'm talking about when I say lets discuss our options. The midwife on call the day I delivered came right before it was time to push. Most of my time in L&D I was under the care of the OB resident on call!

    Needless to say, this pregnancy, I have switched practices and I go to a very small OB practice who only delivers at the hospital I have to deliver at beacuse of my insurance. I see only 1 doctor every appt. and she walks in, sits on her stool, and talks. They have offered more testing at this practice than they did at the other. I have a family history of CF. They offered to do a genetic screen for that, which I found out I am a carrier of, luckily DH is not. They offered the NT screen, which the other practice did not. They check my urine every appointment, they did not do that at all at my last practice. I was measuring small again this time around and the doctor did a bedside ultrasound right away, no waiting around. Also, at the other practice, I had to schedule an ultrasound after we had our first initial appointment with the midwife, so I had to come in like 2 days later for that. This time around, an ultrasound was done at my first initial appointment and the doctor even typed in Hi mom and dad in on the ultrasound pictures, very personable!

    You just need to ask alot of questions, like how much they are involved with the labor process, what they do about ultrasounds, etc.

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  • People don't really know that much about MWs and I got a lot of those questions at first as well.  But in pretty much all other countries MWs handle most of the deliveries and the OBs are reserved for high risk cases.  It's something like 70-80% of women in Western Europe and Japan are seen by MWs.  The College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recognizes certified nurse midwives (CNMs) as a legitimate form of pre-natal care, so it's not as 'out there' as some people assume.  

    I saw a team of 8 CNMs before and during my pregnancy and would do it again in a heartbeat.  I had such a great hospital birth and I attribute that in part to my MW. I remember my MW just sitting calmly on the edge of my bed as I was pushing, nobody was telling me when to push or push harder.  It was so reassuring because it reminded me that giving birth is one of the most natural things a women can do.  And if you go with a CNM  and deliver in a hospital you have access to anything an OB patient would have including pain medication if that's the direction you choose.  If you want to learn more you could post this on the natural birth board...we're not too hippie over there :) 

  • Depends on what you are looking for. From my experience midwives generally spend more time with their patients and can be more accessible. They also use less interventions and let your body do what its designed to do. I chose a practice that had both midwives and OBs (just in case my pregnancy turned into being high risk etc) and I've had a great experience with all the midwives there. Using midwives is becoming more and more common so I doubt you will be looked at like a hippie for choosing one.

  • Also... an OB wouldn't be a PhD....that would just indicate that he or she has a doctoral degree....not that they have been to med school.

    I think you should probably do a bit more research on midwifery care as you seem to be quite ignorant or easily accept the stereotype of midwifery care.

     

  • I am going with a midwife!! They are more hands on and care alot more about what YOU want versus a dr just rushing in getting watever done and leaving!!
  • imageMustanGTbaby13:

    Also... an OB wouldn't be a PhD....that would just indicate that he or she has a doctoral degree....not that they have been to med school.

    I think you should probably do a bit more research on midwifery care as you seem to be quite ignorant or easily accept the stereotype of midwifery care.

     

    Yeesh. Seems a bit harsh, no?

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  • imageMustanGTbaby13:

    Also... an OB wouldn't be a PhD....that would just indicate that he or she has a doctoral degree....not that they have been to med school.

    I think you should probably do a bit more research on midwifery care as you seem to be quite ignorant or easily accept the stereotype of midwifery care.

     

    Wow, I'm sure there was a nicer way to word your post.  Part of learning is asking questions! 

  • Hi! I recently watched the movie "The Business of Being Born", and I found it to be very informative. While it's very pro-natural/med-free birth (which I also am) it also has a ton of information about the birthing process, midwives, doctors, and the different procedures you can expect from a hospital birth or a home birth.  I guess I would say that the movie is very "pro-educate-yourself-on-birth" rather than just "pro-natural". In any case, I highly recommend watching it! Smile

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