As a former maternity nurse who saw way too many messed up epidurals, I knew I would never want to get one.
My motto became:
Better suffer through temporary pain of childbirth,
than risk suffering pain afterwards.
After I had my first birth without an epidural, my doula congratulated me on not asking for an epidural during labor.
I answered her that I never considered an option.
What is a midwife and why would you choose one over a doctor?
Isn’t it safer to have an OB deliver your baby?
What if something goes wrong?
I seemed to get these questions a lot when I was pregnant.
What are Midwives?
There are two types of midwives currently practicing:
- Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) which is a Registered Nurse with a Midwifery degree on a Masters level.
- Direct Entry Midwife is a midwife who became a midwife without the background of a nursing degree. Direct entry midwives include several subcategories which reflect the country they are practicing in and the legalities surrounding it.
Midwives are trained to deliver babies at home, in birthing centers and in hospitals.
How are midwives different from doctors?
Doctors go through 4 years of pre-med undergraduate studies. They then attend medical school for 4 years. After that they spend several years in internship and residency at a hospital in whichever field they are specializing in.
OB-GYNs, or Obstetricians, are studying many different fields of medicine when they are in medical school, not just obstetrics which may be a focus of just one semester.
The midwifery philosophy towards pregnancy and childbirth differ from doctor’s philosophy in the following ways:
Midwives view pregnancy and childbirth as a normal, natural process.
Swimming is incredibly beneficial for our bodies, and even more so during pregnancy!
When your body is active, your heart rate increases.
An increased heart rate boosts the circulation of blood through your body, which then improves the transport of vital nutrients to your baby.
Cardiovascular exercise is great for burning calories, which keeps your weight within a healthy range.
Image courtesy of franky242 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Cardiovascular exercise stimulates the release of endorphins, which are “feel good” hormones, also known as a “runner’s high”.
Endorphins help ease depression, irritability, and they are amazing mood boosters!