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?
Midwives are Registered Nurses who spend an additional two years training on a Master’s level for well women care, pregnancy, and childbirth.
Midwives are trained to deliver babies at home, in birthing centers and in hospitals.
Their philosophy towards pregnancy and childbirth differ from doctor’s philosophy in the following ways:
Midwives view pregnancy and childbirth as a normal, natural process.
Midwives respect a woman’s body and trust it to do the job it was created to do.
They are supportive of women having a natural birth, with minimal interventions.
Isn’t it Safer to Have an Obstetrician Attend Your Birth?
The United State has the highest rate of OBs delivering babies compared to the rest of the world, but is ranked 28th among developed countries in maternal mortality rates.
Doesn’t that disturb you?
The c-section rate in the United States is 32%.
That means that 1 in every 3 births is a c-section.
Are women really made so inefficiently that they can’t birth their babies naturally one out of every three times?
Wait, it gets better:
Studies show that Doctors are more likely to administer pitocin, use a continuous fetal monitor, and use forceps or vacuum extraction for deliveries.
Yes you read that right.
This is because they are taught to view labor and delivery as an illness requiring medical management.
The problem with intervening with labor is it increases the woman’s chances of having a c-section.
Delivering with a doctor in the hospital has been likened to a ticking clock.
Once a woman has been admitted to the hospital in labor, the clock starts ticking and labor must progress accordingly.
It runs something like 1 cm dilatation per hour.
Then if labor stalls, according to the textbooks, a medical intervention might be required.
I actually witnessed a woman progress to 10cm open (without an epidural) when her labor stalled and she just didn’t feel the urge to push.
This can sometimes happen as the body recharges its energy for the pushing phase.
Her doctor was all gloved and ready to catch the baby, and wasn’t interested in waiting around for her to be ready to push.
Without providing an explanation, he stuck two fingers into her anus and pushed down hard on her rectum.
Sure enough she felt the urge to push, and out came poop with her baby.
We’re not through yet.
Doctors typically have a narrow view on the pregnancy time limit, otherwise known as the due date, and inductions are scheduled once the time limit is reached.
Inductions are notoriously more likely to result in a cesarean section than a labor that begins and progresses naturally.
Here’s the good news:
Study after study has shown that women cared for by midwives are happier and more satisfied with their prenatal care and labor and delivery than women delivered by obstetricians.
Midwives are becoming more popular and for good reason.
With their improved maternal and fetal outcomes, midwives are a no-brainer.
While obstetricians are an important choice for high risk pregnancies.
For healthy women with low-risk pregnancies, make delivering with a midwife your first choice.
Had a good experience with your midwife? Please share it below ⬇