Midwife versus doctor and convincing your husband

posted 3 years ago in Pregnancy
Post # 3
3677 posts
Sugar bee

If your husband isn’t well-informed about midwifery and what midwives are actually trained to do, that would be the first thing to address. Ina May Gaskin’s books are a great resource (especially Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth). The film The Business of Being Born is also eye-opening. If you/your husband don’t mind more academic reading (think lots of statistics), PM me and I can share some other resources with you.

You might also have your husband come with you to your midwife appointment, if possible. Midwives are great about spending time with their patients (considerably more time than doctors are) and educating them about how midwifery care works. In particular, you should discuss what happens when/if you develop risk factors. Knowing that the midwife herself will transfer you to a doctor’s care if it becomes appropriate to do so should help allay your husband’s fears.

Another thing you might do is research the C-section rates and intervention rates of the physicians in your city/area, as well as the rates of the midwives’ clinic, and show your husband the numbers.

Ultimately, you have to remember that you (and not your husband) are the patient and the decision-maker when it comes to childbirth. Of course you want him to be happy and on-board with your decision, but it is ultimately your decision.

Post # 4
671 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I don’t have any help. My husband has eight years of schooling and a doctorate degree in the medical field and has told me, bar-none, that a midwife is NOT an option when there are two lives on the line.

Post # 6
2187 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

We have chosen to go with a midwife and like you, applied early as there are so few spots available (Canadian here:)). We are delivering at a hospital as well. My husband was actually on board and said that he wanted me to be comfortable first and foremost, and I can tell you I know for me/us – our midwife has been a godsend. We love her/them and the clinic is amazing.

As for the dual appointments, I’d cancel your maternity clinic or at least postpone the appointment date – there are very strict rules about “double dipping” and dual care is not allowed in our system. You basically only have one option – midwife or clinic. If your maternity clinic appt is after your midwife appointment, you could always keep it and cancel if you and your husband are confident in your decision to continue your care with your midwife. If you go and dont think it’s for you, go to your other appiontment and you will have to cancel any future appts with your midwife. Only one will be able to do requisitions, appointments etc without you getting in a little trouble for trying to use both. Alternatively, call your midwife and ask if you can come in for a “consult” with your husband to just discuss what would happen over the next 9 months and do the same with the clinic, then choose from there. I don’t think there is any harm in doing that. 🙂

Good luck with your choice!

Post # 7
671 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

@Aug2012bride:  In the case of hemorrhaging, there is a very real concern that there wouldn’t be enough time.

He simply doesn’t want to chance anything- the reality is that while most likely everything will go fine, there is that small opportunity that things can go catastrophically wrong.


I hope you two are able to work it out!!

Post # 9
415 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@Aug2012bride:  If it’s the same as Ontario — midwives will meet with you before they take you on officially as a patient. So you can suss that out with a meeting before having to make a decision officially in terms of registering as a patient. As StaceyA says — then you can have the clinic appt aftewards if you decide midwifery isn’t for you.

My husband took a bit of convincing re: midwife vs. doctor but time spent with the midwives and a better understanding of what they do (and how they’re trained) has reassured him. As well, because they have priveliges at the hospital (we’re also likely doing a hospital birth with midwife) — they’ve emphasized how positive their relationships are with the OBGYNs at that hospital, in the case of any emergency that could potentially come up.

Post # 10
1044 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

Blah, I had this whole long response written out, which my computer ate. But here I go again.

I can’t give insight into the double dipping aspect, but I do know a good amount about midwives and OB’s. If things are very different in Canada, I apologize, but I actually don’t think they operate too differently than they do in the US.

So, first, I saw someone bring up what would happen in an emergency, mentioning hemorrhage specifically. I think the best thing you, and your husband, can do, is understand what nurse midwives in the hospital are trained to do, and the limitations of both doctors and midwives. Nurse midwives can prescribe medications and do many obstetrical procedures. So, in the case of hemorrhage, nurse midwives can give pit, methergine, hemabate, and can use the hemorrhage cart (Essentially, the same thing an OB can do).

The only issue I could see is in the case of emergency surgery, but that is going to take a bit of time regardless of whether you start out with a midwife or an OB. They have to call the OR, get an anesthesiologist, a surgical assistant, a scrub tech. The patient has to travel to the OR, they need to be cleaned, people have to scrub in. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it is super fast (crazy fast), but it is not instant. Plus, you add in that an emergency can happen any time during the labor, and usually there are only nurses on the floor. So chances are, if something terrible happens, your doctor, or a doctor, will have to be called anyway. You would also be surprised at the amount of life saving techniques nurses, nurse midwives, and OB’s know.

Also, many times in the US, and I’m sure in Canada as well, people do not have their primary OB deliver their child. Typically, it is whoever is on call for the office that day. So, you could have an OB the whole time, and then deliver with a midwife, or vice versa. Unless of course, you discuss this with your OB/Midwife ahead of time and they agree to it

Anyway, good luck to you! I hope you have an awesome labor with great nurses and midwives! I hope you choose someone for their personality, as well as their title. Not all doctors are bad, and not all nurse midwives are great!

Post # 11
141 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

@Aug2012bride:  Even before we got married DH knew I was interested in the midwives and doulas. I’m curently 9w 3d into my pregnancy and had my first appintment with the Midwives. DH didn’t really understand the difference between and OB and a Midwife, other than medical school. At home, I’m the one with the science PhD.

Use statistics and examples with your husband. Sit him down and just talk about how you feel. Midwives have been assisting births ever since the beginning of time. OBs are primarily trained as surgeons not as birthing coaches or supporters. Granted, there’s a movement toward natural birth but it’s not everywhere. Look at the C-section statistics also.

After talking with DH we sat down and watched “The Business of Being Born” and “Pregnant in America”. Both are very good movies and TBoBB helped DH understand my concerns and why I wanted to experience birth while being in the care of a midwife (and my doula).

Midwives are prepared for anything and they are trained to recognize any potential dangers to mom and baby. Worst case scenario, they will call in the OB or transport you to a hospital. Actually, midwives are the ones that assist during birth and not OBs almost everywhere in Europe.

Good luck!

Post # 12
9137 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

@KCKnd2:  I agree.  Getting him to watch the Business of Being Born should help him better understand and trust the role of the midwife.  It’s usually free on Netflix.  I know they also made More Business of Being Born but that series wasn’t as good imo.

Post # 13
1734 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2012 - Father's Vineyard Church/ A Touch of Class Banquet Center

We are using a midwife, but our compromise is that I”m giving birth at a hospital where the midwife has privileges. We will have to drive 30 minutes instead of 5 minutes, but I’m totally okay with this. I really wanted a homebirth, but DH said absolutely not. I’m completely comfortable with my decision (I’m almost 20 weeks), because it is at a University Hospital, so there is always OBs on call, along with any specialist we could every possibly need. Maybe remind your husband of that. If you are giving birth at a hospital with a midwife, I’m sure an OB would jump in and help if it was necessary!

Post # 14
1734 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 1998

You’ll have your delivery at the hospital – so what is your husband so concerned about? That’s my plan as well – there’s always someone right down the hall in case I need an emergency c-section (at least in my state, certified nurse midwives can do everything but c-sections). The risk in that case is minimal. Other than that, most prenatal appointments are just “pee in this cup, here’s your ultrasound, your blood sugar’s too high, your weight and blood pressure are good, don’t eat garbage, move your ever-growing self around a little bit, see you in 4 weeks.”


Post # 15
664 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Double dipping: you need to cancel with the maternity clinic ASAP. Double dipping isn’t allowed, and once the billing goes through your provincial insurance they will realize what you did and you will have to pay for the second appointment yourself.

As for dealing with hubby, I had mine watch The Business of Being Born with me, and that helped a little to put his mind at ease, but the best thing was getting him to talk to other dads whose wives have had midwives instead of doctors. For some reason, hearing that it was a good experience from another dad gave him a lot more confidence in our midwife than anything else has.

There’s really no difference in safety if you’re giving birth at the hospital, because if anything goes wrong your midwife will transfer care to an OB.

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