Post # 1
I’d love to hear about your experiences. I’m really leaning this way for a variety of reasons (reducing intervention, quality care and familiar faces at the birth, reducing L&D costs).
A few questions:
- Where did you begin your search?
- Can my gyno help?
- Are you glad about your decision?
- Will you deliver that way again?
- What questions should I be asking?
Thanks so much!
Post # 3
@Mars62312: Not helpful, but if you read the title of the thread out of context, it’s an awfully adorable mental image of a mommy honey bee giving birth, with a supportive daddy bee, and a bee midwife.
Post # 4
@Duncan: I’m picturing precious clipart!
Post # 5
I’m currently pregnant with my first and working with a midwife. Can’t speak to the birth experience yet, obviously, but so far I’ve been really happy with the experience of general midwife care (and I plan to continue working with the midwife for general well woman care after the pregnancy). I’ve been doing a ton of reading about birth, interventions, research, midwifery, etc., and I’m confident that working with a midwife is the right option for me.
I saw an OB/GYN for my first appointment, when I was just starting to do some of the reading and only knew a little bit about midwifery. I did know at that point, though, that I would like to try for a water birth. At my appointment, the doctor told me “water birth isn’t an option with our practice,” so I decided “well, then, this practice isn’t an option for me,” and I transferred to a midwife.
I’ll be giving birth with a midwife who cooperates closely with a doctor, at a birth center that is freestanding but very close to its cooperating hospital. Water birth is an option at both locations, the midwife can still attend you if you have a hospital birth, and the cooperating doctor is very supportive of natural, non-interventionist birth and has a low C-section rate, so I’m confident that even if I end up risking out of the birth center itself, I can still get the type of physiologic care I prefer.
As to whether a gynecologist will help you find a midwife – that depends a lot on the individual. There are some MDs out there (like the cooperating physician who works with my midwife) who are really supportive of midwifery. They are in the minority, though, and many doctors have an unfortunate hostile attitude toward midwives. You might, instead, try MANA (Midwives Alliance of North America) or ACNM (American College of Nurse Midwives) – they have a “Find a Midwife” online database you can search.
Post # 6
@KCKnd2: That sounds awesome. That’s exactly what I’m looking for. My OBGYN is very natural and is a huge supporter of the female body doing what it’s supposed to, so I’m hoping she works with one. We’re just at the beginning stages of TALKING about TTC (ideally pregnant late fall/winter) and I have my annual this month and want to be ready to ask questions.
I really just want someone to support my wishes and I want to know who is delivering our baby.
Post # 7
@Mars62312: Oh, good, I hope she’s really supportive of you! You might also ask her about her own intervention statistics with birth. There is a whole continuum, and while midwives tend to be less interventionist and MDs tend to be more so, there are doctors out there whose practice is more akin to the midwifery model, and there are also midwives who are more “med-wives” and have a more techno-medical approach.
You might ask your OB/GYN about her own C-section rate, whether she uses continuous electronic fetal monitoring, intermittent monitoring, or intermittent auscultation (you can learn about the differences here), what criteria she uses for induction, what criteria she uses for augmentation of labor, what her episiotomy rate is … you might also ask how open she is to things like giving you the option to eat and drink in labor at your own discretion, not putting in an IV or saline/hep lock, moving around and laboring in different positions, etc.
Post # 8
@KCKnd2: Thank you SOOO much! You have been so helpful…I’ll keep these questions handy. I’d love to hear about your progress and your experience! Keep me updated!
Post # 9
@Mars62312: Will do. If you are looking for reading material on midwifery and low-intervention childbirth approaches, you might want to check out Ina May Gaskin (Birth Matters and Ina May’s Guide to Chidlbirth) and Henci Goer (Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth, Obstetric Myths Versus Research Realities, and Optimal Care in Childbirth: The Case for a Physiologic Approach). Robbie Davis-Floyd also has some good books out there, although hers are more academic (she is a medical anthropologist and looks mainly at the social impact of birth, birth-related policies, and global birth practices). Birth as an American Rite of Passage is very eye-opening, and Birth Models that Work looks comparatively at maternity care practices and systems in different countries around the world.
ETA: That Evidence Based Birth site I linked earlier is enormously helpful, too. If you are into reading research studies in academic journals, you can find a lot of references and links by starting there. If not, the author (Rebecca Dekker) does a great job of reviewing and synthesizing the research in her blog posts.
Post # 10
@KCKnd2: Thanks! Just put those on hold at the library.
Post # 11
I’m not pregnant or ttc, but I’m commenting to follow, for the information…
Post # 12
I’ve been lurking on the TTC and pregnancy boards here for awhile and all this midwife talk got me wondering what NZ has for giving birth. Upon research I was pleased to see that
1- all pregnancy and early childhood care is covered by the national health insurance (up to age 5 I think).
2- midwives are used in the majority of pregnancies and there is a great network where I am living
3- the hospital where I’ll give birth (when the time comes, I’m not KU yet) has a waterbirth facility and actually has a partnership with a midwife practice.
4- I could even choose to give birth at home if I wanted and all things would still be covered (but I don’t think I want to do that).
Reading all about the troubles and issues with giving birth in the USA (my home country) makes me feel really good about giving birth in my new home. I feel really at ease with the process and the fact that i won’t have to fight for what I do/don’t want when it comes to having a baby here since what I want is the standard here. It makes me really excited to start our family!
I have a couple of friends back in the US who have finished up their doula/nursing training and are really closer to midwives in their practice, so I know it’s not all doctors and cutting and going as fast as possible, but it’s nice to know it doesn’t really happen much here, unless medically necessary.
Best of luck to all you bees still in the US and other countries where getting the pregnancy and birth care you want is more of a struggle! Sending happy thoughts.
Post # 13
Here are a few more resources that might be helpful to Bees reading this thread:
A review of the National Birth Center Study II (a peer-reviewed study with 15,000+ participants that was recently published in an academic journal and that looks at the outcomes of midwife-attended births in freestanding birth centers)
Rebecca Dekker’s recent guest blog post at ImprovingBirth.org, “A Thank You to Midwives”
Post # 14
I had a midwife, and he was great (yes a male midwife, I think that’s pretty uncommon). He’s part of a small practice with an OB. I chose the practice after reading reviews online and finding that both practitioners had excellent reviews. I didn’t purposely seek out a midwife, but after having prenatal appointments with both of them, I just loved the midwife and decided to have him for my delivery. I wanted a natural unmedicated birth, and he was a huge supporter of that. I loved his philosophy of childbirth, his views and record on episiotomies.
I ended up needing a c-section after 36 hours of labor, but he was with me throughout labor and assisted the OB with my c-section. I am still so glad that he was my practitioner throughout pregnancy, and he gave me every chance to have the birth I wanted and supported my birth plan to the end. I would absolutely choose him again, but sadly he told me that it’s very unlikely I will be able to have a VBAC in the future.
If you want to have a midwife and OB who will work together, I think they have to be part of the same practice. No matter who you choose, I think it’s important to do your research on the other members of the practice, because they could be taking over if your midwife is not available or if you need a c-section, or if something else goes wrong during your pregnancy and you midwife isn’t on call. There were other midwives I could have chosen who I’d heard glowing recommendations for, but the OBs who they worked with didn’t come as highly recommended. Ask who their backup will be and in which situations they would consult with an OB, and how they would decide whether to hand you over to their care.
Post # 15
I see a MW (homebirth) for my pregnancy (I did for my second as well, obgyn for my first) & LOVE IT! I love the quality care I get, I love that she’s not tied to hospital or practice policy that keeps her from practicing evidence based birth & I love that a top priority of hers is gaining my trust & building a relationship!
As for your particular questions:
Where did you begin your search? I found my first MW through my neighbor how herself had an hbac & my new MW came to assist in my last birth
Can my gyno help? Most gynos & obgyns are not supportive of MW & I’ve known moms to lose their doctors over talking about seeking out a MW. It’s sad b/c there is so much skill for natural births through MW that obgyns miss out on b/c of this.
Are you glad about your decision? YES! You couldn’t pay me to opt for an obgyn in a low risk pregnancy!
Will you deliver that way again? YES!!!
What questions should I be asking? I plan homebirths so it’s a bit different BUT I think this is still a good list to go by! I would ask about the policies that she will have to abide by per the hospital/birthing center she births at b/c regardless of perspective sometimes a providers hands are tied.
Really though.. I think all moms should research & look into homebirth! <3
Post # 16
I’m 25w into my first pregnancy and I adore my midwife. I’m so much happier since I found her than I was with my OB/Gyn.
Where did you begin your search? I started looking on google. I found a few midwife care centers and had to put myself on waiting lists at each (they’re in high demand and low supply here) but eventually got one.
Can my gyno help? Probably depends on your insurance. In Ontario we have free health care, and the public insurance makes us pick one or the other, so I had to transfer out of my OB/Gyn’s care into the care of my midwife.
Are you glad about your decision? Extremely so. My midwife is very supportive of natural birth – obviously – which is what I want. I was only 8 weeks along at my first appointment with my OB and she was already telling me that I should start thinking about epidurals. She’s also been able to give me good reccomendations for local natural birth courses (the one at the hospital here is very meds-based) and prenatal breastfeeding lessons. We get a 45 min appointment once/month for now, soon will be every other week and then later it’s every week. Sitting in her office chatting is like catching up with an old friend. I know I’ll feel comfortable with her there while I’m labouring.
Will you deliver that way again? I’m sure I will.
What questions should I be asking? What are her transfer rates like (here, midwives have to transfer back to an OB if serious complications arise)? Does she do homebirth (if that’s something you’re interested in)? If yes, how many does she do on average? If you prefer hospital, what hospitals does she have priveledges at?
Good luck! I think having a midwife is a great experience! 🙂