(Closed) Midwife vs OB…how did you choose?

posted 5 years ago in Pregnancy
Post # 2
7310 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

We are hoping to be able to use a midwife in a standalone birthing center. I delivered with a large OB practice my first time around. They were, to put it mildly, useless. I was always a number and not a person. My visits were 10 minutes, tops. They were cold and clinical. And they treated pregnancy as a “condition” rather than a natural part of life. I cannot say that all practices are like this. But my experience was so negative that I have absolutely no desire to deal with an OB ever again. It ios one of the driving forces in my strong preference for an eSET. If we transfer two embies and I end up pregnant with twins, there go my hopes of avoiding doctors and hospitals.

Post # 3
2699 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2015

I would not be comfortable with this. Midwives can be incredibly well trained but they aren’t doctors. If everything goes well a midwife is more than adequate but if a problem develops seconds count, and I wouldn’t want ANY delay that could cost me IQ points or fine motor skills. You also see like a complex case I would def make sure my OB was on staff of a hospital with a level 3 NICU and that I was closely monitored.

Post # 4
1071 posts
Bumble bee

lovekiss:  my experience was very similar with an OB. Fortunately I had hired a doula. Without her I don’t think I would have been able to have the med-free natural birth that I did. She was able to convey my wishes when I couldn’t. The OB just wanted the baby to be born the quickest way possible and tried to force pitocin on me. 

When we get around to number two, I will be hiring the same doula and going with a mid-wife at a birthing center. 

Post # 5
2467 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I saw a midwife for my first pregnancy and had a great experience, so I am seeing a midwife again for this pregnancy. Midwives tend to be much more hands-on and spend more time with their patients both in appointments and during the labor process itself than obs. Otherwise, your care really shouldn’t differ between the two. I also go to a combination midwife-ob practice, so there are obs ready to step in if needed, but my midwife was so knowledgeable and experienced that I never doubted my midwife’s decisions and trusted her completely. All that said, I think whether a low-risk person sees an ob or a midwife if not that important as long as you trust your provider. 

Post # 6
1423 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

It really depends on what you want.  There is no right or wrong way to go, just better or worse matches for your preferences  I’m switching from a midwife/ob/gyn office to a freestanding birth center midway through my pregnancy, mostly because the practice had terrible wait times, and it felt like some of my appointments were really rushed because they were behind schedule.  I felt like I was bothering people by asking them questions (I was “normal” and “low risk”  so there wasn’t anything worth discussing with me). At my new place, appointments with your midwife are about 30 minutes, and they expect you to have all of the questions and concerns that a normal, low-risk pregnant woman will still have.  

I also like that they will require me to have a birth plan and let them know what I want — one of my appointments later in my pregnancy is just to talk about this.  Having a birth plan doesn’t mean that you will insist on having things a certain way even if it puts you or your baby at risk (How many pregnant women would honestly do this?  We all want to be healthy and alive, and have healthy and alive babies, right?).  It is just a way of letting your preferences be known, so that they can be followed if doing so is safe for you and your baby.  Knowing that I am going to a place where they take my preferences into account when delivering my care is very comforting to me.  It makes me feel that they care about me as a person and that I’m not just another chart.

One other thing that makes having a midwife rather than an OB a good choice for me is that they spend more time with you during labor and delivery than an OB — in a typical delivery, the OB just comes in at the end to catch the baby.  I would rather have a bit more one-on-one care.  It will help me feel more relaxed.  But you might feel more relaxed having an OB.  It all depends on what your preferences are and what makes you comfortable — so think about that and make your choice.  And you can always change your mind and change doctors/midwives/practices mid-pregnancy.

Post # 7
7430 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2013

As far as I know, the hospital I’m with doesn’t have midwives, and the OBs are covered by my insurance. I’m personally more comfortable having a doctor than a midwife anyway. I wasn’t trying to have a med free birth, I just wanted to get as far as possible before an epidural. I’m higher risk this pregnancy, so I’m definitely staying with the OB.

Your pregnancy sounds too high risk to be seeing a midwife in my opinion.

Post # 8
571 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I am doing a midwife and for me the choice was easy once I met with both of them. Maybe that is something you need to do to make sure who you feel better with.  

Post # 9
134 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

With your surgery and hematoma, I would expect you to still be closely monitored by the OB in the practice. At the next appt with the OB, I would discuss your current condition and request you be moved to the OB’s schedule. I had a midwife delivery and she was awesome. But, if I had early complications it would have been a different story. If this OB will not see you, I would consider finding a new practice.

Post # 10
3008 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

whitums:  I preferred an intervention-free and out-of-hospital birth so I went with a birthing center that had CNMs. I met with all of them (there were seven) over the course of my pregnancy, so I would know whoever was on call when I went into labor. I was low-risk and had a very healthy, normal pregnancy. If anything had come up during my pregnancy I would have been referred to the OB associated with the practice, and if something had gone seriously wrong during or just after the birth, the birthing center is 5 minutes from the hospital. Studies show that outcomes are better for both moms and babies if they are seen and attended by midwives, IF you are low-risk (I can find those studies if you are interested). Anyway, the midwives always took a lot of time to talk to me and my husband and to go over any questions or concerns we had. BUT, they do not treat pregnancy like a medical condition (instead considering it a natural state, only performing interventions as needed at not routinely). So, I only had one ultrasound, and while I felt the midwives were very involved with me and my pregnancy, I was not ‘fussed over’ nor closely monitored. But again, I was very low-risk and healthy.

Post # 11
268 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I wanted to have a med-free birth and my office, like yours, has a CNM group and OB’s so I decided to work with the CNM’s.  I had a great experience all around!  The CNM’s and OB’s work very close together at my office, especially during delivery in case there are any complications.  Although most people chose the CNM’s because they want a minimal intervention med-free birth, they made it know that they were happy to support women in every choice that they have during labor (epidural etc.).  I would suggest you talk to the office about your concerns.  Talk to the midwife about your histroy and concerns and ask her if they will continue to take measurements, what you can expect each month, and if there are any checks or precautions you have to take.  Request to see an OB at one of your appointments and ask the same questions.  It’s possible the OB wouldn’t have taken measurements either.  There’s should be no reason you can’t see an OB if you request a visit.  The best choice for you comes down to what your are more comfortable with.  And, some OB groups are great about supporting intervation free births too.  Hopefully talking to them will give you a good sense.

Edit to say, by the way I am also almost 12 weeks pregnant with my second! 🙂 

  • This reply was modified 4 years, 7 months ago by  .
Post # 12
200 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

whitums:  I think it’s a little funny that you’re worried about not getting enough information from a midwife.  I go to a midwife and I feel they give me A LOT more information than the doctors office would.  For example instead of “pee in the cup for me” she actually has us test our own urine for glucose and protein with a little stick indicator (the same thing the nurse would do for the OB) and let her know if it changes colour.  She explained why these measures are important and what steps would be taken if the stick changed colour.  And that’s just one example, she also explained the (evidence based) usefulness of the glucose tolerance test in far more detail than the doctor would have.  The reason I know that is because I work in a doctors office so I see how their OB appointments go. 

The thing that made me extremely comfortable with a midwife (I am an evidence based, I want to give birth in a hospital with modern medicine if I or baby needs it, etc kind of girl..) was that they gave me a booklet to go home with after our first appointment.  It outlined exactly when and how my care would be transferred to an OB if needed.  It listed the conditions that would require them, by law, to transfer the care.  This made me feel very comfortable with my choice as they take this very seriously.  Also, if my care does get transferred, they will still be as invovled as I want them to be (for example if I need a c-section they could resume the mother-baby care after with the surgeon also checking in on me). 

My experience is different because you seem more high risk, and I’m at a separate midwife clinic.  Where I live (Ontario, Canada), you usually see your family MD until 28-32 weeks then are transferred to an OB.  Here I get to see my midwife all the way through! So different than what you’re going through. 

Post # 13
1071 posts
Bumble bee

ginmar:  +1. My doula gave me more information then the OB ever did. 

Post # 14
1936 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

I choose OB because of my history with miscarriages… When i finally got a pregnancy to stick, I wanted to make sure I had the very best medical care possible.  Once you stop worrying about the early pregnancy stages, you start worrying about early labor/ issues, and then just general labor and delivery concerns.  I love that my OB does ultrasounds at every appointment– it’s really helped me with my MC PTSD and seeing baby and hearing how good everything looks inside.  No, they don’t sit down and chat me for 30 minutes at every appointment, but they certainly slow down and talk to me when I have questions or if there’s something they want to educate me on.  I’m also very much about getting epidural and I don’t even want to think of the potential stress of having something go wrong during delivery and having to have a “transition” plan.  I just want my doctor to be there and ready for anything.   Maybe/probably if I’d never had losses, I’d feel differently.

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