whitums: I can only give my reasons for choosing a midwife, but these are them:
– I’m low risk, this doesn’t have to be a big medical procedure
– There are lots of women who are/end up high risk, who are better suited to an OB. I don’t really need to be there taking up space unless it’s medically required for me to be with an OB
– I am aiming for as natural a birth as possible on the big day. That’s not to say I’m a no for the epidural (and at my hospital, you can get your epi and go back with your midwife), I’m also not going to fight medical interventions if deemed neccessary, bring on whatever baby or I need to get him here safely. I just want to avoid jumping right to interventions (that often lead to further interventions). The midwives have a similar philosophy, so we’re a good match.
– I will be more likely to labour and deliver in a position of my choosing. If I want to be on all fours, I can, providing its not a risk to myself or baby.
– I want to go home as soon as possible. I don’t want to be in a hospital. I want to be in my own home, with my family. I have lots of support, I don’t need a hospital bed. A midwife allows this to happen in my province, sometimes going home within hours of an uncomplicated vaginal birth.
– The midwife comes to me. When I’m in early labour, she comes to my house. When I’m home with the baby she comes on day 1, 3, and 7 for appointments. The only time I have to go to her with baby is day 14 (unless something else crops up.)
– There is an on-call midwife available to me 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They are just a phone call (routed through a live person answering service) away. They call back in very short order. I’m 21 weeks and I’ve already used the service twice. Once just to get a refill on my diclectin, on a Thursday before a long weekend. Another time was to talk me down and just reassure me that everything was going to be ok when I was in some pretty awful pain with a kidney infection (and my Darling Husband was out of the country.)
– Also, I have had appointments with all 3 of these midwives. I *know* them, its not a faceless nameless person giving advice. It’s the person I laughed with the other day in the office.
– Appointments are much longer. I typically spend a half hour in the office with them each visit. No question is brushed off. I feel like I know what to expect next when I leave after each appointment.
– I am in charge of my care. This was hard to get used to at first. Shouldn’t someone who went to school for this be in charge? But why? It’s my pregnancy, my body, my baby. My midwives are very good at giving me information, risks, options, and then letting me digest the info, talk to my husband, do my own research before making a decision. I’m sure there will be more urgent decisions, but I don’t doubt they will take the time to ensure I fully understand before I consent to any procedures. And I haven’t felt pressured thus far in any decision (I did opt for the IPS testing, I opted to go straight to the 3 hour glucose test, despite having zero risk factors for GD, etc.) This has actually been pretty empowering, actually. They order all the same tests an OB would.
– It feels like they take the time to talk to me and understand me. We joke around and laugh during appointments.
– They will be with me for the duration of my labour. They won’t be in and out leaving my husband and I with nurses I’ve never met. They definitely don’t show up just to catch.
– They will advocate for me, even if my labour requires my transfer to an OB. I won’t be left. They will still be there to support me.
– I have rotating appointments with all 3 on my team, meaning that when the labour starts, one of the 3 of them will attend. I am garaunteed to know who is attending the birth of my baby – not 1 of 8 on call doctors, potentially someone I’ve never met.
– They provide after birth care for myself and the baby for the first 6 weeks. That includes the 24/7 on call line.
I am very happy with the choice. I will be sad if I have to transfer to an OB at a later date (at the first meeting we were given a long sheet of the reasons for transfer – some don’t require you transfer fully, you can be transferred back once the issue is resolved, others require you stay with an OB. I shouldn’t be blindsided. Twice we’ve had things come up that would require a transfer if they turned out to be positive. Neither time did the tests come back positive, but I was informed right away that it would be a possibility.)
I am really happy with the care I’ve received so far.
Our midwifery clinic is a partner at the hospital. I could elect for a home birth. But they all work at the hospital as well. We aren’t comfortable delivering our first at home (not knowing what to expect.) So I will be in the maternity ward, in a birthing suite, with OBs working available for transfer of care, if an emergency arises at any point.
I like numbers, stats, studies, and I’m given all that with the midwives. I can understand wanting the reassurance of ultrasounds and measurements. But the problem is, they don’t really stop things from happening. And I’ve had 4 ultrasounds this pregnancy, its definitely not just one and done. But I’m low risk with a healthy baby and healthy looking placenta, so medically there is no reason at this point to have another. If that changes somehow, I have no doubt that I’ll be sent to the hospital for an ultrasound. We have a 10 week wait to book US at our hospital. When the anatomy scan didn’t provide a clear enough photo for the heart the midwives called and I was squeezed in a week after they received the report from the original ultrasound. The first scan was done on a Friday at 230. At 11am on Monday I received a call that we needed the 2nd scan, and that if I was comfortable going to the hospital they would call and book me in. A day later my appointment for 8 days from then was confirmed (the wait was neccessary. They wanted to give him a little more time to grow.)