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Doctor? OB/GYN? Midwife?

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This seems to be a very controversial topic as well as a topic that brings upon very strong beliefs from others. This is a personal decision so make your choice based on what is most comfortable to you. This was simply my experience and everyone is different. But I thought I’d offer some insight into this confusing decision.

  • The Obstetrician/Gynecologist is a doctor who has specialized in the field of woman’s health and pregnancy. They specialize in the care and treatment of the woman during the pregnancy and also the labor and delivery of the baby. Obstetricians don’t attend home births and a small few attend births at birth centers.
  • The Doctor  has chosen to study family practice medicine. Family practice physicians treat men and women of all ages, and they also take care of women who are pregnant.  Some doctors deliver babies, while others provide prenatal care and have an OB/GYN or midwifes who does the delivery. Doctor’s don’t attend home births and a small few attend births at birth centers.
  • The Certified Nurse-Midwife is a person who is trained in nursing and midwifery. A nurse midwife provides primary prenatal care for low to moderate risk pregnancies. They provide care for the entire pregnancy, labor, birth, postpartum and up to 6 weeks after your baby is born. Midwives emphasize that birth is a normal, physiologic process, and generally provide a low-intervention approach to pregnancy. The use of the midwifery model of care has been proven to reduce the likelihood of C-Section and other intervention, including the use or forceps and vacuum. Midwives attend homebirths, birthing centers and hospital births.

The most important factors when deciding:

1. The type of birth you want. (Water birth, home birth or birthing center would suit a midwife. If you want to have a hospital birth you can choose a OB/GYN, doctor or midwife)

Many people have tried to force on me that water births are the only natural way for a birth to happen because it mimics the natural environment of the placenta. From what I researched, there is no scientific proof of birth tramatization, because memory function and development depends on the brain receiving oxygenated blood, which comes from breathing….which happens AFTER birth. Even if the baby births from the placenta into water, the baby still has to come out into the air sometime doesn’t it? If babies were only meant to come out into water than God would have created every women with an inflatable pool attached to their womb. But in saying this, if you are more comfortable with a water birth than that’s the right choice for you.

As for my local birthing center. I know it’s only 4 minutes away from the hospital but if there were any unforseen problems, four minutes to me is too long so I’m not comfortable with that.

I personally always knew that I would feel most comfortable and at ease in a hospital. Many people associate hospitals with very rigid procedures and doctors trying to medicate you at every whimper. In reality there are birthing rooms, showers, and your own right to refuse or accept drugs if you wish.

2. The quality of care you want to receive during pregnancy. Midwives usually only accept 4-5 clients a month so appointments are usually 45 minutes to an hour. A doctor has many clients and appointments are usually 15-20 minutes.

I knew I wanted a midwife from the start based on the positive feedback I have heard time and time again. I also was not comfortable with the fact that a doctor may or may not be able to be present at the time of my delivery. I wanted consistency and the comfort of knowing one person would be walking me through the entire process step by step. However, I was unable to get into a midwife right away so my only option at the time was an OB/GYN. However, alongside the OB/GYN I was also wanting a doula for additional support throughout my labor. I personally noticed that my doctor appointments felt extremely rushed and I didn’t feel like additional questions were welcomed. Some people have great experiences with doctors so if that’s where you are happy than stay with a doctor. But for me, when an opening came up for a midwife I switched right away.

3. The financial cost. Health care ranges depending where you live.

Most provinces across Canada provide midwife care covered under your medical health plan. So for us, it was an easy decision. As for a doula, they were not covered but I was willing to pay the expense as my second option to a midwife. So depending on the cost of care, it may influence your decision for care one way or another.

These are just my personal opinions and experiences and you may agree or disagree and that’s fine. You don’t let people tell you what to eat for breakfast or how you should dress so why should you let other people tell you how you should have your child. Do what is most comfortable for you. Throughout my entire pregnancy I have always believed that feeling confident, relaxed and stress-free is most important when making decisions. Where or how you have your baby isn’t as important as doing what makes you most comfortable emotionally, mentally and physically. Do your research and inform yourself so no matter what option you choose, you will be happy in your decision. Hundreds of people have had positive experiences with doctors, midwives and OB/GYN’s and hundreds of people have had negative experiences with doctors, midwives and OB/GYN’s. There is no right or wrong choice, only a right and wrong choice for you. And when faced with ignorant or pushy opinions, simply state “thanks for your advice, but I am very confident in the decision I/we have made” and leave it at that. Happy reading!

I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow  it with the most useful gift, that gift should be curiosity. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

0 thoughts on “Doctor? OB/GYN? Midwife?

  1. Loved my doctor(s) – loved my nurses – loved my experience in the Lions Gate Hospital in North Van with all 3 of my babies!!