Midwife vs. Ob

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Midwife vs. Ob
14
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 6:42am
I already posted this question to another board, but I am having a hard time deciding between using a midwife or an ob. With my first child I had an ob and although I really liked the doctor.. I wanted a natural birth and he sort of laughed at me when I told him this and then explained all the different medication options there are! I also delivered in a hospital and the nurses kept asking me if I wanted an epidural yet everytime they came in... so of course after a while I got one.

Anyway.. heres my delima:

I prefer men doctors over women

I feel like an ob would be more knowledgable about pregnancy symptoms or complaints I might have.. cramping, breast pain (those are my two right now LOL)

But...

I really want a natural birth and want someone who will help me through it and be there to keep me going.

What are your suggestions and where can I find a midwife in my area?

And I know that a midwife is probably just as knowledgable if not more so about pregancy and birth.. It's just been instilled in me to use a doctor for so long that it's hard to see past that... if that makes sense?

Sorry this was so long!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: brmom2
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 8:06am
You might feel more comfortable using a midwife who works in an OB office. That way you feel that you have easy access to an OB. I have to warn you though, in this setting you rarely get the full "benefits" of having a midwife.

A midwife is trained in the normalacy of pregnancy and birth, while OB's are trained primarily in the *problems* of prengnancy and birth. Midwives are trained to recognize problems that need referral to OB's, OB's are briefly trained on normalacy. It results in a very different orientation of the two professions. Midwives are expecting everything to turn out fine, so they can spend more time dealing with the emotional issues and the little aches & pains of pregnancy. OB's are waiting for something to go wrong, so they spend so much of their time testing for what is wrong that often they don't get time to deal with the emotions and day to day "normal" issues. Midwives, in general, will spend more time with you at each visit than an OB would--1/2 hr to an hr is not uncommon!

I encourage you to interview a few midwives--no strings--and see if you don't find one that you feel comfortable with.

Also, the issue with the nurses offering you drugs--a lot of that has to do with them frequently getting women in who say they want to "try" to go unmedicated, then opting for meds. If you don't want to get offered meds, you need to directly tell them not to offer--either in a written birth plan or when you first talk to them upon arriving at the hospital. Just tell them "please do not offer me pain medications. I will ask for them if I feel that I need them." I did that, and I was never offered pain meds in my two hospital births.

Jenn

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: brmom2
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 4:20pm
Please don't lump all obs into your theory!

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I've been with my Ob/Gyn for 8 years now and have met all the other OB's on staff in his practice...and I'll tell you, you are flat our wrong in this assumption. Mine is the far opposite, thankfully! I know another practice in town of about 4 Ob's that 2 close friends use, they are so close in comparison you'd think they were ALL the same practice.

<<>>

My OB will easily spend that long w/me PER visit. He is my doctor, he is there to help me both with normal pregnancy and problems (I'm high risk due to high b/p). I've never in the least bit felt rushed or unanswered and he returns calls promptly nights & wknds (including holidays) when on call as well as his fellow OBs in the practicce. They practice common caring & courtesy for their patients. And believe me, I can ask a million questions a visit LOL Plus I call alot!

I've been experiencing the "blues" and "depression" with this pregnancy and my OB has been the most sympathetic, understanding, easy to talk to, encouraging and makes me feel better & more comfortable each time I go in to the office. I could not ask or expect more from an OB or his wonderful nursing staff.

So PLEASE, don't lump them all together. My mother's OB for my siblings and I back in the late 60's and early 70's was exactly the same! My MIL speaks of the same experiences I experience in her late 50's and early late 60's range of 3 birth experiences.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: brmom2
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 4:24pm
I also prefer men over women doctors (we have 2 women in our practice, they are OK, but I don't feel secure & reassured with them attending to my pregnancy as I do my primary and the other 2 men OBs).

I also feel more comfortable with an OB even though I've done much reading and hearing about midwives. I just couldn't do it. I'd have no confidence level, or very little anyway. And THAT is important to me to have...I have that w/my OB.

My OB wants the woman to choose natural or medicated so he is supportive of both. That is truly important I believe.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: brmom2
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 6:27pm
I have a CNM and an OB in my doc's office. I really love my OB, he is wonderful. Anytime I have a question he will call me back within 30 min. He is very understanding of my concerns (3 m/c before DD and history of preeclampsia). I haven't seen the midwife yet, but I do hear she is great too. I probably won't see much of her because of my history.

Jen

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
In reply to: brmom2
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 11:41pm
I personally don’t think the initials make much of a difference. I do agree with Jen that the midwifery model of care promotes “the normalcy of pregnancy and birth”, whole-woman prenatal care, education and informed choice, but not all midwives practice the midwifery model to the tee. I actually know of a couple OBs who are more midwife-like in their approach to maternity care than the majority of the CNMs in the area (and even some RMs, sadly enough).

I would suggest interviewing several potential care providers (both OBs and CNMs) and base your decision on the person with whom you are most comfortable and who is most supportive of your birth preferences. Make sure the facility you choose to give birth in is conducive to the birth you want, as well. What procedures are routine and how will standard hospital protocol impact your birth? Does the nursing staff seem supportive of unmedicated birth? Do they have doulas on staff? What is their epidural rate? There are so many things to consider…

I also agree with Jen on letting the nursing staff know, either verbally or in a birth preference sheet (or both), that you know pain medication is available and, if you want it, you’ll ask, thanks very much ;o)

Best of luck,

Christy

Christy
Stay home rocky mountain mamma to

Avatar for cl_sidhe66
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
In reply to: brmom2
Sun, 03-30-2003 - 2:42pm
Great ideas! I agree!

dee

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
In reply to: brmom2
Sun, 03-30-2003 - 7:31pm
Don't forget the good old fashion family doctor!! I love mine. He helped me deliver my 9lb 11oz dd with NO episiotomy and NO TEARING! He told me that he gets the best of all worlds, he gets to see babies come into the world, then he gets to see them grow up.

I agree absolutely with what was said above about it not being concerned about the initials after the name. Interview with care! Good luck!

Hugs

Lisa

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
In reply to: brmom2
Mon, 03-31-2003 - 8:14am
Oh, you are right.

I am speaking in generalities. Despite being of the "midwife" mindset during my second pregnancy I saw an OB because he was very "midwife-like."

There are also midwives who operate in a very "OB-like" fashion.

I switched to a midwife for my 3rd pregnancy only because I wanted a homebirth.

I do have to tell you though, even as great as I thought my OB was--and as great as I still think he is, dealing with a good midwife was VERY different. Night and day.

Jenn

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
In reply to: brmom2
Mon, 03-31-2003 - 10:06am
Yeah, I agree with you there.

The prenatal care I received from my midwife (RM) was still far superior to anything I have seen personally or professionally from an OB practice. She was able to spend more time with me, focusing on the emotional and psycho-spiritual aspects of the pregnancy as well as the physical stuff. OBs usually see such a huge volume of women, both because the medical model is more popular among the mainstream and to be able to avoid malpractice insurance, they are not able to provide that level of support, even if they wanted to.

Even though my midwife’s approach was more clinical than I would have wanted, I don't know if I would have made that trade-off.

Christy

Christy
Stay home rocky mountain mamma to

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: brmom2
Mon, 03-31-2003 - 12:07pm
I like the fact if I need to talk to my OB for 30 minutes about being depressed he will patiently sit there, listen, and help me. His practice is extremely busy! I was in there this morning....no seating room first thing and women pouring in. He is one of THE most popular in our city. That is how everyone knows who he is here. I just could not have asked more from anyone caring for me and my baby. And personally, it is just me, but I HAVE to have a medical professional (hospital setting, hospital bed, nursing staff) to feel 200% comfortable and totally safe & satisfactory feeling! JMHO for me.

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