Why I’m choosing a Midwife instead of an Obstetrician

A couple days after finding out that we were expecting, I put in an application to have a midwifery care. Midwives are in such high demand in Ontario, Canada that you have to apply right away. I waited 3 weeks to hear the news that they were full but would keep me on the wait list. I was very disappointed. Then yesterday, at 20 weeks, I received a phone call and they offered me a spot! I won’t cancel my obstetrician referral until we have our anatomy scan just in case I’m deemed high risk (in which case I would need an obstetrician for care). As it stands, I wouldn’t meet my obstetrician until 31 weeks anyways. I now have my first appointment with my midwife on December 11th, I’ll be a day shy of 23 weeks. Unless there are major complications, here are the reasons why I’m choosing a midwife instead of an obstetrician:

Obstetrician:

– wouldn’t meet them for the first time until 31 weeks.

– it’s more a rare thing that your obstetrician will be the one who delivers your baby. It’s whoever is on-call that night that does the delivery.

– for the hospital that I’d deliver at (it’s a teaching hospital), there’s likely to be a lot of students in the labour and delivery room with an obstetrician.

Midwife:

– would get to know my midwife much sooner, I’m only seeing them at 23 weeks due to being accepted later than usual.

– the midwife that I get to know over the course of my pregnancy will be the one who delivers our baby. I will also get to know another midwife who is back-up in case of emergency with our primary midwife. This way, both Derek and I would have met and gotten to know whoever will be with us during labour and delivery.

– when labour begins, the midwife will come to our house and be with us until it’s time to go to the hospital. this helps a women to labour at home longer. my friend went for a walk with her midwife while having contractions before going to the hospital!

– the postpartum care for mother and baby can’t be matched. within 24 hours of going home from the hospital, the midwife will come to the home to see how things are going. no need to bundle up a baby (ours is due beginning of April) to get them to a potentially germ filled doctor’s office right away. we’d receive postpartum care for 6 weeks after birth, then be discharged to our family doctor.

-midwifery service is covered by OHIP, meaning that there’s no additional cost to choosing a midwife over an obstetrician.

After listening to various friends experiences with obstetricians and midwives, we are thrilled to be given the opportunity to work with midwives. The research shows a large decrease in c-sections when working with a midwife vs. an obstetrician. I love that the philosophy behind midwifery care is one of wanting to empower women to be active members in their health care. I also appreciate that many who have used a midwife have told me that their midwife felt like a very good friend.

Midwifery care may be very different in Canada than in the US. And experiences in regions could vary. This post isn’t meant to put down anyone who delivers with an obstetrician (we are so lucky in Canada to have great health care!). Rather, I hope this post may help others who also may be trying to decide which route to take.

Have you used a midwife? Considered it? I’d love to hear any thoughts from you!

12 thoughts on “Why I’m choosing a Midwife instead of an Obstetrician”

  1. I am so happy to hear this news! I like your statement about being pro midwife rather than anti OB/GYN. So many of my friends had a wonderful experience with their OB. Midwifery just fit my personality and approach to health better!
    Shortly after the birth of our son I struggled with postpartum depression and severe pain from third degree tears. Our midwife was at our house at 11pm and 7 the next morning. She was the most compassionate and knowledgeable person in one of my most vulnerable times.
    I am so very happy for you Rachel! There are a lot of misconceptions about Midwifery (granola loving, Birkenstock wearing, anti pain med hippies!). Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

  2. Really interesting to read about your experiences! I didn’t realize that you didn’t see an OB until 31 weeks. Does your regular doctor do your prenatal stuff up until that point? I see my regular doctor today and will figure out when he wants to refer me. I’m on the waiting list for 7th generation midwives but will go ahead getting my name on the OB referral in the meantime just in case they don’t have room for me (I hope they do!). Congrats on getting a spot!

    1. Ya, here the family doctor does all of the prenatal stuff until your care is transferred over to an OB or midwife. My family doctor does everything that an OB would be doing right now anyways so I haven’t been too worried (I pee in a cup, she takes my weight, blood pressure, measures my uterus, and can listen to heartbeat via Doppler). Thanks for your comment and all the best in your decision!

  3. I exclusively had a midwife. In labor had urgent c section. So i had to follow up with that ob to check incision. All three of my midwives were off call the weekend i delivered lol. So i met two new ones the morning of lol. Sometimes you just have to be flexible. Laboring at home and not going to the hospital way too early was really comforting. My neighbor didn’t have a miDwife and went multiple times for false alarms. Care during and after was phenomenal. And could page them day or night without having to go straight to emergency. Even came to me.

    1. I’ve heard that being FLEXIBLE is the key to labour/delivery and especially child rearing! 🙂 I’m glad that you were able to page your midwife instead of going to the ER for some questions/concerns.

  4. I have had it both ways. OB the first time and midwife the second. I think I was fearful the first time about having a midwife because of the misconception that they would push an all natural birth and I was terrified about that! My experience with my OB turned out to not be that great anyways. Her office was very cold and uninviting. Her receptionist was rude and never called back. After a non-stress test to make sure everything was going ok at 41 weeks, I called with about 4 hours till the office closed (it was a Friday) and she never returned my call. I had to call her back on the Monday. I only saw my OB as we were leaving the hospital with the new baby at 2 days old. The first thing she asked me, as a new first time mom was had my milk come in (because I was exclusively nursing). Being a first time mom I had NO clue really how to tell. So I said I didn’t know. Her first thing to say was push formula. Not ask if I wanted any advice or to see a lactation consultant. I was instantly turned off. When it was time for my 6 week check up, I left a msg and to this day, 4 years later, I’ve never heard from them. I had to have my family doctor to the check up. Having said that, I know alot of people who have had a great experience with an OB. When it came time to decide if I wanted a midwife with the 2nd, it was a no brainer. If we were to have a third, it would be a midwife. And neither of mine even delivered! I met 2 new midwives the day #2 was born. But they turned out to be AMAZING ladies. I so desperately wanted an epidural, but they knew I wouldn’t make it, and said I could do it without – they were right! The after care was awesome. It’s just so much more comfortable then an OB. And the fact that they come to you the first few times is so nice. You don’t have to take the baby outside, bundle it up etc. So much more relaxed.

    1. Thanks for sharing your story! You are another person whose experience has caused me to think more seriously about having a midwife. I’m getting excited all over again that we got in! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s