Choosing a Doctor or Midwife for Birth

“How do you choose between a doctor and a midwife to take care of you? Well, you’ve got lots of options there and it depends upon where you live and what’s available in that area. Sometimes midwives have completely separate practices and you would choose early on in the pregnancy who you’re going to see. Sometimes you might have a collaborative team where doctors and midwives are in the office together. And other times you see the doctor, most of the pregnancy, and consult with the midwife and have her during the delivery.”

“In any case, the most important thing is that you have a relatively safe pregnancy, if you’re high risk and you have certain parameters that make it important that you have a medical person taking care of you for that delivery, then you should probably be with the doctor. If not, and everything seems to be going along fine, you can choose whatever you want.”

The Midwifery Model of Care

“The thing about a midwife is that they do honestly approach delivery differently and they are with you hands-on throughout the process of delivery. And when you’re with a physician, they’re there often, but they’re not quite as hands-on as a nurse-midwife. If you really want to have a low interventional birth or not have medications or other pain interventions during the course of labor that would be medical, having a midwife gives you your best chance of succeeding at that because they’re going to be side by side, giving you all sorts of insights of what you might be able to do to successfully get that kind of delivery. So if that’s your goal, think about a midwife.”

Know Your Expectations

“Different women have different expectations about what their birth should be like. And some women know they want an epidural and some women are really, really desirous of having a low interventional birth. So you need to decide what kind of experience you’re looking for.”

Building a Relationship

“Probably the most important thing about choosing a person to be with you during the course of your pregnancy is your relationship with them. Relationships can’t be diminished in taking care of patients. It is that trust and that emotional relationship that really makes dealing with difficult situations, even if it’s just stress in the office, easier and more elegant.”

Make The Choice That is Best for You

“So really when it comes down to it, you’re going to look at what kind of delivery you want to have. And you’re going to look at the relationship you have with the person. And if you have a relationship with your doctor, you may want to be with them. And if it’s with the midwife, you may want to be with them.”