I'm looking for women's personal experiences with midwives. Please contribute if you can!

I'm working on a series of blog posts for my blog: www.MamasAndBabies.blogspot.com about the midwifery model of care. I'm looking for input from women about their experiences with doctors and midwives. Even if your experience has been from an outside perspective (friend or family of the mother, doula, etc.) I would love to hear from you. It would be particularly helpful if you've had experiences with both doctors and midwives, but any input will be greatly appreciated. Please let me know if you can contribute!

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Carrie, I can use whatever you'd like to share. I appreciate whatever perspective you want to give on the subject. Please think about it, and write something about your experience, short or long, and post it here for me if you'd like to :)
Use any of this that you want to:

When I got pregnant for the first time I hadn't imagined that I'd use a midwife. But I met my midwife by chance, and after I met her I couldn't imagine not having a midwife! She was warm, loving, and completely reassuring. She had an attitude that was rubbing off on me, and I knew I needed her with me at the birth of my child. Right away, I was on board with having my baby at home. I already had an appointment with the doctor though, so I was planning on going there too.

Then, my pregnancy ended in a missed miscarriage at 13 weeks. It was so sad for me. I think it was even more sad that I'd gone weeks thinking of and preparing for a baby, when I actually was not carrying one--who knows for how many weeks. I was in a hospital bed with my husband beside me, my midwife 40 miles away telling me to take marshmallow root (not knowing if it was actually a m/c), just sitting there crying most of the time. Hospital staff didn't really look at or speak to me except for the doctor who had reviewed the emergency u/s, who literally just walked in and said, "There's nothing there" and walked away.

I knew I was miscarrying, but still. It was so cold and wrong how the hospital was. There was even a staff member who was extremely bitchy about how we didn't give the insurance card until as we were leaving, saying, "Oh, NOW you have insurance"...and she rolled her eyes. Seriously.

My miscarriage, even though it was rather late, did not hurt. I didn't feel any contractions. I'm glad for that. Yet the hospital made the experience even sadder and more upsetting, and emotionally, made me hurt. After this, I was even more sure that the hospital is the wrong way to go about giving birth, even for a situation like a miscarriage.

So, I was pregnant again 3 months later. For some reason, I decided that it would be a good idea to have a doctor and the midwife, just because, in case of a transfer, there would be a hospital chart. I waited to see my midwife until 3 months after the pregnancy began. At every appointment, my midwife checked my urine and checked the baby, by palpation of my uterus, with a fetoscope, and with a measuring tape she checked fundal height. But the main focus was on me and my husband. The main thing about these visits was to determine how I was feeling, not just physically.

In contrast, I would wait one hour (on average) to see my OB. She had a busy practice, so sometimes I'd see a practitioner other than her. I generally got every procedure done by someone else, plus a weight check, and then, I'd see my OB for 5-10 minutes tops! I did like her, but she had triplets by c-section herself. As I talked with her, it became evident that she has no problem whatsoever with c-sections. She did not know the rate of c-sections performed in the hospital or anything, but acted like it was an inconsequential question to be asking.

My OB wanted an ultrasound done because I was measuring ahead for dates at week 14. I complied. When I do this again, no ultrasounds,thanks!! I think my OB just tried to find things wrong with my baby and with me. In contrast, my midwife tried to find things that would make me feel better and healthier and provided me with them.


more later...baby woke up! :)
Can't wait to hear more :)
I want to let you all know that my blog series on midwifery started this week. There have been 3 posts so far, and there will be 14 in all.

Mamas and Babies

Thank you all SO much for sharing your thoughts and experiences about midwifery and making this blog series wonderful!
My first pregnancy, I started in a group of 5 OBGYNs. When I told them that I was leaving to birth naturally in a birth center, I was told "Good luck. I wouldn't wish that pain on my most hated enemy." They also tried to scare me into rethinking birthing out of hospital. I'm glad I did not listen, because I went on to birth my daughter in a birth center, naturally with a midwife. I had my second baby at home with a midwife. Both experiences were wonderful!
Lynn, that's terrible of the OB's office to try to scare you off like that. Would you be able to write something about your experience? I'd be happy to post it on my blog along with the other stories :)
I used an OB for my 1st 3 births, switched to a midwife with my 4th daughter, planned on a homebirth, but it ended in a hospital birth, still all natural and a great experience.........now pregnant again and due in July and planning a home water birth with the same midwives........and I'm a birth doula, and have worked with clients using OB's and midwives..........anything I can share with you, please let me know, I'd be happy to:)
Beth, whether you want to share your personal experiences with OB vs midwife, or your perspective as a doula working with both, or all of the above, I can use whatever you would like to give me :) If you want to write something up and post it on here that would be wonderful! I can extend my blog series as long as I want to.
I am currently 30 weeks along with my first and using a midwife for a homebirth. When I compare the experiences my friends with doctors have versus my care the number one thing that stands out is the level of attention and pure just bonding I have with my midwife. Almost every visit is 2 hours long because we chat and get to know each other. My husband is with us every visit because she works around BOTH of our schedules. I have truly created a relationship with my midwife that is more than just routine medical care with a little standard chit chat. The other thing I love is I never feel I am bothering my midwife and I can call her about any little freak out or concern at literally any time. I don't have to wait till the morning if I have a concern at 8:00pm. Overall every meeting with my midwife just ensures even further that I have made the correct choice for my family.
Thank you Andrea :)
Hi Cherylyn, sorry to take so long, but here's my personal birth experiences....:)
When pregnant with my 1st daughter, I was already seeing an OB because of previous miscarriages, I never thought to use a midwife, nor had I given much thought to what I wanted in labour, I just knew I was anxious for a baby.....I often felt rushed through my appts and given very little time to ask questions, and my concerns were brushed aside, after taking prenatal classes, I decided I wanted a natural birth, and made this very clear on the birth plan I submitted to the hospital......my water broke before contractions started, and the hospital wanted me in there right away, labour quickly started on its own...... although admitted at 8 am, I never met the OB on call until 7 pm that evening....while I was coping with the pain, I was quickly getting overwhelmed, and after repeated offers of medication and an epidural, I soon broke down while my nurse kept insisting I had hours and hours to go,.............3 hours later my baby girl was born after 40 minutes of pushing, narrowly avoiding an episiotomy, with a small tear, only needing a single stitch...an okay birth, but not what I wanted, I felt really disappointed that while the hospital asked what I wanted in my birth, they seemed to have little intention of helping me get it.........2nd baby girl was born 22 months later, silly me, I went back to the same OB, and felt even more rushed, and brushed aside during appts.....a cesarean was scheduled at 38 weeks because my baby went into the transverse position, my OB refused to try to turn the baby, citing an 'inferior pelvis', wth? I was told it was impossible for the baby to turn on its own, and an immediate cesarean was necessary, the next day I reported for my cesarean, and was experiencing mild contractions, causing my OB to point out why this was so necessary, after the resident asked to do an ultrasound to see the baby's positioning as she had never seen one in transverse before, my OB got really annoyed when she mentioned the baby appeared to be head down.......until he checked for himself...oops, those mild contractions were my little monkey baby changing position and going head down......I hopped off that bed, and went 2 more weeks before going into labour on my own, 1 day past my EDD, labour was fast and hard, I had mild contractions that quickly got stronger, I was admitted to the hospital at 6 cm, my OB was on call, and decided he wanted my water broken right away to speed things up, he insisted I was silly to insist I didn't want it, I quickly found the contractions too strong to bear, and asked for an epidural....the anesthesiologist (sp?) and my nurse got into a fight over my back while doing this and bickered among themselves for quite some time....10 minutes after the epidural was done, my baby girl was born, in 2 pushes.....no stitches...and no OB in the room. He was sleeping. Baby #3 was born 2 1/2 years later, and yep, silly girl I went back to the same OB ?!?, I was determined this time to do things the way I wanted, and had lots of questions of my OB, so I could be prepared. He told me that he didn't have time for my questions, this was my 3rd baby, and I knew what to expect...I tried to switch to a midwife, but the practices near me were all filled up.......I went into labour on my own early in the morning, mild contractions, but I felt I needed to get to the hospital quickly....I got the hospital early in the morning, very quiet on the floor, actually two nurses were asleep next to the admitting desk.......I was 6 cms when I checked in, 20 mins later I insisted I needed to push, and was told it wasn't possible...but it was.....I was fully dilated, but had to wait for the OB on call to wake up, she rolled her eyes, and asked what was taking so long for my next contraction to start, so I could push.....baby girl was born in 2 pushes, no stitches thankfully, and I finally got my natural birth. I was thrilled and felt great right afterwards. During my hospital stay, I noticed that I was pretty much left to my own, rarely having a nurse check on me and my baby, I figured it was because this was my 3rd baby, and I knew what I was doing.....until I wondered why no one came in to release me........after asking at the desk several times when I was going to be able to go home.....and found out they didn't know who I was, they had forgotten I was there....and then after doing a quick check, telling me I couldn't be released because my blood pressure was too high......2 years later, baby #4, the day I found out I was pregnant I called my closest midwife practice hoping to get in, my family DR strongly encouraged it. I got in, and loved it from my very 1st appt.......I wasn't questioned about why I didn't want to have the triple screening done, and very few ultrasounds....my appts were an hour long, and I could ask any question I wanted.....I was asked questions and given choices about things I didn't even know I had choices about.........a dating ultrasound revealed placenta previa, and my midwife phoned me at home and went over this with me, and what it could mean, when a later ultrasound revealed that it had corrected itself, she phoned me right away to tell me this too.......because I was Group b Strep + with 2 previous pregnancies, I started taking a homeopathic regime in hopes to avoid it again, my midwife phoned me at home as soon as the test results came in to tell me that I did it, I was negative. At 35 weeks, my baby was still breech, I was given a homeopathic recommendation that worked immediately .We chose to have a home birth, with my 3 older daughters in attendance, this was strongly encouraged, however at 39 weeks, it was felt that it would be better for me to be induced, which would mean a hospital birth. I did choose to go a different hospital than where my older daughters were born. My water was very low, and baby appeared to be in distress. My midwife spent over an hour on the phone with me explaining the induction process, and phoned the hospital to see if they would make an exception and allow my daughters in to watch the birth. Their policy was no one under the age of 11 and my daughters were 6,4 and 2. The hospital bent the rules for us. Some complications arose during labour, and the attending OB had to be brought in, she told me that she respected my desire for a natural vaginal birth, and she was going to have the OR prepped just in case, but she wanted me to try my hardest to push my baby out quickly, and that she too was going to do everything she could to get me the birth I wanted.....I was only 6 cm, but she stretched my cervix the remaining 4 cms, and we got her out, 5 minutes later, a healthy baby girl was born, I very narrowly escaped a cesarean again. I left the hospital 2 hours later with my midwives and went home to rest. I am currently expecting my 5th baby, this was surprise, and I was 3 months along before I knew I was pregnant, I was petrified that I wouldn't get into a midwifery practice, fortunately, I did........I ask tons of questions at every visit, and I'm never rushed. They encourage me to bring my younger children to every appt. I am planning a home water birth again, with my daughters there to watch, and am very eager for my next experience:)
Beth, thank you so much! I love your story :)

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