10-13-2013 01:41 PM
I'm the mom of a two year old girl, and we are about currently trying for our second child. I have a good friend who had a great experience in both of her births with a midwife and that has caused me to start researching midwives in general, but I've gotten frustrated with the amount and quality of information available online. I'd like to create a website to capture all of the information I've gathered in this process, but I'm not sure if other people would find it helpful or what information they would most like to see.
So I was wondering, is there anyone out there who has used a midwife? How did it go?
What is the one thing you wish you knew going in to the process?
If you could design a site to help educate expectant parents about midwives, what would you like to see on it?
Thanks a lot for your help!
10-14-2013 08:17 PM
Our area has a lot of CNM/ARNPs. They all deliver in hospitals but the experience was definitely still different than using an OB. I've seen a CNM for last half of my first pregnancy, and my full second pregnancy and will use the same CNM I used for my second IME the CNMs are still less apt to rush towards medication and provide a lot more info on natural treatments than my OB does (the one I used first half of my first pregnancy is technically still my OB since the hospital based nurses have to practice under a doctor even though I've used a CNM for all my OBGYN care for the last three years). They have longer time slots/ lower patient loads than an OB does and also when I planned a natural labor and delivery they were super gung-ho about it and AMAZINGLY supportive in the l&d room. For me, since I have a history of postpartum hemmorrhaging, I need to have access to meds to force my uterus to keep contracting post delivery. I could have a homebirth if I used a CNM/ARNP but unfortunately there aren't any in our area that aren't hospital affiliated. But I feel like it's a good middle ground for someone who wants care that is less invasive, more personal, but to still have the security of a hospital birth too if that is something important to them
10-15-2013 07:42 AM
That's the situation I'm in. I was high risk with my first pregnancy and so need to be in a hospital for the delivery, but I'm drawn to the quality of care I've heard midwives provide. So I'm trying to find a midwifery practice that deliveres in a hospital, but that's proving more difficult than I expected.
How did you find your CNM? Did you just google and then have to call around to find one that delivered in a hospital or do all CNMs in your state practice in hospitals?
10-15-2013 09:12 AM
10-17-2013 03:10 AM
I used a midwife, and it was certainly a good decision for me. Before researching childbirth in America, I had no idea that the people who normally attend births were essentially surgeons, or people who specialized in complicated pregnancies, etc. I didn't know midwives were in hospitals and are the people who work best with women who are having a normal pregnancy. (By normal I simply mean uncomplicated and generally healthy.)
I did not have any complications, and I was healthy throughout my pregnancy. I had very minimal interventions, and I had a great birthing experience in a hospital because I chose to labor with a midwife. There were a lot of factors that went into that, but she listened to my requests and followed them 100%. I didn't ask for anything crazy--I just wanted to request pain medication once I was ready instead of having someone ask me if I wanted it, I wanted delayed cord clamping, and I wanted the lights dimmed. (She left them off and used a flashlight when I pushed! It was great.) I'm sure there are OBs out there who would have done the same, but I felt immense support from her. For example, there was a time when I had to be seen by a male OB because she wasn't in the office that day. He came in with a student and told me they were going to check my cervix. I said, "Oh, that's okay, you don't need to do that. I don't really want that." He told me it was his routine procedure. I should have rebuttled, but my pants were down, and I felt peer pressure because the student (who I didn't even know was going to be there) was looking at me along with him. That wouldn't have happened with my CNM.
Anyway, I'm obviously pro-midwife. I think they're great in our hospitals, and I wish our country had more of them!
10-29-2013 08:29 AM
We have a great group of midwives in our area. I chose the midwifery group here because I'd see every one of them (a group of 8) throughout my pregnancy either at a prenatal appointment or at the open house they host four times a year. This made me feel very comfortable with who would be delivering our babies.
For the site, I'd have a tip to be sure to call your insurance carrier and ask if they cover prenatal visits and delivery via a midwife. I think most will as long as there's access to a physician if necessary at the birth. I think its also important to note that midwives support the birth plan of the mother and father, whether they choose drugs or not.
10-29-2013 09:09 AM
I've had two experiences with midwives so far. One really good! And one really bad! The first one was when I was having our first child(who is now 2 and 1/2). We were seeing an OB but I decided to call around and find a local midwife to maybe assist in the birth. I had Group B Strep(GBS). I told her about it and she made it out like it was "no big deal" and that "you don't need antibiotics". Granted, I think there are a few things you can do to naturally destroy GBS, like taking probiotics and eating healthy cultured foods like yogurt and milk kefir...but seriously? No big deal? I was positive for GBS and due in less than a month...unless I could retest and get a negative, I felt like it was a big deal. Needless to say, that was the only conversation that I had with her. Not just because of the GBS thing, but she made me feel really uneducated and like I didn't know what I wanted for myself. Kind of demeaning even because this was my first rodeo.
My 2nd experience is with the baby we are having now. And it's really awesome! I'm 23 weeks along and we are currently seeing a midwife. The hospital we are delivering at has an OB office in the hospital. There are two main OBs and midwives that assist. Unless this pregnancy becomes high risk, we see our favorite midwife(Megan) for each doctor visit and she will also be delivering our baby in the hospital. But the awesome part is, if anything goes wrong, we are already in a hospital with an NICU and an OB is right down the hall in case our midwife needs help. Honestly though, our midwife so far has been very knowledgeable, I don't see a difference between her and our previous OB, and she's much more personable(and so are all the other midwives we've met with this pregnancy). She's also been very encouraging for natural birth and I don't feel like I'm just another patient or number.
I think midwives are great. Just like I think doctors are great. I will probably choose a midwife over a doctor at this point, just because of my personal experiences but there are bad doctors just like there are bad midwives. Do your research online. Ask friends about their experiences with their doctors/midwives. Start "shopping" for OBs and midwives early on or even before pregnancy so that you can find who you want to stick with early on.
10-29-2013 09:20 AM
With my firt son, I delivered with a traditional OB. With my 2nd and 3rd, I delivered with a Certifiied Nurse Midwife. All three deliveries were in a hospital, but there was definitely a HUGE difference between the OB and CNM. In my experience, the midwives put an emphasis on this being a natural process and letting your body do what it is suppose to do. The prenatal care with the CNM and OB was almost identical. All the same tests and screenings were done. The only difference is that toward the end the CNM did not check my cervix for dilation. With the OB it was routine to check at every weekly appointment from 36 weeks on. Labor and delivery with the OB & CNM was completely different. With the OB I was hooked up to the IV drip from the start. I was not allowed to eat or drink anything the entire time. I was not allowed to get off the bed for any reason. When I told them I had to use the bathroom, a catheter was used. Nurses did a cervical check every 15 minutes to check progress. It felt like everyone on the L&D floor had their hand up my junk. I even joked one point that I should start charging admission. When my labor slowed down...it did not stall or slow down dramatically, but slowed down a bit...Pitocin was injected to my IV. If the progress of my labor deviated a bit from their guidelines, I was treated to a higher dose of Pitocin. When it was finally time to push, I had to do so flat on my back with legs in stirrups. It's hard to push in that position. Everytime I tried to sit up to brace myself a bit, a nurse would shove me back down. Needless to say, I tore a bit. Even with an epidural I felt that tear. It felt like my lower body was set on fire. Immediately after delivery my son was take away for testing and weighing and a bath. They did not give him back to me until 2 hours later. This pregnancy was low risk and I spontaneously went into labor. I was full term. And they STILL treated my delivery like it was a high risk delivery. It is all they know how to do.
With the CNM, the IV needle was inserted (just in case of emergency) but then blocked and taped off. I was able to move around and eat whenever I wanted. They even let me get into the tub. All of this made pain mangement a lot easier. I did not even feel the need for an epidural until 7 cm with my 2nd and not at all with my 3rd. I was allowed to labor as long as I wanted and in any position I wanted. The CNM was more of a couch. When my 2nd son was stuck in the birth canal and everyone feared a C-section might be necessary, my CNM stuffed her hand inside and guided his head as I pushed him out. C-section not necessary and he was just fine. With the CNM my babies were immediately placed om my chest and I was able to nurse right away. They cleaned them off and did the Apgar test as I nursed. For me a delivery with a CNM in a hospital setting was the best of both worlds. The CNM provide a more natural birthing experience, but it is still done in a hospital with an OB just a phone call away in case there is an emergency. If I had to do it all again, I'd go back to the midwives every time.
If you were to put a website together, I think a listing or a link to available midwives in an area would be nice. When I was researching, I had no problem finding info on natural birth or midwives. Findind practising midwives in my area was hard. Any lists I found were old and no good (some had moved away or gone out of business). Another good bit of info would be the different state laws regarding midwives. I think that would help a woman know what to expect to find in her state. It might also motiviate some to change the laws in their state if they do not like it.