From the article: Choosing a Care Provider for Your Pregnancy
When it comes to picking a midwife or doctor to care for you in pregnancy, you have a lot of choices. What do you think of first when you imagine your ideal provider? Is it their bedside manner or intervention rates? Do you get recommendations from your friends or the yellow pages? While we should be focusing on our preferences as well as the skills of the individuals, many women don't even interview, they just show up for a prenatal appointment. How did you pick the perfect or not-so-perfect person to care for you and your baby? Share Your Advice
The Insecure Midwife
- With my baby due any day now, I can only say that the singular most stressful part of my pregnancy has been my midwife. Here's the problem: My husband and I are very well read and educated. For our planned home birth, we'd each read in excess in order to protect our baby and me from unnecessary interventions (episiotomy, epidural, pitocin, EFM, limited ultrasound, etc..). All of our decisions have been based on studies, internet research and many books - we're not nutty hippies. Our midwife, even if she agrees with some of our decisions, continuously uses scare tactics (you're going to kill your baby - being her favorite) to try to get us to go through with risky tests and procedures (for example Contraction Stress Test - which I've read online is not recommended because it is dangerous for the baby!) A lot of midwives are comfortable being the all-knowing go to person and may feel threatened by you if you don't need their advise and guidance. What do you want from your practitioner?
- —Guest Susan
What I want in a practice
- What I look for in a practitioner is training and compassion. I have had two babies with nurse midwives, one with a family practice doctor and one with an OB-Gyn. My midwife births were good although some midwives are more keen on interventions than others. My family practice doc was a nervous nellie who had me go for multiple ultrasounds, and seemed to be waiting for everything to go wrong throughout my pregnancy, and tarted talking about induction before I was even due. The OB was very good, no complaints. The one thing I would emphasize which the article did not is the fact that for three of my four births, I had a practitioner I hadn't met before. This is the reality of group practice. The whole group winds up treating you at one point or another, so I think rather than concentrating on one provider, you need to find out the philosophy of the practice as a whole.
Listen to their answers
- Next time I will make sure to get specific and detailed answers to my questions. Not just "better than average" or "pretty good odds" or vague terms like these. I will also ask more questions about their c-section rates and ideas on interventions like induction.
- —Guest corina
- I look for a specialist, not just a professional in that specific field. I have had a Doctor, a nurse midwife and a certified professional Midwife twice, and there is no question in my mind who will lead you to a better birth experience in my mind. The Doctor wanted to diagnose me as problematic and troublesome from the start. I was just a burden in the process, and my body didn't matter, much less the babies! I could have sued her for any number of malpractice things they did to me in that hospital. The Nurse Midwife was in a more comfortable setting, and even knew enough to provide a calm home birth, but was obviously trained by Doctors. She too made me think I had everything wrong with me, and stressed me out very unnecessarily. The ultrasounds and emergency visits were not warranted if she just knew what she was doing. My last few Midwives were trained in the job and with knowledge tests. They were very knowledgeable about nutrition and herbs, and I never needed any interventions.
- —Guest Angela
I looked for an experienced midwife
- When I was pregnant, I knew I wanted to have a home birth. Luckily, I met a woman who had used a midwife in the area and she raved about her and home birth. I wanted someone who was both experienced and also compassionate. I met with my midwife and she was everything that I had hoped for. She was a registered nurse (not that this mattered to me in the least) and had assisted at home births for over a decade. She worked with a nutritionist who evaluated my eating habits and made suggestions. When I went into labor, she arrived quickly and she was calm and also respectful of my privacy and after the birth, she quietly walked out of the room to give my husband, my baby and I a quiet, wonderful moment together. I think it's important to know beforehand what a midwife will do in an emergency, whether she is in favor of episiotomies (thankfully, she was not, and for good reasons), if she will allow you to assume a comfortable pushing position instead of having you lie on your back, etc.
- —Guest Julie
- I want a practitioner who listens to me. I expect that my practitioner will understand that pregnancy are birth are normal conditions and not illnesses. I also expect that they will use research and evidence based practices.
- —Guest maelli3
I wasn't sure what I wanted.
- My main criteria was that I wanted someone who saw me as a partner in the decisions that needed to be made. My first pregnancy I took my neighbors word for what made a good doctor. I didn't even bother asking what type of birth she had or what her criteria was for that title. It turns out we had totally different ideas of what made for the perfect doctor. Thankfully I wised up about half way through my pregnancy and was able to switch to a doctor who met my needs. So don't be afraid to switch.
- —Guest LT