Chris and I have decided to see a certified midwife (actually, a whole practice of midwifes) rather than to go to a traditional OBGYN. Ideally, I’d also like to do my whole birth completely natural (100% without any medical intervention – including pain medicine…..although I’m open to an epidural, if needed). This is one of those things that has completely baffled my family. So, I decided to make a list of some of the reasons why we have chosen to go this route.

Why Choose a Certified Nurse Midwife?

  • Long-term, hands-on care. OB’s only come in literally while the woman is pushing. Otherwise, the nurse (or nurses, since they can change shifts) are the people around. And sometimes, particularly early in labor, no one is around. I want to feel like someone is with me, watching over me, and supporting me throughout the duration of my labor.
  • Smaller chance of “drug-pushers”. I really don’t want to get stuck in the whole epidural-pitocin cycle (epidural for pain, which slows labor, pitocin to speed it along, which increases pain, etc. etc. etc.). I was born in the evening on New Years Eve. I’ve heard the story far too many times about how the OB had a fancy dinner date appointment, so he pushed pitocin on my Mom to speed her delivery along….and the excruciating pain it caused her. This is total crap. Originally, pitocin was used only in rare instances when a woman began hemorrhaging during delivery of her child, and doctor’s needed her to quickly deliver the placenta so they could stitch her up and get her to stop bleeding. Alternatively, it was also used during times of duress during the delivery of the baby, such as if the baby stalled in the birth canal and/or it had a sudden drop in heart rate and needed to quickly come out (source). Now pitocin seems to be used at the doctor’s discretion or whenever he feels that the labor should be sped along. In my opinion, it’s not morally or ethically right.
  • Lower rates of C-section and episiotomies. If you’re shopping around between OBGYNs and a certified midwife, simply ask them their rates of each (they have to keep track) and compare.
  • Cheaper. Of course I wouldn’t let money be the determining factor in this type of major decision. But it is a “pro” of using a midwife. Because there tend to be fewer medical interventions, the costs are lower than with traditional hospital births where all of these interventions are commonly employed.
  • Have you seen The Business of Being Born??? I won’t even go into it, except to say its both shocking and horrifying.

Even though I’ve just gone on this long tirade, I think of myself as pretty middle-of-the-ground. For example,  we’ve actually decided to deliver in the traditional hospital setting rather than at the birthing center (and an at-home birth never appealed to either of us). The practice that we’ve been going to has a good relationship established with a nearby hospital, where they know the doctors and nurses and vice verca. They work well together so we can get all the “natural” and “personalized” care provided by the midwife, and yet all of the modern medicine available for worst-case scenarios.

Any questions? Just ask! Or, do a little research of your own – you may be surprised what you discover!

Want to learn more about certified nurse midewives? See this?