Midwife vs Doctor — What I Chose

Midwives aren’t an alternative school of thought anymore, according to an article in the New York Times Style section. It’s actually becoming increasingly more and more popular and hip, like something that many women are opting for and something celebrities are choosing too, that would be seen in Vogue or with the Giseles of the world. I think it’s fascinating that more moms-to-be are considering using midwives, or even just plan on giving birth at home. After giving birth to five babies of my own, I have to say that this “trend”, as beautiful and potential healthy as it can be, just isn’t for me personally given my birth experiences.

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Why I didn’t choose a midwife

Having experienced two tricky deliveries, I would personally want to choose a setting where there is immediate, sophisticated child care. Anything I needed, I wanted it there as soon as possible. The only person I would want delivering my baby is someone who has every possible means of medical care at their disposal.  I know that midwives are trained and licensed, but when it comes to a midwife vs a doctor, I always chose a doctor because I would worry that something would happen where I needed immediate medical care for my baby. And I chose a birth in the area of the hospital where the most advanced medical equipment was readily available.

My third baby was pre-term. He was born, and literally within seconds, he was whisked away to the NICU and the whole thing was unbelievably scary. I didn’t even get a chance to meet my son, and the doctors basically apologized, explained that he was having trouble breathing, and then told me that he was already on a respirator. The doctors could tell that he was having trouble breathing because of the tests that they ran on him, and they knew that his breathing was not quite where it needed to be. He actually ended up needing to undergo surgery during the first day of his life. Meanwhile, my first baby, who was technically full-term, had the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck and his heart rate was plummeting. Getting him out as safely and as quickly as possible became critical.

It’s because of these issues that I wouldn’t want to take any risk whatsoever. Of course, this is just my personal preference, but I would love to hear from moms who chose to have a midwife or to give birth at home.  Do you all have thoughts on home birth pros and cons?  Please share your birth experiences below!

Thanks for stopping by and make sure to check back for more! xo

  • marlenecpm

    wow, you vastly underestimate the training & skills of a midwife!
    Personally, I wouldn’t dream of going to a doctor unless I was very sick.
    In medical school, doctors learn how to control birth, how to fix problems, but many obs never get a chance to see a truly natural birth in medical school. America has the worst (41st) neonatal mortality rate of all the developed countries, in spite of the fact we spend more per birth, per capita than any other country . The prematurity & maternal mortality rates are actually rising! The World Health Organization has declared the optimal C/S rate should be between 2 – 15 %, any less & there would be lives lost that could have been saved by surgery, any more & they are doing more harm than good. In the US the C/S rate for obs is over 32%, CNMs 12% & CPMs 4%. Those stats should give people a clue we, as a nation are doing something wrong. Intelligent women research… what are the countries with the best stats doing different?… using more midwives comes out on top, Birthing in a hospital only gives the illusion of safety. While giving birth in a hospital with an ob is appropriate for high risk deliveries, the WHO says normal births should take place at the most peripheral level appropriate for their care, leaving the bs & hospitals for the truly high risk cases that actually need that level of care. they call it a wise use of resources.
    While the folks in big cities have the luxury of fully equipped hospitals ready for emergencies 24/7, most of the population does not have such great care immediately available! Here in Appalachia, I have seem women, birthing in hospitals, with a doc, wait over an hour, (actually once 3 hrs!),before the OR crew assembled & was ready for the emergency C/S! Anyone birthing at home, could call ahead to the hospital with an emergency & get there as fast or faster than the OR crew! A premature birth should be in the hospital, but labor usually gives the mom plenty of time to get there. Cord around the neck, even with non-reassuring heart tones can easily be dealt with in any setting, by a skilled midwife, nuchal cord is not something you need a doctor or hospital to deal with. Most complications give warning signs to give you enough time to get to a hospital, even the ones that don’t, midwives are trained to give emergent care for until squad arrives or hospital reached. A friend of mine had a cord prolapse at home, midwife got her in an inverted position & kept her hand holding the pressure of the cord off the head until they reached the hospital & doc was cutting her op. The doc said it was the 3rd cord prolapse he had that month, and the 1st baby to live! The other 2 cord prolapses happened in the hospital under his care, but did not get appropriate care from the hospital staff, while awaiting the surgery. And that’s just one example, I have many more! like the baby who died of an infection picked up in the nursery, Or the baby who got her arm sliced through during surgery, or the mo who got her colon sliced or the one who got her renal artery severed…. I’ve seen too much 1st hand of what can & can’t happen in the hospital; There’s no way I’d feel more comfortable with a doc in a hospital than with my midwives in the comfort of my own home!
    BTW, when you look at stats, you have to look to the source. Who”s funding the study? You can’t believe everything you read. I trust the WHO stats over any others I have seen.

    • Melissa-CloudMom

      Thanks for your thoughtful comment on an issue you’re clearly well-informed and passionate about! For me, I felt more comfortable in a hospital setting, but it’s interesting to hear about other views and experiences.