One of the MOST important things you can do in planning your blissful birth is choosing a provider who supports the experience you would like. Remember, it all comes down to informed consent and making sure your expectations for birth match the actions you’re taking during your pregnancy and birth. Picture what you want from your birth and then plan accordingly. As long as you choose the provider that matches your preferences for birth you will feel empowered.
Let me take you through some standard beliefs that each type of provider has and you can choose what one matches with what you see your birth as being!
First and foremost OB’s have the belief that having a baby is a medical event. They are trained in the worst possible scenarios so that if it does present itself they are able to handle it properly and save lives. Believing that birth is a medical event makes it something that needs to be managed or controlled increases interventions. You will see OB’s having more inductions, use of vacuum or forceps, continuous monitoring, manually breaking water, epidural usage. They are also trained surgeons who at the drop of the hat is able to perform a c-section. The appointments are likely to be short and to the point. So when you go into each appointment it would be beneficial for you to have all of your questions written down a head of time!
So an OB might be for you if:
You believe birth is a medical event and you would feel more comfortable birthing with a trained surgeon
You are planning on using medications during your birth such as pitocin, IV medication, or epidural usage
You will need surgery
Reasons NOT to choose and OB:
They are your friend and you like their personality (OB’s can be great people but if they don’t have the same beliefs as you about birth then it’s a good idea into looking for another provider)
There a few different types of midwives:
Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM)/CM)- These midwives go to nursing school and then go through a 2-4 year midwifery program. Most of the time CNM’s practice in the hospital although in some states they do attend home births. They are also allowed to write prescription medications.
Certified Professional Midwives (CPM)- certified professional midwife. This is a DEM (direct entry midwife) who has qualified and passed the certifying exam. Some have gone to a college/school of choice and some have gone the PEP route (an apprenticeship that comes with requirements of knowledge and births attended with stands set by NARM North American Registry of Midwives etc). Once a direct entry midwife goes through this process she know qualifies to sit for the certifying exam. Once this certifying examination is passed, the DEM is a CPM and in some states, not all, may license- but with or without license, are still certified.
Traditional Midwives- These are lay women who train and gain knowledge through apprenticeship. Many do not have formal training but have learned in various ways from elder midwives or from serving families in their community for decades. Most of the time, these midwives cannot license.These women only attend in the home.
**Some states simply recognize LMs. Licensed Midwives- this is based on the states standards and requirements. Usually the NARM is still the certifying examination to qualify for the license. But some states have their own examination in place.
Just like OB’s each midwife has their own beliefs about the labor and birth process. As a standard most midwives believe it is a normal and natural event that our bodies know how to do most of the time. Midwives are pretty hands off when it comes to labor. They have lower rates of interventions. A common misconception is that if you choose a Certified Nurse midwife you cannot have any medication for pain relief. That is not true. In the hospital you still are able to have pain medications however midwives are more likely to try non medical interventions to manage pain such as water, massage, different positions. Appointments tend to be more personal and longer focusing on the physical, emotional and spiritual side of birth.
A midwife may be best for you if:
You believe that birth is a normal and natural event
You like the holistic approach to birth
You would like to try non pharmaceutical ways of pain relief first or are planning on having a natural birth.
A midwife is not best for you if:
They are your friend and they have a good personality. Again… this isn’t about if you like your provider, this is about having the same views on birth as your provider so they can support you in your decision making without any bias!
If you are currently with your provider now and you have realized you don’t necessarily mesh thats ok! It’s only too late to change providers after the baby is born! It’s your right to hire a provider you feel the most comfortable with. Don’t compromise my friend!
What type of birth are you interested in? Does an OB or a midwife guide you in that direction?
I have a list of 15 questions you must ask your provider to see if they are on the same page as you or to use as a resource to find the provider that best suits you! Go too bit.ly/15providerquestions
Remember.. Birth matters! If you’re planning a blissful birth find a provider that is on the same page with his/her beliefs! Everyone has some unconscious bias that affect the decisions they make. Your best birth starts with the best provider for you! A midwife that was super awesome for your friend might not be the best midwife for you! Your mamas OBGYN may not be the best OBGYN for you! It’s ok to interview several and find the one that you like the most! And it’s a bonus if you become friends! ;)