Pros and Cons of Midwives vs Doctors pose a serious question for mothers-to-be, especially if it's first time. Writing this post that compares giving birth with a midwife versus a doctor, I feel as if I may be biased a bit toward this subject, given my wonderful experience with my midwife and the delivery of my first child, but I promise, I'll present this article in a manner that reveals more fact than opinion! Doctors are not totally written off in my book, after all. They're wonderful people with a great deal of skill and deserve a fair chance in consideration when you're choosing your prenatal health care provider. These 7 pros and cons of midwives versus doctors will hopefully be very helpful to you as you make your choice.
1. Midwives Are More Laid Back
Midwives, in my experience, tend to be more casual and apt to form a personal relationship with their patient. My midwife quickly became my friend and made my birth experience more relaxed because I felt like I truly knew her. Doctors tend to keep their visits with you much more professional and straightforward. This holds true in the actual birth experience as well. Your doctor will come in, put gloves on, check your cervix and catch the baby, whereas a midwife is there through more of the labor portion of your birth experience and coaches you as you progress.
2. Doctors Are More Qualified
Not that midwives are not qualified for assisting in the birth of your baby, because they very much are. However, if it came down to you having to have a c-section, your midwife would be unable to do the procedure and you would be turned over to the doctor on call. Some women who are faced with the higher chances of having to have a c-section go ahead and choose to go with a doctor to prevent the last minute change-over from the care provider they've grown accustomed to.
3. Midwives do Home Births
In our area, the midwives can't come to the house for a home birth. I'm not for sure as to why...maybe they need a special qualification or maybe it has to do with the regulations for our area. Whatever the case, they can't. The good news is that most places, you can find many midwives who do offer the home birth experience and I have heard it's quite amazing! Doctors, on the other hand, as far as I know, don't do home births anywhere. If you do want to experience the birth of your child right in the quiet of your own home, it's best to choose a midwife. You can find some online in your area. Also, many of them provide a nice little pool to set up in your home so you can experience a relaxing water birth. From what I understand, water birth is actually best on the baby, since it's a better transition from mother's womb to the harsh world outside.
4. Midwives Have Higher Rates of Survival
In other countries where more babies are born with midwives, the survival rate for infants is much higher, as is the number of successful natural births. In most other countries, 80% of births use midwives, whereas, in America, 1% of babies are born using a midwife. The fact is, the rate of doctor intervention is much higher in our U.S. which brings us into our next point.
5. Chances of C-Section Are Higher with Doctors
Let's face it - Ob-Gyn's are surgeons. They love surgery. So, when it comes time to get your baby here, they'd much rather choose a c-section over natural birth. Once any kind of doctor intervention begins, (which I agree is sometimes necessary) it greatly increases your chances of having c-sections. While having a c-section has recently become the "thing to do" in most places, it's most certainly not the safest thing to do. It is a surgery and has risks. Midwives would rather, if at all possible, let your body do what your body was made to do in it's own time for a healthier baby and mother.
6. Midwives Believe in a Mother's Body
Most women these days don't even believe that they have the power to give birth naturally. Doctor intervention and hospital regulations have greatly undermined a woman's thinking and have us believing that we need the doctors to deliver our babies for us, since we haven't the power. The truth is, we do have the power. Our bodies are an amazing thing, and know when our baby is ready to be born and the best way to do so. Midwives will let your body take it's natural path toward childbirth, even allowing mother to choose a position most beneficial to getting the baby out. Nature has provided us all the tools we need, and midwives support this 100%.
7. Doctors & Midwives Stand Prepared
Many believe that a midwife is not prepared for any sort of slight emergency, such as the cord around baby's neck, which is entirely not true. They have been given training to handle a number of the problems that can go wrong in childbirth. You must simply make up your mind which preparation you prefer. For doctors, they are prepared to take any means necessary to get your baby here quickly and with as little pain as possible. Their pain-free methods do come with risks, that is true, but they are there for you if you so choose. On the other hand, a midwife stands prepared to help you, coach you, and guide you through the natural birth process that is in you to do. They are prepared to handle things that can go wrong and see to it your baby and you are safe through the experience. They know when medical intervention is needed and will see to it you get to a doctor quickly, should the need arise. Midwives are wonderful friends that will guide you through the greatest moment of your life!
Ok, so it sounds a bit biased, I know. I cannot help myself, though, in a way, after having watched "The Business of Being Born" the other day! It was an eye-opener in every way, let me tell you! However, I do hope that this article on Pros and Cons of Midwives vs Doctors sheds some light on the birth experience and helps you to make the choice most beneficial to you as you welcome your baby into the world.
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