I was told all of these in one day…
- “I fired my OB at 20 weeks and hired a midwife to have an amazing homebirth.”
- “I found a new OB for my 3rd child, after my previous OB told me I needed cesareans when I didn’t.”
- “I fired my OB and found a new awesome OB to have a wonderful hospital birth last time.”
- “I hired midwives this time to have a healing HBAC.”
This is not about midwife vs. OB. This is about good care provider vs. bad. That simple.
Ladies, please please please choose your care providers carefully. I meet and talk to women who have traumatic hospital AND out of hospital births because of incompetent and disrespectful midwives and OB’s.
I also meet moms who hire wonderful, skilled, amazing midwives and OB’s (sometimes after firing the crappy ones). PLEASE do your work to interview, talk to other clients and patients, ask questions, and don’t be afraid to fire someone and hire someone else. You would do so in any other aspect of your life, so why not for the birth of your child?! I can not say it enough or express how important this truly is.
You can take the most ‘educated’ and ‘informed’ woman and put her in the territory of others who do not support her, in a vulnerable moment, and watch her get abused, mistreated, and her spirit broken. You can not prepare for that. What you CAN do is make sure you only have people who will love you, guide you, be honest with you, and support you in your birth.
Birth is amazing, raw and vulnerable. Only have people there you trust completely.
Photography credit: Dusti Lynn Photography.
My doctor (she is a family practice doctor, not an OB) seems pretty open and laid back about my desires to have a natural hospital birth and seemed excited to hear that I had hired a doula…. I desperately hope that this continues to be the case because, since my husband is military, I don’t get a say in my care providers.
But fortunately, the hospital I have to deliver at (due to their contract with the military installation) has a wonderful reputation when it comes to natural births and the lowest C-section rate in the area, so I’m hopeful that it will be a rewarding experience, especially since this is my first child.
L, L&D RN
I can’t emphasize that point enough. I hate getting caught in the middle of a patient and their doctor, especially when I know the doctor is pushing for things that will harm the patient in the long run. I feel the most helpless when the patient is too afraid to challenge the doctor even when I can see on their face that they don’t want that particular intervention. I tremble every time I empower a patient to stand up to their doctor and do it the natural way, for fear of the doctor getting me “in trouble” for simply advocating for my patient. The last time I told a patient it was okay to refuse AROM before she was in active labor, the doctor got very pissed off and chewed the patient out over the phone…well, she SROM’d all by herself not more than an hour later and had a fully natural delivery just as she wanted within 3 hours! But she was very angry with her doctor for turning on her. It puts me in a very tentative position, job-wise, if patients pick the wrong doctor. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do your research and drill your doctor if you’re going to do a hospital birth. There are incredible doctors out there – you just have to find them. Call the unit at 3am and ask us which doctor is good with birth plan patients – believe me, we know, and we’re more than willing to tell you who is best for those kinds of deliveries. Just know that a lot of docs are different creatures in the office vs. the hospital. He/She can smile and nod when you share your birth plan in the office, all the while scheduling your C-section in his/her mind. :-/
I ended up switching from my OB to a group of midwives at 30 weeks. I went to my last OB appointment feeling really guilty about having to “break up” with her since I hadn’t had any bad experiences. I just want to have a very peaceful environment to labor in and avoid any time constraints or other interventions altogether. My OB’s reaction was incredibly disappointing. She immediately folded her arms when I told her my concerns about a hospital birth and my interest in delivering in a tub. She tried to scare me by telling me my baby was measuring a couple weeks bigger than she should be and that midwives will let you labor for 50 hours. Despite her efforts, I was even more convinced to switch from an OB to a midwife. After the appointment, I sat in my car and called the birthing center and made the arrangements to transfer care right away. I’m 36 weeks pregnant now and I’m SO much happier and more confident in my choice to have a natural birth.
It’s also really important to interview ALL the people your care provider works with, in case you end up with an on call. I had a great ob, but ended up with one of his partners as I have birth on a long weekend. He was awful, I was abused, and am now fighting my way out of PTSD.
I am on an insurance plan that does not allow for a lot of options, but when going to the standard women’s health care provider nurse and OB and hearing that as a 35+ yo mom-to-be with high risk for gestational diabetes, (which my NEW OB tested for and diagnosed early) wanting a VBAC, having lost the first pregnancy (no heartbeat at 6 weeks) I was told that I’d have no EXAM until week 12-14 and no ultra sound until week 20!!! I called my pediatrician for my son and begged for referrals. I now have a supportive OB, a doula and the hope this is a better birth than what I would have had. Don’t be affraid to walk away from care you don’t care for – it’s your body and your baby!
I only trust myself at this point, so I guess I am going it alone. There are other reasons why I can’t hire a midwife, most of those being monetary, and my insurance won’t cover it. The only doctor in this remote area is very c-section happy. So, wish me luck on my unassisted gestational diabetes home birth. I can do it!
I don’t know how far along you are or much else, but you may look into Samaritan Ministries and see whether you are a good fit for each other (whether for this pregnancy or a possible future one). I just thought I’d bring it up, because it is less expensive than insurance and it “covers” the cost of midwives/home births when that is your preference. Also, I hope – for your sake and the baby’s – that you are at least able to have a trusted friend, family member, or significant other there with you when you go into labor – just in case something doesn’t go the way you hope/ expect and you end up unable to help yourself. And if everything does go well, you’ll have someone who can give you a little bit of moral support, a helping hand, or even just share the joyful experience with you. I hope you have a positive, healthy, and rewarding delivery.
This post certainly hits the nail on the head. I have heard of many women having bad experiences with OBs and bad experiences with MWs. So far I have had an OB and an OB practice that is very supportive of natural birth, VBAC, and breach delivery. I sometimes get very defensive when others immediately think OBs are horrible and that MWs are the gold standard, because they aren’t either. People are people and are still fallible no matter what their profession. I also have to say that when it comes to OB care that it isn’t even so much the OB that can make or break you but the nursing staff (there are bad and good ones there too).
The problem is insurance: Medicare. What if they don’t support?