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Thursday

On Using A Midwife

For Camille's birth, we elected to use a doula (you can read more about that decision and our experience here). In short, it was awesome and Ian and I will still tell you to this day that it was the perfect decision for us, and money well spent.


This time around, I didn't feel that it was as necessary, but I did decide to transition my care in my OB practice from the physicians to the team of midwives. This is a small group that is actually in the very same practice. In fact, I've even seen physicians for appointments in this pregnancy when the midwives weren't available. They work seamlessly as a team and have great communication.

So, what's the biggest difference I've experienced so far?

The midwives (in general) seem to take on more of a holistic, old-school approach to labor and birth. When I delivered Camille, I pushed for two hours, and the majority of that time it was just with nurses. Our delivery doctor came in right as Camille was about to be born and he handled that actual birthing part as well as the post-care that I needed.

My midwife will be there from start to finish, and I like that. The entire time that I am pushing (and oh gawwwsh, please don't let it be two hours again!) she will be coaching me and helping me to find the best laboring techniques that work for me. The birth will still happen at a hospital, the same one where Camille was born, and physicians are right there should they be needed.

I was also really surprised to learn that the majority of labor nurses associated with my particular practice end up using the midwives for their own births, so that made a big impact on me.

I mentioned the other day to my midwife that I was really happy that the baby turned head-down because I didn't want to think that I spent the majority of my pregnancy getting to know the midwives, only to then have a physician perform a C-section for me. She said, "Oh honey, we would have been in the room with you! Should you need a C-section, we will be there with you helping the doctor." That just made me feel so great, that they truly will be there by my side even if a physician is needed.

Time-wise, I feel they have spent a little more time in the room with me. Yesterday, the midwife even remembered that Camille loves to have her heartbeat heard, so she used the doppler on C's tummy before we all listened to the new baby's heartbeat (which was high 160s, low 170s!). Now, that is a great experience! Bedside manner is so important to me.

I also loved that yesterday, when I asked about red raspberry leaf tea and evening primrose oil, the midwife was like, "Absolutely, you can definitely start taking those now as a labor aid" instead of looking at me like I had two heads. She said she truly believed they can help tone the muscles used for labor and aid in the birthing process.

Nature's Bounty Evening Primrose Oil 1,000 mg Softgels, 60 ct

If you decided to use a midwife for your birth, would you consider sharing about your experience below? I'd love to hear from you!

23 comments:

  1. I know a lot of people who have made the switch and love it! It sounds like you found a perfect fit! I LOVE my OB because she has a lot of the qualities you mentioned!

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  2. I've used a midwife for both my births and it was an awesome experience. I loved that they were there from start to finish as soon as I started pushing. I felt like the really got to know me too. Overall it was an awesome experience and I recommend midwives to any of my friends!

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  3. I used a doula for my first two babies! I wish that she would have been here for the birth of my third but sadly she had moved away. Absolutely the best money we have ever spent!

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  4. I used a midwife for my second birth. She owns her own birth center and the change was wonderful! I'm done having kids and I miss going to visit. I ended up having to transfer to a hospital for a CBAC but they were with me through the whole process. I don't have anything against OB's but the truth is that this country has some of the worst birth stats in the industrialized world. Midwives are doing so much to reverse that. Great choice!!!!!

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  5. I chose to use midwives for my pregnancy and delivery (in hopefully less than 4 weeks!) and am so happy with my choice. This is my first pregnancy so I cannot compare this experience versus one with an OB but I have been very happy and feel very well cared for. I chose midwives for the reasons you've listed, plus I am a nurse and studying to be an NP so how could I not?! Fortunately I have had a very routine pregnancy so far and I really like their approach of pregnancy being a healthy, normal event rather than a medicalized state.

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  6. Hi April! Congratulations! Although I saw an OB at all of my appointments, a midwife in the same practice actually delivered Jack. She was wonderful! We also hired an amazing doula, who was incredible during my very long labor. By the way, your original post on why you used a doula was so helpful!

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  7. I used a midwife with both of my pregnancies and births and they were both amazing experiences! I did water birth, and only midwives can perform those at my hospital, so I didn't even see an OB once during my labor and hospital stay. The midwife was in my room almost 100% of the time, but I also had fast labors in the middle of the night. :) I also did EPO and Red Raspberry Leaf tea and although I have no proof, I think they helped speed up my labor (mine were 6.5 hours and 4 hours start to finish). Good luck to you!

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  8. Thank you for sharing about this... I think I will choose to use midwife care for my future pregnancies :)

    Justine @ Charm City Ciemny's
    www.lifeasabaltimoregirl.blogspot.com

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  9. I used a midwife simply because there is only one doctor at the nearest branch of my ob/gyn office but 3 midwives. There was much more flexibility with appointments by seeing the midwives. It made me nervous at first but I became comfortable very quickly. I agree that they seemed to approach things more holistically and were so supportive. I just delivered two weeks ago though, and my midwife wasn't with me the whole time. In fact, they had a shift change about an hour before I actually delivered and I was a little sad about the switchover at that point, even though both midwives were really very nice.

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  11. We also used a midwife! She was fun, chill, & encouraging and I also pushed for two hours! This was our first baby and she certainly made the whole experience a happy one! My hubby loved her as well!! Bedside manner for sure!!

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  12. I worked with a team of midwives and absolutely loved it! I felt they had a more personal touch and really took their time with me (it was my first pregnancy). They seemed to be just as excited about my pregnancy as I was and it made the whole experience even more special.

    Also just for fun, the week of my due date I ate a ton of pineapple, had some quality time with my husband, ate loads of eggplant Parmesan, and sat in a massage chair the night I went into labor! I figured none of it could do any harm and I was delighted when my water broke the night Duke was due. :)

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  13. I'm a birth doula, and in a big metropolitan area, and the difference I see between most OBs and midwives is HUGE! Midwives seem to enjoy the labor process and treat it all as a very good,normal thing. Every midwife I've worked with has been kind,calm, encouraging,empowering,and a true professional. Love midwives and love that more and more women are seeing them!!!

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  14. I drank the raspberry tea with this pregnancy and labor was much faster than my first. I pushed for 15 minutes after laboring about 7 hours (most of which was at home). I don't know if it was the tea but I'd do it again!

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  15. Hi April, I only have our son who is 17 months so I only have nothing to compare it to but we used a midwife practice (that is within a doctor practice like yours) and I was so happy! She was amazing, so calm, and I felt like she commanded this peaceful calm feeling in all the staff that worked with her for my entire hour of pushing. When I would stop pushing everyone was silent and then wait for me and then I would get encouragement and verbal support when I would begin pushing again. It seriously was the most amazing experience. I guess I didn't realize that most ob's are only there at the end of pushing but now I realize that I love that my midwife was there throughout the entire time I pushed. We had a doula as well and they worked so seamlessly together. Good luck and I can't wait to find out if your baby is a boy or girl. My guess is boy!

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  16. Are you using Charlotte OB?! I switched to the midwives halfway through in lieu of getting a doula and loooooooved them! Jessica Mac delivered my son and was so sweet and kind and calm. It was only her, my sweet labor nurse and my husband in the room. But they are all so sweet and very pro holistic things! I loved that tea, and at my 38 week appt she told me sex is the best thing to bring on labor more than anything else and we found that quite true! You won't need an OB if you tear or anything!

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  17. I have no input I am just super excited for you!!!

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  18. I drank the red raspberry leaf tea for the last few weeks/month of my pregnancy and I swear by it! I had a weirdly easy labor (went into my 40w appointment and was already dilated 5-6 and had no idea) but I did push for awhile-ugh I feel you on that. I am hoping my second round requires less pushing as well. I will definitely drink the tea again though!

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  19. I delivered with midwives at a birth center and will never have it any other way. In fact, next time I'm thinking home birth. Because of them I got to have the perfect natural birth that I wanted! I was 42 weeks, had a two-day long unmedicated labor, and 2.5 hours of pushing. All those factors would've make my old OB start freaking out, I don't even think they would've "allowed" me to go past 41 weeks or "allowed" me to labor that long. But the midwives proceeded as normal and were so calm and reassuring =) It was an amazing experience and I'm so excited to do it all again.

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  20. I used a midwife for 3/5 of my pregnancies. Once I discovered them I never looked back. I'm in Ontario (Canada) so things are a bit different, for instance here the MW is trained for both home and hospital birth and is trained in a plethora of things pregnancy/birth/postpartum. She is also your primary care during pregnancy so unless you become risk you don't need to see an OB. They are completely separate.
    I loved our midwife care. I felt like they really listened to us. They informed us and talked with us instead of at us like OBs do. With a midwife I felt more like she was just there to guide us during my pregnancy journey and ensure things were moving along well. With an OB I felt rushed.
    The births I had with midwives were amazing. I had one in the hospital and two at home. The midwives really empowered me through my births and after.
    During my postpartum period I was happy to be able to have a midwife I could call if need be, as well as having her come out to check on baby and me.

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  21. Oh girl I'm gonna place a strong bet that there won't be any listing for two hours. I pushed for over an hour with Lawter and maybe 10-15 for Tell. The second time is pretty different! Since my ob doesn't deliver I don't have a chance to bond with delivering ob and have been so grateful both times for amazing l&d nurses. They're truly amazing.

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  22. I've ONLY seen a midwife my entire life and I wouldn't have it any other way. They can do almost all of the same things that the doctors do, but they give you much more of their time and attention and I love that they take a more natural approach to everything. My midwife even assisted the doctor with my c-section when I had to have a planned c-section with our second. She was right there cutting and sewing right along with the doc. I've been seeing the same midwife since I was 17 and she's kind of like a second mom to me now! I'll probably never go to a doc as long as midwives are around... I can't say enough good things about mine!

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  23. I had a wonderful first pregnancy experience with a midwife group who own a birthing center. I am a healthcare professional, so lots of people were very surprised that I chose a midwife and non-traditional birthing center vs physician and hospital. I labored in the water (best thing ever!!!) and had my daughter in a warm and welcoming environment (closest thing to actually being at home in my own bed). I did not have pain meds and enjoyed coaching/massages from my midwife during contractions. We have moved and don't have access to the same birthing facility now. I'm hoping the next pregnancy experience is as great! Good luck with your new baby!

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