Three Cheers for Midwives

Joining Julie at A Little Bit of All  of It for her Preparing for Birth Series. This week’s focus is Choosing a Care Provider. Want to participate? Learn about all the upcoming topics here!

It really is the heart of midwifery to support a woman to do what a woman knows she can do.

Lesley Cragen, CNM

Attending births is like growing roses. You have to marvel at the ones that just open up and bloom at the first kiss of the sun but you wouldn’t dream of pulling open the petals of the tightly closed buds and forcing them to blossom to your time line. 
Gloria Lemay

Don’t those quotes just make you smile? It feels peaceful, and real, and the type of environment a mama and baby should be present in. There are so many reasons why I’ve loved my midwifery care experience. Through my one and a half pregnancies I’ve realized that I can’t recommend midwives enough. Nothing quite compares to the heart of a midwife.

Building a relationship through personalized care
When I was pregnant with Jemma I met with three different care providers – a hospital obstetrician, a hospital midwife, and a non-hospital birth center midwife. My first questions in each interview were who would facilitate my appointments and who would be at my baby’s birth. Both the obstetrician and hospital midwife informed me that I would rotate through everyone in the practice during my prenatal appointments and whoever was on-call would attend my birth. This made me uneasy as it seemed probable that I would share a very intimate experience with someone I had met only a handful of times.
When I visited Andaluz, a non-hospital birth center, I felt right at home. I learned that I would have two primary midwives. My appointments would alternate between the two and one of them (possibly both) would attend my birth. It was very important to me to build a relationship with the people who would be so intricately involved in such a life changing event. Having just two midwives gave me that opportunity. They were committed to investing in me from the first trimester through postpartum and that was just what I was looking for.

With midwifery care I (and you!) will experience …

The value of time
As part of my personalized care, each of my prenatal appointments are an hour long. During my appointments I learn foundational elements of pregnancy – nutrition and risks/benefits of routine pregnancy testing. I am also able to emotionally unload in regard to my feelings about pregnancy and life in general. Through these hour long chats I am able to learn, grow, and become familiar with what to expect in the months to come.

What’s best for me, not the general population
Most of all, I appreciate that not much is set in stone. I’m not required to do anything. My midwife and I discuss all the options and decide what is individually best for my baby and I rather than leaning on a statistic to guide my medical care. For example, during my first pregnancy I learned all about the routine gestational diabetes test. I determined that since I didn’t fall in to any of the risk categories I wanted to waive this particular test. After sharing my thoughts and research, my midwife was in complete support of taking this non-invasive approach and waiving the test. This philosophy carries into many aspects of care including frequency of vaginal exams, methods of induction, and newborn procedures.  
More bang for your buck
With all the extra time involved you would think midwifery care would be super expensive. But that just isn’t the case. From my personal experience and research midwives can cost anywhere from $3,000-$6,000 whereas a hospital birth can range from $12,000-?.

Truly, this is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s difficult to put into words the hope and inspiration I feel from my experience with midwifery care. For more detailed reasons with supporting links I highly recommend checking out Hobo Mama’s two posts Top 10 Reasons to Choose Midwifery Care and Why We Love Midwives.

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  1. thepapermama says

    Andaluz is where I started my birth (ended up at the hospital because of complications). But, i love them. A couple friends have gone through them.

  2. ThatMamaGretchen says

    Andaluz is pretty spectacular … I'm sad that we moved before this baby's birth. But am blessed to have found an equally talented and friendly midwife to finish out my pregnancy.

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