Fifty years ago, there weren’t many choices when it came to who delivered babies. At that time, the doctor on duty at the closest hospital was really the only option considered. But historically, women have trusted other experienced birthing practitioners to guide them through both pregnancy and birth. Today, you have options. You can give birth with an established obstetrician (OB) at a hospital, or you can enlist a midwife who may provide services at your chosen location. Each practitioner has strengths and weaknesses, and luckily, the choice is yours.
First you must decide what is important to you based on your comfort levels with different birthing options. The following is a list of circumstances to consider in your decision:
Do you want someone who offers emotional coaching and practical education? Most midwives offer one-on-one counseling as well as support groups to help you prepare for both delivery and life after baby. OBs offer general advice and a referral to endorsed resources.
Is a home birth important to you? OBs do not usually provide at-home services whereas most midwives encourage birth in the environment where you will be most comfortable which may be at the hospital, a birthing center, or your home. Before making that decision, your midwife will discuss the pros and cons of each setting.
Midwives have an extensive arsenal of non-pharmaceutical pain management options. These alternatives include, but are not limited to, showers, acupressure, homeopathy, massage, perineal massage. Many of these techniques can be utilized even before delivery to assist in a smooth and enjoyable experience. OBs, however, often offer very few pain management techniques beyond medicine.
Midwives generally advocate vaginal deliveries, while traditional obstetricians have a higher C-section rate. Midwives are not permitted to perform C-sections, but some do assist if the operation is required. If you are a second timer, a midwife will help you decide if a vaginal birth after C-section (VBAC) is right for you.
Whether you are a first-time mom or a seasoned mother, you have more options available today than ever before, and that freedom can be a little overwhelming during pregnancy. We are here to help you make decisions before delivery. Planning will help you make educated choices instead of reactions to unexpected situations. Contact us to schedule a birth consultation where we’ll discuss your comfort levels and needs during pregnancy, labor, and delivery to plan for a comfortable birth experience for you and your family.
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