While many people automatically assume that they’ll give birth in a hospital, in fact, this isn’t necessarily the case these days. More women are starting to choose to give birth with a midwife rather than a doctor, and when they describe the positive experiences that they have had it becomes clear why this change is starting to become more prevalent.
The media has, for many years now, been giving women the impression that giving birth is a dangerous and painful experience which needs specialist hospital care, close doctor intervention and the use of drugs. However, women who have opted for midwife-led care find that they not only managed to stay safe but they also found childbirth a much less frightening experience.
So, just why are more people choosing midwives over doctors?
Levels Of Care
The traditional prenatal procedures are pretty standard. You’ll see your doctor once a month, be poked and prodded, interact with your OB/GYN every appointment for a couple of minutes and then if you’re lucky, they might attend your birth. When a woman opts for midwife care, however, the procedures are very different.
Women have either a dedicated midwife or a team that they will get to know over the nine months of their pregnancy. Appointments still take place once a month until the last month or so when they become more frequent. Unlike appointments with a doctor, however, a midwife appointment will be much more patient-led.
While midwives check on the mother’s health in the same was as a doctor, they won’t force anything on her and will give her all the information she needs to make her own decisions in an informed way.
The Environment And Experience
In a hospital setting, the experience of childbirth can be unnecessarily clinical. Women are often made to lie on their back, connected up to equipment that prevents them from moving around as they feel they need to. In a midwife birthing center, the environment is much more homely.
There are features like birthing pools and women can give birth in any position they choose, going at their own pace without rushing or unnecessary clinical interventions. When women opt for midwife care they can also choose to have a home delivery if they choose to, something that isn’t possible with doctor-led care.
No Unnecessary Interventions
When a woman has a doctor-led birth in hospital, they often find that their labor is sped up using drugs if they’re thought to be progressing too slowly. Many of those drugs increase the pain experienced while also distressing the baby and this means that more interventions become necessary. This includes pain medication for the mother, more stimulants to speed the labor still further if the pain meds slow down the contractions and possibly a forceps birth or C-Section if the baby gets too stressed by the process.
Women who want better control over their labor are opting for midwife care so that they can avoid any unnecessary drugs from impeding their body as it works to do what it was designed to do naturally. As midwives are trained and highly experienced in natural deliveries, they are much more capable of dealing with women in labor without having to resort to drugs and interventions, and this means that women are in naturally safer hands as long as their delivery isn’t a high risk one.
The European Way
Women who are interested in using a midwife rather than a doctor for their birth experience can rest assured that this is standard practice in Europe. In fact, it is almost exclusively in the USA that women are expected to give birth in a clinical hospital environment. In Europe, Japan and Australia, where midwife-led deliveries are the norm, fewer infants and mothers die and the C-section rate is also exponentially lower.
At the end of the day, every woman knows best what type of delivery is right for them, and making the right decision to suit their own needs and preferences is essential at such an important time. However, for those women who are looking for a more personal touch and who are not at high risk, a midwife-led birth could be a wonderful experience.