Is a midwife right for me?

There’s no doubt that having a midwife is a great choice for many women. But is a midwife right for you?

Having a midwife attend your delivery can be empowering for women, as they offer care that is personalized and attentive to a woman’s needs. This isn’t to say that doctors don’t offer the same, but the hospital setting can make it a bit less likely. Women who use midwives generally also face fewer medical interventions at, and leading up to, birth.

Sometimes, asking yourself the right questions can help you make a decision. And in this case, there are certain questions that you’ll want to ask yourself to determine if you can benefit from a midwife’s help. Here are some questions that can best help you determine if a midwife is a good option for you:

  • Do you have a high-risk pregnancy? Things that make a pregnancy high-risk include having high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, or a history of complications during labor. If you have anything that makes your pregnancy high-risk, you will probably be encouraged to deliver in a hospital setting so you’ll have the resources available in case you need medical interventions. This will ensure that your birth goes safely.
  • How do you feel about whomever you’re currently working with? As mentioned above, there are plenty of healthcare providers who can provide care that’s similar to what you’d get from a midwife. This being said, you could be unhappy with your provider, or feel that your pregnancy care has been impersonal and emotionally removed thus far. This could be a good reason to think about switching.
  • Would you prefer an alternative to the traditional hospital birth setting? Midwives work in hospitals too, but for the most part, they provide an experience that is different from what you’d get with an obstetrician in a hospital setting. Midwives have lower intervention rates, and they offer help with unmedicated labor if that’s something that you want. Of course, there are many women who don’t find any of this appealing – either way, these are things to consider.
  • Are medical costs something you’re worried about? Ideally, your decision to use an obstetrician or midwife wouldn’t only depend on the cost. But it’s worth noting that having a midwife is traditionally less of a financial expense than an obstetrician. What your health insurance covers may also be a concern.

Both options might sound appealing right now, and it’s okay if you’re still questioning the best choice for your birth experience. The most important thing is that you consider your choices, and then choose whatever option is safe and appealing to you, no matter which that is.

  • E Declercq. “Trends in midwife-attended births in the United States, 1989-2009.” J Midwifery Womens Health. 57(4): 321-6. Web. Jun 2012.
  • Dr Laura Markham. “Choosing your doctor or midwife.” AHAParenting. Dr Laura Markham, 2017. Web.
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