Are you considering using a midwife as a part of your birthing team? We applaud you! Midwives play a valuable role during their clients’ pregnancy, delivery and postpartum care. They are trained in the “art of birth,” so to speak, and their support and encouragement can help to ease a mother’s internal and physical stress once labor commences.
If you are in the process of putting your labor and delivery team together, we offer you 5 reasons why you’ll never regret choosing a midwife.
1. You’re more likely to experience a satisfying natural birth. The bottom line is that hospital birthing interventions are on the rise. Statistically, women who use midwives have much lower rates for common intervention such as labor induction and C-Sections (FYI: According to ObGYN News, “The risk of C-section doubled in women undergoing induction of labor who received an epidural before 4 -cm dilation”). The more we learn about the long-term effects of many of these interventions, the more we realize they canhave a negative effect on the well-being of the mother and the child after birth. For example, pitocin – a synthetic hormone commonly used to induce labor – also blocks a mother’s natural release of oxytocin and other natural hormones designed to reduce pain, create stronger bonds between mother and baby, and help with breastfeeding. Your midwife will provide constant support and help to intervene between your, your birthing partner, and medical personnel so you are less likely to be pressured into interventions you don’t want or need.
2. Reduce your maternity costs. Using a midwife can drastically reduce your total medical costs, especially if she helps you to avoid unnecessary interventions that tack thousands of extra dollars on to your total labor and delivery costs.
3. Longer prenatal care visits. OB/GYNs are medical doctors. We see a wide range of female patients, including mothers and babies. We strive to give our best attention to these patients but midwives are there solely for the care of pregnant women and their babies. Therefore, they are able to spend more time with their clients during prenatal visits. This can help you to forge a strong relationship throughout the months leading up to your birth, and that bonding will pay off when you are together in the labor and delivery room, or the birthing center room.
4. You want to have more freedom with how you birth. If you give birth in a hospital, the odds are that you will give birth lying on your back, especially if you or your partner aren’t able to assert your rights and have them attach the birthing bar that allows for a squat-like position. This shifting of postures can help your baby get into a better position in the birth canal and can also help to prevent tearing. Your birthing experience with a midwife will allow you to experiment with a variety of positions, from standing, to sitting, to squatting or being on all fours. If you labor in a birthing center, you may also have the option of a water birth. You will never know which position suits you and your baby best until you’re in labor. However, your midwife will be there to help, guide and support you.
5. Enjoy undivided attention. Unless you happen to be the only woman giving birth in the hospital at that time, you are unlikely to get more than occasional attention from your OB/GYN during your actual labor and delivery (barring an emergency, of course!). Instead, a very competent team of labor and delivery nurses and nursing assistants will be your companions through the duration. If you choose a midwife, you are much more likely to experience the undivided attention of a trained and professional birth supporter, which can make your process much less stressful. A single person through the duration of your birth can answer your questions.
Interested in learning more about how midwives can be a part of your birthing experience? Schedule an appointment with Overlake OBGYN. We look forward to assisting you so you can experience a healthy and empowering birth experience.