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Midwife vs Hospital Birth

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  • 1 Post By ashj_1218

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March 5th, 2012, 06:35 AM
Jessghetti's Avatar New Mommy in Training
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 554
I am curious if anyone here has ever used a midwife for birthing? I have heard while the process is longer (and maybe more painful for some) that it's more natural and on your own time. I watched an interesting documentary last night about this. It is called 'The Business of Being Born' and can be found on Netflix. It gives an insight to what exactly a midwife does and what home-birth is like.

I am not sure really what type of birth I would rather have, if I want to be in control or go by how fast the doctor's/nurse's want me to have the baby. I think most women have a fear of something going wrong and that being in a hospital feels the safest. But then I also heard most births are not complicated and don't need as much medical intervention as we usually receive in hospitals.

I know not all the ladies here are from the US and that midwifery is more common in other countries then here. If so, what are your thoughts about midwives vs hospitals?

Being that this is my first time going through pregnancy, I am terrified of birth and not sure what to expect, I hear many different stories and suggestions from family and friends. I know truthfully I would like to have the baby as natural as possible.

Missing Angels: Sept '11 - 4 weeks & Nov '11 - 4 weeks 3 days
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March 5th, 2012, 07:13 AM
Shadeauxe's Avatar It's me
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 5,820
In my state it's not an either/or decision. It it possible to have a hospital birth with a midwife and there are a ton of midwives in the hospital I will be delivering in. I happened to choose an OB, but it wasn't my only choice.

I have no seen this movie that you reference, but I suspect it supports an extreme point of view about hospitals. I think that there is truth in everything they say, but I don't think it's an absolute truth.

I think reality probably lies somewhere in the middle between the points of view of "oymygod if you don't have this procedure or do this test, you and your baby are going to die!!!!" and "You don't need any of that medicine crap, nature knows what it's doing. Just go with the flow". I have had both of these extremes in OBs dealing with my miscarriage and finally moved on to someone who is more moderate and is great.

When I read books during my first pregnancy, I thought the hospital would be awful about everything and they were pretty cool about all of the decisions I made. They still did some things (full time external monitoring, for example) that I didn't like that I probably could have had go differently if I'd had the knowledge and demanded what I wanted, but all in all, it was way less extreme than the books made it seem.

Also, it depends on where you are in the country. Some areas still cling to the more outdated beliefs. Every single hospital in my area encourages the baby sleeping in the room with you and letting you hold and feed the baby as soon as you want. They never offered formula or pacifiers or some of the other things that these books decry.

Make a solid birth plan and ask the hospital questions and see if they give answers to your liking. If they don't go somewhere else. Also, trust your instincts.
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March 5th, 2012, 07:17 AM
LindseyE117's Avatar Wookie's Girl
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 3,741
Being it is our first birth, you can always use a midwife who uses a hospital. That way you can go natural if you like, but at the same time you have other options in place just in case.

Me personally, I am TERRIFIED of home birth. That is just me though. There are a lot of other ladies who have done it. I just recently read an article too about a lady in Australia (I think) who was a huge advocate for home birth. She died right afterwards and it became a huge deal because she was so popular in the field of home birthing. Not that it would change my mind if that was the way I wanted to go, but it would make me think. Also, when I was looking into midwives, the one I was going to use just had a baby die in her care because he needed oxygen and she refused to call an ambulance. This was at a birthing center. Thank God I could not afford her! (I must note that I only looked into her when I was uninsured and looking for other options)

My opinion (and my opinion only-no one else is wrong) is that I would never risk a birth away from the hospital. It is not about me and what I want, it is all about what is best for my baby. I would just never take the risk. I couldn't now anyway, because I am considered high risk. *sigh*

I guess my point being is weigh your options, and maybe make a pros and cons list. You can then decide from there. If you plan on having more kids after this one, you could always do it different the 2nd time around.

Thank you Shortcake for my beautiful siggy!
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March 5th, 2012, 08:50 AM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 7,051
I've had both a highly medicalized birth and a natural birth (both in the same hospital). And I'm happy with both of them. If you think you want a natural birth going to the hospital doesn't mean you can't have it. You can also go to the hospital and have a midwife provide prenatal care and attend the birth.

With my daughter (the natural birth) the nurse and doctor pretty much let me be and do my thing. The nurse came in to monitor the baby and contractions intermittently, but I can't say she ever interfered or distracted me while doing it. I didn't have a birth plan, I didn't have to fight any interventions, I didn't even need an IV. And this was all under the care of a doctor. I also know several women who have had natural births in the hospital (some under midwives, some under doctors). So a hospital birth attended by an OB doesn't have to mean automatic pitocin/epidural/etc (which I think the film you mention tries to imply).

I personally like leaving the mess and responsibilities of my home to give birth. I think if I were to try a home birth I would be distracted or annoyed looking at the things that I "need to do". This will be my 3rd child, and I think there would be too much pressure to take care of my whole family right after birth rather than resting like I do in the hospital (older kids with grandma, my husband knows he has to fend for himself for food, someone else makes my meals and brings them to me, etc).
Mama to an elementary school boy, kindergarten girl, and my miracle toddler girl.
Three 10w losses (11/2010 + 8/2011 + 10/2014)
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March 5th, 2012, 09:35 AM
Jessghetti's Avatar New Mommy in Training
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 554
Thanks for the lengthy responses ladies, I was interested to see the other options. But I too have heard some horror stories about home birth - I guess for some women this works well - but after talking it over with my husband I feel a hospital is the best choice. And as some of you pointed out, you don't have to have an epidural if you don't want to.

I am not sure if I will or not- I guess that will depend on when the time comes lol. But I will try to tough it out the best I can - I am not entirely sure my pregnancy is high risk - my doctor never specified that. But having a pre-exsisting blood pressure issue I wouldn't risk a home birth.

I think the problems with documentaries like that is they tend to be very bias to whatever the film-maker is wanting to portray and few documentaries try to be equal about varying opinions on certain subject matters.

Interestingly enough in the film, the person who was making it fell pregnant and was going to film her doing a home-birth. She ended up having a breached baby with complications after birth and ultimately had to be hospitalized.

Missing Angels: Sept '11 - 4 weeks & Nov '11 - 4 weeks 3 days
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March 5th, 2012, 11:08 AM
ashj_1218's Avatar Hiya!
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 11,971
I was not a huge fan of that movie...but it made some good points.

I would love a home birth. I don't think it is ever in the cards for me, as I am on blood thinners in pregnancy and therefore most birthing centers won't even take me. But the whole concept really appeals to me.

I had both of my boys in a hospital, one with a midwife and one with an OB. My midwife birth was awesome. My OB birth had more interventions but the circumstances belied needing some additional support and I was in control of all my decisions. In neither one did I get an epidural nor did I feel I was moving at the doctors pace (although in the second one, I did have to fend off the doctor some because he was pushing for things I did not want). I think it is very possible to have a wonderful natural birth experience in a hospital. I had one. For every horror story you hear about home birth, there are fifty more that are beautiful and uncomplicated. For every horror story you hear about hospital interventions, there are fifty more that are beautiful and unimpeded. It is all about making choices for you and what makes you most comfortable. Just decide on your "hopes" and your "wants" ahead of time and aim to make them happen. Even if they dont pan out, it still leaves you informed and in control when you are making decisions during birth.
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March 5th, 2012, 11:13 AM
missy123's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Savannah GA
Posts: 13,418
all of my births have been in the hospital. With my 3rd son I had a midwife and she was awesome! There were so little interventions - I did not even have an IV! Towards the end I was screaming for help and pain meds and she talked me through it. The option was there to have them but in the end I had a natural birth.

You can have a natural birth in the hospital, you just need to make sure your wishes are known beforehand. Also - my biggest recommendation is to keep an open mind about it all. You may get into labor, be 2cm dilated and change your mind for an epidural or you may go in and go all natural.

Pregnancy Loss April 2009, September 2010
CP 10/2008, 1/3/11 {missing my babies every single day}Mommy to 4 Children - 3 boys ages 22, 21 and 18 & baby Scarlett
After 2.5 years TTC with 4 losses our Family was given the gift of Miss Scarlett
Do not ever give up hope...

Miss Scarlett... Our miracle girl still brings happy tears to my eyes.

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March 5th, 2012, 11:48 AM
Super Mommy
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 620
My birth was in the hospital. At the time I thought it was exactly the birth that I wanted. Now I know that it's the exact opposite of what I want for the next time.

I had a scheduled c-section. I thought that I had thought through the risks but I didn't and I was entirely unprepared for what followed after my daughters birth (not getting into details) but it wasn't fun.

For my next one, I'm going the midwife route. However since I'm now fully aware of how quickly things can change with babies after birth, I'm not one bit comfortable with a home birth so I will be having a midwife in the hospital. Perhaps that's something you could look into as well!
Thank you to .:Shortcake:. for my awesome siggy!
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March 5th, 2012, 01:04 PM
queenofthecastle's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana
Posts: 35,050
I'm planning a home birth with this baby. My situation is a bit different because I've had 3 c/s's and I'm not "allowed" to deliver via VBAC in a hospital because of the 1% risk of uterine rupture. For me, it came down to a repeat c/s or a home birth. We chose home birth. I'm happy with our decision and I trust my m/w 100%.

I think that you have to be comfortable with your decision, ultimately. Like others have said, you can have a m/w, natural birth in a hospital. Just do your homework and research all of your options. GL!!

=May '05 and '11

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March 5th, 2012, 02:11 PM
Pitridge's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Sunny California
Posts: 10,074
With my insurance I don't have the option of a midwife. I will have this baby in the hospital. I wouldn't want a home birth, for me it would be horrible, I would have my 3 year old wanting to get in, screaming when he doesn't get his way, the dog barking, it would be too stressful.
I also think that you can have a natural birth in the hospital, you don't have to get any meds if you don't want them. Now heard (from my previous Ob) that sometimes the hospital (nurses) do treat you different when you go in with a birth plan. We were suggested not to do it. I was treated wonderful.

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March 5th, 2012, 02:50 PM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 5,522
My son was delivered by a midwife, in the hospital. i am thinking of a home or birth centre birth this time.

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