The many choices of pregnancy become more involved the further along you are. Undoubtedly by the time you receive your first positive home pregnancy test – you are thinking about who you are going to call – an OB GYN or midwife. If you plan on giving birth in a birthing center or a hospital – you do have that choice. [WIDGET1]There are few if any doctors who will come into your home to deliver your baby nowadays. The choice of a doctor or a midwife has many considerations and both merit looking into.
A doctor that delivers babies and specializes in pregnancy is called an obstetrician. Usually they are both an obstetrician and a gynecologist (doctor that specializes in women’s reproductive health) or an OB/GYN. Some family practitioners deliver babies and some general doctors who do nothing but treat women in the area of reproductive health, pregnancy and delivering babies – these are the three types of doctors I’m speaking of.
The advantages of a doctor are numerous. The number one advantage is their expertise. Should a problem occur – they are well educated and equipped to handle it – even to the point of performing a cesarean if necessary. Their knowledge and know how can well treat a high risk pregnancy and comfortably treat a low risk pregnancy as well. They can order pain relief in the hospital during labor – which has many options itself. Because of their education – they do not have to answer to anyone else in the event an emergency arises. This in itself is reason enough that many women choose a doctor.
The number one disadvantage of using a doctor is lack of personal attention. Doctors see many patients in one day and have to spread themselves out. During the labor and delivery of your baby – a doctor may come in to check on you once during labor and will show up in time to catch the baby. The cost of having a doctor is higher than that of a midwife. *see note below.
The advantages of a midwife are personal attention and the allowance of you to labor and delivery with more freedom – from medical procedures. A midwife will undoubtedly be able to be with you during most of your labor and will promote and support an all natural childbirth. Most midwives charge less than that of doctors. *see note below.
Though midwives are educated – some are certified nurse midwives and some are direct-entry – meaning they received their education through hands-on learning as well as testing. Both are unable to do what doctors can – which is their number one disadvantage. Of course, if no medical intervention is needed, this is okay. However if a problem arises and medical intervention is needed – such as prescriptions for infections, pain relief during labor (epidural, Demerol) or a cesarean – they would have to refer you to a doctor.
Given the two choices – which you choose ultimately depends upon your preferences and the risk factor of your pregnancy. Both doctors and midwives offer excellent care and often they work together to give the mom and baby the best in a positive pregnancy outcome. If you’ve had no problems from a previous pregnancy – and if you have no major illnesses or conditions – it would be well worth your time to give both the doctor and the midwife careful consideration.
*In my experience with the midwives in my particular area – the cost to hire a midwife to assist in pregnancy and childbirth is the same – and sometimes more – depending on which OB/GYN to compare too – as the doctors that deliver babies. The only way I would see having a midwife in my area would be to have a home birth – in order to cut the cost of the hospital.
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