Midwives Vs. Obstetricians

Both midwives and obstetricians are skilled in providing care for women during pregnancy, labor, birth and postpartum. Midwives offer a natural holistic approach to pregnancy and birth. In most cases, they spend more time with you than an OBGYN would, including time spent supporting you while you are in labor. They are experts in low-risk pregnancy and birth while being able to manage certain higher risk conditions. They are not able to perform surgeries. Obstetricians are doctors who are experts in pregnancy and birth, and they are also trained to handle any complications that may come up. This means they can handle high-risk pregnancies and perform surgeries.

What is midwifery care?

Midwives have been the care provider of choice for thousands of years. Midwives are perhaps the oldest profession. We support women in having a safe, physiologic birth by providing health care in pregnancy and labor, honoring you and your partners beliefs and choices.

Who can have midwifery care?

Midwifery care is an appropriate choice for healthy, low risk women. We also offer collaborative care with our physician team for high-risk pregnancies.

Do you offer home births?

While some midwives do offer home births, we deliver babies in the hospital.

If a Midwife Delivers My Baby, Can I Still Have an Epidural?

Absolutely, if that’s your choice. We can order your epidural when you are ready for it and work with the anesthesiologists at the hospital to get it placed. If you want a more natural experience, midwives can provide labor support. This includes teaching you breathing techniques, encouraging you to change positions, and recommending pain relief methods like soaking in a warm bath. We also offer Nitrous Oxide as an older “new” method of pain control. Midwives also can teach your birthing partner how to help you through labor.
We recognize the privilege of being with you during some of the most powerful and memorable moments of your lives. We strive to give you the type of birth you want. We will happily support and encourage you in whatever you choose. We’ll talk with you during your prenatal visits to learn the type of labor and birth experience you want, and we will work towards that goal with you.

Do Midwives Perform C-sections?

No. A midwife is not a surgeon. If it’s necessary for you to have a Caesarean section, one of our qualified ob-gyns will perform the surgery. Your midwife may will be present with you in the operating room to assist as you meet your new baby and provide continuity of care. She will also continue to provide care for you after your delivery.
For procedures such as dilation and curettage, tubal ligation, or hysterectomy, your midwife will refer you to one of our ob-gyns to schedule the surgery.

Do you support vaginal birth after c-section?

Studies show that women and infants both benefit from a trial of labor. VBAC is a safe option in most cases. We have supported many women in successful VBACs and would love to help you navigate the benefits and minimal risks. Careful detail is given to each patient’s history and an individual care plan is developed taking into consideration history, risk factors, and potential success rates.

Can I See a Midwife if I’m Not Pregnant?

Yes. The midwifery approach involves helping you make informed choices about your care and educating you on your options. Most often, women choose a midwife because it makes them feel relaxed and confident with their care. A midwife can help with:

  • Issues related to your menstrual cycle, including irregular, heavy, or uncomfortable periods.
  • Preconception counseling.
  • Decisions about birth control, including the pros and cons of different birth control methods.
  • STD testing.
  • Evaluating your personal health risks and working with you on prevention strategies.
  • Minor in-office procedures
  • Infertility care
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