You POS and get that BFP ... NOW WHAT?!
First time I got my BFP (Big fat positive - pregnancy test) I called my OBGYN office and made an appointment for my first prenatal checkup (around 8 weeks gestation). I had been getting my annual checkup & Pap Smear from a male OBGYN at a local practice in Mooresville, NC. At that time I didn't even know what a midwife was (not REALLY). I think it may have been the 2nd or 3rd visit when he and I were discussing what I desired my birth experience to be like. He suggested I switch my care to their team of midwives. I agreed. I am so glad I did! I ended up hiring a doula from Charlotte who met us at the hospital, and I had the unmedicated vaginal birth I had hoped for.
Step 1 - Where do you want to give birth? Where do you feel safe and comfortable? Home, Hospital, or Birth Center? My goal in this blog is not to convince you or tell you what decisions to make. But I will tell you that birthing at hospitals being SAFER, is a myth. A lot of the interventions placed upon women in hospitals are the very reasons they end up needing a c-section.
OB's attend births at hospitals. Midwives attend births at hospitals, birth centers and homes. You might desire a midwife but are dead set on a certain hospital. Midwives and MD's typically have two very different models of care. This particular hospital may not have any local midwives that work there. You might desire a home birth but the state you live in requires midwives to work alongside an OB (some CPMs will work outside of this parameter but are not publicly advertising). Where you decide to birth your baby will determine your options. Call around and ask lots of questions. One advantage to birthing in a hospital is having access to pain medications (such as epidural) and surgeons in case you need a c-section.
Step 2 - Check Reviews, Ask your friends, and do your due diligence to vet them. I suggest asking other moms their experiences with local care providers. Look them up online and read reviews.
Step 3 - Book your first appointment ASAP! some midwives stay booked solid and some OB offices are full and aren't acceting new patients. Switching providers mid pregnancy may be difficult. The sooner you decide the better chances you have at getting the care providers you desire.
If you are a healthy woman who is wanting a non-medicated vaginal birth you might want to consider using a midwife or group of midwives. Remember how I said MD's and Midwives typically have a different model of care? In the hospital they will want to "actively manage" your labor and birth. Below is the midwifery model outlined.
Midwifery Model of Care
ICM (International Confederation of Midwives) Model of Midwifery Care :
• Midwives promote and protect women’s and newborns’ health and rights.
• Midwives respect and have confidence in women and in their capabilities in childbirth.
• Midwives promote and advocate for non-intervention in normal childbirth.
• Midwives provide women with appropriate information and advice in a way that promotes participation and enhances informed decision-making.
• Midwives offer respectful, anticipatory and flexible care, which encompasses the needs of the woman, her newborn, family and community, and begins with primary attention to the nature of the relationship between the woman seeking midwifery care and the midwife.
• Midwives empower women to assume responsibility for their health and for the health of their families.
• Midwives practice in collaboration and consultation with other health professionals to serve the needs of the woman, her newborn, family and community.
• Midwives maintain their competence and ensure their practice is evidence-based.
• Midwives use technology appropriately and effect referral in a timely manner when problems arise.
• Midwives are individually and collectively responsible for the development of midwifery care, educating the new generation of midwives and colleagues in the concept of lifelong learning
So, if there a reason to having an OB deliver my baby?
Yes. Perhaps you feel more comfortable because you have a already established relationship with your OBGYN and would like to receive care from him/her during your pregnancy and delivery. Just keep in mind, your OBGYN likely works with other doctors in the practice, and whoever is "on call" the day of your delivery is who will attend your birth.
You may be referred to a OB or maternal-fetal medicine specialist depending on you and your baby's health status. Sometimes a woman is classified as "high risk" and will receive care from such specialist in a hospital setting. Complicated pregnancies may require extra monitoring, care, etc.
Final tip. Mama, go with your intuition. Do what feels right TO YOU and makes YOU feel safe and cared for.
With love, Gloria