Hospitals vs. midwives

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We had been planning to have our baby delivered in a traditional hospital maternity ward with doctors and nurses etc. But my wife and I went to a talk by midwives at a local yoga studio (LOL) and a lot of what they had to say seemed to make sense. So then we went to a free consultation with these midwives, and now my wife wants to switch over to them instead of the hospital she's been going to. Normally I wouldn't be that big on the idea of a midwife I don't think, but this particular midwifery group is actually based at a hospital, so my wife would still be delivering in a hospital room and there would be doctors available in case of an emergency; it kind of seems like the best of both worlds. Does anyone have feedback on the standard hospital birth vs. birth with a midwife?

congratulations (n/a), Thursday, 4 February 2010 15:25 (twelve years ago) link

i have not had a baby, but from what i understand this 'midwife in hospital' is the ideal situation for childbirth. when i worked for university of chicago they phased out they midwifery program and there was a 'protest' which of course did nothing to stop them.

Anton Levain (jdchurchill), Thursday, 4 February 2010 18:38 (twelve years ago) link

as long as it is in a hospital seems like a fine choice. stuff can go wrong in delivery, obviously, as it did with my firstborn, you want to have doctors available to immediately come in when problems come up.

velko, Thursday, 4 February 2010 18:42 (twelve years ago) link

Yes to midwives all the way. I gave birth in a midwife-led unit attached to a hospital. The MLU was by far a more relaxing, less medicalised environment to labour in and the MWs were kinder and more attentive than those on the labour ward. I'm not sure if you're in the UK or US? but here in the UK I believe there is less chance of needing an assisted birth if you are on a MLU.

With both Howie and Archie I needed to be transferred to the labour ward for the actual delivery (Howie because I had an epidural, Archie because his heart rate dipped when my waters broke) and although it was useful to have the docs on hand, I was very relieved to get back to the MLU afterwards.

Also MWs more likely to be of use postnatally when establishing breastfeeding etc (mind you I have heard some right old crap about BF from supposedly well-trained MWs so don't believe everything they tell you)

Meg (Meg Busset), Thursday, 4 February 2010 19:43 (twelve years ago) link

cosine on midwives in the hospital

Tracer Hand, Thursday, 4 February 2010 20:42 (twelve years ago) link

do it do it do it! I gave birth in a hospital based birth centre, just like Meg's experience but I was lucky enough to stay in there and have a waterbirth. I think in the US I'd want a midwife led birth even more, I was on a US based parenting forum and there seems to be so much 'medical' intervention that leads to complications in hospitals. It made me want a homebirth if there ever is a next time.

Vicky, Thursday, 4 February 2010 20:52 (twelve years ago) link

I was just about to post about how my sister-in-law did an at-home waterbirth and had to have her newborn whiksked away by ambulance (he's fine now, but...).

kingkongvsgodzilla, Thursday, 4 February 2010 20:57 (twelve years ago) link

<nosey> Which birth centre Vicky? (you're a Londoner amirite?)

Meg (Meg Busset), Thursday, 4 February 2010 21:09 (twelve years ago) link

It was Mayday!

Vicky, Friday, 5 February 2010 08:37 (twelve years ago) link

We went with Midwives in a Hospital, and it was awesome. Absolutely no qualms about recommending it. The midwife who attended the birth made sure that every single thing we'd written in our birthplan happened, including this guy right here "catching" my daughter. An OB was called in for a minor thing after the birth and it was totally no big deal.
We also live in an enlightened enough jurisdiction where Midwives are covered under provincial healthcare.

there's a better way to browse (Dr. Superman), Friday, 5 February 2010 23:53 (twelve years ago) link

two months pass...

we've been taking this Bradley natural birthing class for the past couple of months and I'm worried I'm going to turn into some kind of vehement paranoid anti-medical establishment/hospital nutjob. But some of the things that doctors/hospitals/companies that target pregnant women or parents of babies do are pretty ridiculous.

congratulations (n/a), Thursday, 29 April 2010 15:56 (twelve years ago) link

It makes me really glad we switched to a midwifery group (within a hospital) instead of using the huge downtown hospital where we were originally going. The latter were total dicks when we told them we were switching, which also made me glad we were switching.

congratulations (n/a), Thursday, 29 April 2010 15:57 (twelve years ago) link

maybe I've been brainwashed by the midwives though

congratulations (n/a), Thursday, 29 April 2010 15:59 (twelve years ago) link

I get a little tiny crusader glow when you say that, nick!! I'm glad that you're so happy with your experiences and preparations. I hope they are good tools for you and S when you need them.

wasting time and money trying to change the weather (Laurel), Thursday, 29 April 2010 16:06 (twelve years ago) link

Yeah, the birthing class in particular has been great. Sarah checked out all these books about giving birth but I was having trouble actually sitting down and reading them and concentrating on them; the class is awesome because the teacher is really positive and energetic and it makes it a lot easier for me to absorb the info and not be freaked out by it.

congratulations (n/a), Thursday, 29 April 2010 16:10 (twelve years ago) link

Don't be freaked out, right-on for absorption! One of the big points of the midwife & natural birth methods is that we should be LESS freaked out by all this stuff, because you can have a lot more control than you maybe expected over both the actual events and your RESPONSE to the events.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, doctors and hospitals and insurance companies GAIN something by freaking you out, which is a good reason to be at least a little bit suspicious of them from the get-go.

wasting time and money trying to change the weather (Laurel), Thursday, 29 April 2010 16:18 (twelve years ago) link

Last week's class was on breastfeeding and the teacher was saying that most breast pumps are made by the formula companies and will actually reduce the mother's breast milk production if used regularly (ie less breast milk, more formula usage, more $$$ for formula companies). That was pretty !? to me.

congratulations (n/a), Thursday, 29 April 2010 16:21 (twelve years ago) link

Yeah I mean just when you think there's such a thing as "too paranoid", you take another look at big business and it gets ?!?! all over again.

wasting time and money trying to change the weather (Laurel), Thursday, 29 April 2010 16:21 (twelve years ago) link

I don't get how this works. Don't you have an obstetrician you go to for check ups? Isn't it assumed they will be delivering the baby? Or do midwives do Prenatal checkups? Or can you just tell your doc you'll only be needing them pre and post(?) natal?

no more springs no more summers no more falls (sunny successor), Thursday, 29 April 2010 16:58 (twelve years ago) link

The midwives do everything, unless there's some kind of emergency during the birth, in which case the doc can take over. We see the midwives for checkups and they will be doing the delivery too. It's pretty well coordinated in our case because the midwives have their own little section within the hospital.

congratulations (n/a), Thursday, 29 April 2010 17:01 (twelve years ago) link

my wife used a pump while she was at work for a couple of years and it had no impact on her breast milk output, she would nurse in the morning and evening and the milk from the pump would go with the kids while they were in childcare.

controll-s (velko), Thursday, 29 April 2010 17:04 (twelve years ago) link

I'm sure there are, for instance, breast pumps that are made by sane and ethical companies that have no negative impact, but they're probably not the ones whose sales reps got the contract to put, for instance, their advertising literature and/or free samples disguised as "Advice for the Nursing Mother" into the gift bags that hospitals give to departing new moms. Most of that shit is just advertising as far as I can tell (tho I have not birthed any babby so I'm just going on what I've been told).

I just read a book by a woman who is admittedly kind of extreme about reducing the amount of "stuff" we buy, use, and throw away, but one of her points is that we don't even know what's IN half of our stuff, and one example was that she gave birth in a hospital and got a bag of free shit that included a Mickey Mouse diaper bag -- which happened to be made of a kind of plastic that contains dangerous phthalates (which btw are now PROHIBITED for US importation in any product intended for kids 0-12 but this was a few years back). So not only are we hitting them with some corporate branding from BIRTH to convince you to make your offspring life-long customers of a brand, that branding tool is also free AND toxic for your baby!

Another example: special arrangements to give low-income moms a lot of "freebies" from formula companies. Again, really gross targeted marketing to people who are the most vulnerable to it, and who would prob benefit THE MOST from choosing its opposite.

wasting time and money trying to change the weather (Laurel), Thursday, 29 April 2010 17:20 (twelve years ago) link

I used to work at a maternity clothing store and we were supposed to hook all our customers up with all this free formula coupons & c.

Walter Melon (Abbott), Thursday, 29 April 2010 17:22 (twelve years ago) link

So even just going to buy clothes, there it was.

Walter Melon (Abbott), Thursday, 29 April 2010 17:22 (twelve years ago) link

yeah the midwife specifically highlighted the Medela and Ameda pumps as good, safe pumps, and I think those are pretty big brands (sold at Target etc), so def. not saying all pumps are bad news. However, she said the "bad" pumps (ie the ones that can reduce breast milk production) are usually cheaper, so again, it's people trying to save money who get screwed. Also, either Medela or Ameda pumps (can't remember which) are intentionally missing a small piece that would prevent breast milk from getting inside the motor of the pump. It's the fear that the milk can get in the motor that makes it not OK for women to share a pump (due to contamination fears), so basically whichever brand this is is doing this on purpose so they can sell more pumps. Not that this is really different from how most consumer goods companies operate, but it's interesting to me.

congratulations (n/a), Thursday, 29 April 2010 17:56 (twelve years ago) link

my wife used the medela pump, which was the one sold in the hospital's maternity store. never heard about the milk getting in the motor thing. anyway, we never used formula and my kids nursed until past the age of two. all the healthcare professionals we encountered at our hospital were super-ethical and obviously had the mother and baby's best interests in mind, but educating yourself about all the issues can never be a bad thing.

controll-s (velko), Thursday, 29 April 2010 18:03 (twelve years ago) link

yeah my biggest issue isn't really like "doctors are evil" but just that a lot of the information about the different options and side-effects and results etc. isn't really made widely available.

congratulations (n/a), Thursday, 29 April 2010 18:06 (twelve years ago) link

With an exception for the leftover surgeons and bigshots from another era, I don't think doctors are evil either!! But I think hospitals kinda are, in the sense that a lot of them have shareholders, and any industry tailored to their benefit is really not keeping the end user in sight...or not nearly enough to suit me, anyway.

I expect this when it results in things that can be corrected by consuming different products or shopping somewhere else, but when you're in hospital, you are scared, in need, probably sick (altho not in the case of normal labor & delivery, which I don't think shd be categorized or treated as a pathology), you may not have a lot of options, and every industry involved in medical care KNOWS that, and they will quite happily knife you in the ribs while you're down.

wasting time and money trying to change the weather (Laurel), Thursday, 29 April 2010 18:14 (twelve years ago) link

With an exception for the leftover surgeons and bigshots from another era

And by this I mean the kind of doctor who would induce labor and/or order a C-sect in order to make their tee-time. I'm sure it still happens, but I really really hope that not as often as it did before laboring women became their own advocates and started choosing "alternate" options.

wasting time and money trying to change the weather (Laurel), Thursday, 29 April 2010 18:16 (twelve years ago) link

this is pretty cool, my wife's company had a "pumping room" and it should be much more widely available
http://www.salon.com/life/broadsheet/2010/04/13/breastfeeding_rooms/

controll-s (velko), Thursday, 29 April 2010 18:18 (twelve years ago) link

PS and if they don't have shareholders, they have religious affiliations. There's a joke somewhere for which the punchline is "the lesser of two weevils"....

wasting time and money trying to change the weather (Laurel), Thursday, 29 April 2010 18:19 (twelve years ago) link

If you really want to get angry then read The Politics Of Breastfeeding. Has loads of info on the dodgy things formula companies get up to, such as paying for the building of hospitals specifically designed to make breastfeeding as hard as possible by placing newborns in a nursery that's as far away from the mother as possible.

Meg (Meg Busset), Thursday, 29 April 2010 19:26 (twelve years ago) link

What kind of medical training do midwives have? Are they nurses?

no more springs no more summers no more falls (sunny successor), Thursday, 29 April 2010 19:45 (twelve years ago) link

In the UK they have to do a three-year midwifery degree. Or those already registered as nurses can take an extra course that lasts about 18 months.

Meg (Meg Busset), Thursday, 29 April 2010 19:54 (twelve years ago) link

In the US, a nurse midwife is a nurse practitioner with specialized training. They have master's degrees. Oh, and that "cheap breast pumps are designed to lower your milk output" thing sounds suspiously like something a pump company would make up to scare you into only buying their brand(s) of pump.

Christine Green Leafy Dragon Indigo, Thursday, 29 April 2010 20:21 (twelve years ago) link

both my babies were via midwives and big thumbs up

1st one was in a hospital room with a midwife running the show, 2nd was in a birthing center that basically looked like a comfy living room

鬼の手 (Edward III), Thursday, 29 April 2010 20:35 (twelve years ago) link

As a result of this thread, I told my bf today, "Just so you don't freak out in the future, I want midwife-assisted water births, and I don't care if we have to move to Germany so I can get them." Bless his little European hart, he said, "Anything you want. I don't see a problem at all, YOU have to give birth, not me. Anything else would be pretentious."

wasting time and money trying to change the weather (Laurel), Thursday, 29 April 2010 20:47 (twelve years ago) link

Sounds like he's good at giving the right answer. :)

Walter Melon (Abbott), Thursday, 29 April 2010 20:48 (twelve years ago) link

Oh, and that "cheap breast pumps are designed to lower your milk output" thing sounds suspiously like something a pump company would make up to scare you into only buying their brand(s) of pump.

― Christine Green Leafy Dragon Indigo, Thursday, April 29, 2010 3:21 PM (25 minutes ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

It is a little more directly paranoid than I care to get, and a quick search online didn't find any corroborating evidence. However, this statement came from the doula who teaches our birthing class, who doesn't really have any personal motivation to recommend one brand over another, and I'd probably trust her over some company. In any case, we're hoping to avoid pumping and breastfeed directly as long as possible, don't really plan to buy a pump at all right now.

congratulations (n/a), Thursday, 29 April 2010 20:50 (twelve years ago) link

Yeah pumping is a major PITA to be avoided if possible, in my experience! My boobs are A+ at lactation (34 months of breastfeeding and counting) but I've never managed to express more than a single ounce in one sitting.

Meg (Meg Busset), Thursday, 29 April 2010 21:57 (twelve years ago) link

Spose it was easier for me though as I've been at home with the kids most of the time. Those who work and pump have my total admiration.

Meg (Meg Busset), Thursday, 29 April 2010 21:59 (twelve years ago) link

eleven months pass...

If you really want to get angry then read The Politics Of Breastfeeding. Has loads of info on the dodgy things formula companies get up to, such as paying for the building of hospitals specifically designed to make breastfeeding as hard as possible by placing newborns in a nursery that's as far away from the mother as possible.

― Meg (Meg Busset), Thursday, April 29, 2010 3:26 PM (11 months ago) Bookmark

!

I'm totally totally wondering now. When our girl was about two months old, my wife suddenly couldn't create milk anymore. She had been pumping extensively, so we had a huge frozen store of good milk, but it started to run low and shit was getting serious. Like, uh no fuck you we don't want to use formula.

We tried all kinds of stuff that's supposed to work like mother's milk tea and fenugreek, but nothing worked. We went to my wife's doctor, where they prescribed her Reglan. Now we looked it up and Reglan is some serious shit. There was a skull & crossbones on the bottle. It is the subject of late-night infomercials from law firms that encourage you to sue because of the side effects. So we had this prescription and decided fuck no and threw it out before even taking it.

So then it hit us. After her sixth week visit with her obstetrician, he gave her the go-ahead to go back on birth control. He declined to advise us that birth control would fuck with her ability to lactate.

As a result of this disruption, my baby never nursed at my wife's breast again. She still drinks the milk that my wife pumps, but my wife and I harbor some serious resentment and regret at losing that particular area of mother/child bonding.

I had assumed that it was just simple negligence on his part, but reading Meg's post may have given me a better idea about what was going on there. Fucking christ.

kkvgz, Friday, 15 April 2011 09:29 (eleven years ago) link

:(

I'm planning on a homebirth this time. Our area is great, there's a dedicated homebirth team that provide all midwife care, not just come to see you at 36 weeks. So I've got my appointments at home and don't have to go for the pointless GP appointment at 38 weeks. The appointments alternate between two midwives and unless you're unlucky one of them should be at the birth.

Vicky, Monday, 18 April 2011 14:03 (eleven years ago) link


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