Posted on: 11 November 2015Share
One of the first things that you probably did as soon as you suspected that you were pregnant was call your OB/GYN to make an appointment to confirm the pregnancy. But once that's done, it's important for you to know that you don't have to choose that doctor to handle the rest of your pregnancy. While there are benefits to sticking with a doctor that you know, sometimes even a great OB/GYN just can't offer what you're looking for in pregnancy care. Take a look at some reasons why a midwife might be the right choice for you.
If You May Want a Homebirth
You don't have to decide how to give birth as soon as you become pregnant, but you should start exploring the possibilities. Most OB/GYNs only deliver babies in hospitals (and chances are that your OB/GYNs only deliver at one or two of the hospitals in your area.) If you think that you may want a homebirth, then you will need a pregnancy care provider that offers that service – in other words, you will need a midwife.
What if you decide later that a homebirth isn't for you? That's okay. While OB/GYNs may limit themselves to hospital births only, many midwives are able to offer their patients a wider variety of options. Midwives may deliver at home, in a hospital setting, or in a birthing center that offers a homier environment but with many of the advantages of a hospital. If you're unsure of how you'd prefer to give birth, a midwife actually offers you more flexibility.
If You Don't Have Insurance
If you're without health insurance for any reason, you should know that prenatal care and a hospital birth can become a significant expense. An uncomplicated vaginal birth costs roughly $7600. A homebirth with a midwife is drastically less expensive, costing between $2000 and $3000. That amount may cover not only the birth, but all of the pre-birth visits as well. Even if you can afford the higher cost of a hospital birth, you may prefer to save that money for other expenses, like childcare or a college fund for your new little one.
If complications arise during the hospital birth, costs can rise dramatically. It's possible that women who give birth in a hospital are actually more likely to experience complications. There are several reasons for this. Hospitals often require mothers to labor and birth while in bed and on their backs, which is a less than ideal position for a natural birth. Midwives allow patients to labor in more natural positions, such as standing or squatting, or sitting in a pool of water, reducing the risk of complications. Furthermore, women laboring in hospitals may be pressured to accept unnecessary interventions, like pitocin to strengthen labor contractions and speed the birth along. This can have a cascading effect, leading to further interventions and costing more money.
Even if you do have insurance, a midwife can still save you money. Many people believe that insurance doesn't cover midwife care, but this is a misconception. Many large insurance providers do offer at least some coverage for midwife care.
If You Prefer Longer Prenatal Appointments
Because midwives generally take only healthy, low risk patients, and because they deal only with pregnant and post-partum patients, they also tend to have lower patient loads. This means that they can spend more time with each patient.
While this may sound like a minor benefit, many expectant mothers appreciate having all the time they need during prenatal appointments to ask questions and address concerns they may have about pregnancy, childbirth, and baby care. If you dislike feeling rushed at a regular doctor's appointment, chances are that you'll find it upsetting during prenatal appointments. In that case, a midwife may be a better choice for you.
Take the time to look into the different pregnancy care providers, such as George L Stankevych MD, in your area before making a choice. Meet with several of them so that you can ensure that you're choosing a pregnancy care provider who makes you feel comfortable. There's no right or wrong choice – the important thing is that you choose a provider who you feel will provide you with the type of care that you want.