Why Should I Choose A Midwife?

Two pink lines appear on the test, then BOOM! Suddenly, you are faced with so many choices. Pink or blue? Separate crib or co-sleeping? Salty or sweet? 😉 One choice that you may not have considered is that of choosing between a traditional doctor (OBGYN or family practitioner) or a midwife. Many people don’t know this, but midwives are becoming a much more popular choice these days. For me personally, given the choice, I would pick a midwife every time. Why? Keep reading to explore with me as I answer the question: why should I choose a midwife?

Why Should I Choose A Midwife?

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*Note: I am speaking in broad terms about both midwives and doctors. While most midwives focus on natural birth and most doctors do not, this is not always the case. This post is not meant to offend anyone in either profession, but simply to open the reader’s eyes to the wonderful work of midwives.*

What Is A Midwife?

Simply put, a midwife is a specialist in normal pregnancy and birth, which may occur in a home, a birth center, or a hospital. She cares for each woman individually and focuses on providing a calm and natural environment for birth. She provides the full range of prenatal care for the mother, careful to consider the woman’s history as well as her current lifestyle. When it is time for labor and birth, she will assist the mother in finding the best labor positions, encourage her to eat and drink during labor, and ultimately, help bring a healthy baby into the world without medical assistance (except under necessary conditions).

Related Post: Practicing Self-Care During Pregnancy

A midwife is different from a traditional doctor because of her focus on natural birth. Though some doctors focus on natural birth (and, in fact, some midwives do not), as a general rule, this is not the case. Midwives are trained to pay attention to the woman and the baby, meeting their needs and providing care in the most natural way. Doctors, however, are trained to treat pregnancy more like an ailment that needs to be remedied, hence their tendency to prescribe medication and suggest inductions and surgeries. A midwife steps back and lets pregnancy and birth take its natural course, while a doctor steps in and suggests a course for it to take.

Why should you choose a midwife? There are so many great reasons! Click To Tweet

How Much Does A Midwife Cost?

Unfortunately, cost is what prohibits many women from choosing a midwife over a traditional doctor. Most insurance policies do not include midwives in their networks; however, if you are part of a healthcare sharing program such as Liberty HealthShare or Samaritan Ministries, the cost of a midwife may be covered, at least in part. Assuming that your insurance does not cover the cost of a midwife, you are looking at an overall fee of between $4,000 and $7,000. This includes all prenatal care, labor, birth, and at least one postpartum visit. The cost varies depending on the location of the birth (hospital, home, or birth center), as well as other factors unique to each midwife. This cost is generally paid out over the course of the pregnancy, and some midwives do offer discounts for early payment.

Why Should I Choose A Midwife?

What Are The Benefits of Choosing A Midwife Over A Traditional Doctor?

The benefits of choosing a midwife over a traditional doctor are numerous. Midwives have a significantly lower rate of c-section than traditional doctors, which means a quicker recovery time for the mother and a lower cost of birth. In addition, midwives are less likely to suggest medical induction or the use of an epidural, which also provides for a faster recovery. Since most midwives are not involved in insurance networks, they are able to spend more time with the women to whom they are providing care, which gives mothers (and fathers) more time for questions and birth education. This also gives midwives the chance to get to know the families on a personal level, creating a level of comfort that is generally missing with a traditional doctor. Finally, since midwives are trained to focus on natural birth, they are able to provide more options for mothers when problematic situations arise during pregnancy and labor, instead of automatically turning to medical intervention.

Interested in learning about what midwives do, what they cost, and why you should choose one? Click To Tweet

For more information on midwives, I recommend the following resources (click on each picture to find out more):

Now it’s your turn. Have you given birth with a midwife? If so, what was your experience like? If not, what other questions do you have?

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40 Comments

  1. It’s so weird to me that this is a choice for most people! Our local OB office is run by midwives with a few acting doctors. They take all insurances, and are the absolute BEST. I had two c sections, but i never doubted they were necessary BECAUSE the rates were so low..and my midwife held my had and cried with me for my first. I always recommend our birthing center and midwives. They were the best<3 . But this is awesome info for those who are considering it!

  2. Thank you for sharing! While my husband and I aren’t expecting and are hoping to not have any kids anytime soon, this is helpful for us as we think about these things in the future! I have a low pain tolerance and have always imagined going straight to the hospital – regardless of the price, but I’ve heard from some women who recently gave birth that hospital fees can be crazy expensive. After reading this post, given the price and the experience of midwives, I think I might look more into it when that comes. Thank you 🙂

    1. Thanks, Ro! That’s great to hear! Hospitals are really expensive, and what’s crazy is that a natural birth can actually be less painful than one including medical intervention! Definitely something for you to think about! 🙂

  3. there are also certified nurse midwives that are fully covered by health insurances. they usually deliver in birth centers. I chose that route but was transferred to a hospital anyway because of distress. Still glad that i chose a midwife because she was supportive and the whole care up to the delivery was so much more holistic.

  4. I admire midwifery as I hear the training is so very intense! I have many friends who use midwives & have had nothing but great things to say. I personally use a traditional doctor but that works for me and my pregnancy needs. Regardless the caregiver, I believe that it is so important for women to find someone who they can connect with and trust, especially with pregnancy & birth. 🙂

  5. I had a midwife with all 3 of my births! I definitely understand and agree with the difference between some midwives and doctors however. I had a recent fight with my midwives over an uncrunchy rule they had and switched from a hospital with them to a home birth with another midwife. I had my baby boy at home just this past Saturday!

    1. Congratulations, Rachel! 🙂 There are definitely practices with both midwifes and doctors that won’t work for everyone, but I’m glad you found one that worked for you!

  6. Delivering at a military hospital wall three times I didn’t get the opportunity to have a midwife. I’m sure I could have but it was never mentioned.

  7. I absolutely want to work with a midwife when I have a baby. I want someone who’s tuned in to my needs the whole time, walking me through each step and making sure that I’m doing what’s best for my body and my baby. If that involves a medical intervention, fine – but because it’s been weighed against all of the alternatives and is the best option. I know that at least one hospital near me has a team of midwives on staff that you can elect to work with, which I love!

  8. Personally, I think that it’s best to find a balance. Physicians offer medical knowledge and expertise you won’t get with any other party, but you should be in tune with your body and needs throughout your pregnancy and birth, too.

    1. That’s a common misconception, Rose. Midwives go through a very intense schooling and training regimen and possess all of the knowledge (and in some cases, more) that doctors possess. Of course, that doesn’t make them perfect, but they are very well-trained and have extremely high medical knowledge and expertise. 🙂

  9. I had a midwife who worked in a hospital, so she was covered by insurance. CNMs are a great compromise if one person is not on board with home births and the other does not want a super medical birth. Birthing in a hospital with a midwife was a great compromise for my husband and I with our first baby.

    1. I love midwives, I think they do amazing things, but I also love my ob! 🙂 The hospital I deliver at is pretty special though, in that all the care providers {obs and midwives} encourage natural birth and options before looking at more medical interventions. At one point I would have considered a home birth, but after a necessary csection, and a hemorrhage during my first VBAC I don’t think it is something that I will pursue in the future. 🙂

  10. It makes me so sad that some women don’t have the type of experience with their OB and hospital that I did. My OB was awesome and never pushed me into any unnecessary interventions. Despite the fact that I was healthy and low risk, my son had a cord issue that would have cost him his life had I not been at the hospital. I ended up with a vacuum assisted delivery which was 100% necessary. We were given excellent care. My OB and hospital do inductions very rarely, and the c-section rate is lower than the national average by quite a bit.

    1. That’s great that you had such a good experience with them, Laura, and I’m so glad that your little guy was born safely! 🙂 Medical intervention is certainly necessary sometimes and it’s great that it’s available when we need it!

  11. Likely not going to have children, but I definitely am of the mind that women/couples need to do what’s best and what works for them. It’s important to do your research and your homework to make an informed decision. Sounds like you did!

    1. There certainly are options if you want to use a midwife with insurance, so I hope that you are able to find an option that works for you! 🙂

  12. I didn’t have a midwife when I was pregnant, but many of my friends chose midwives and they all had wonderful experiences! All depends on what you want and what is right for you and your family

  13. I had all three of my babies in hospitals, but my second child was delivered by a nurse midwife (with a doctor present because it was a VBAC). She was amazing and she opened my eyes to all the ways the nurse present for my first delivery, which ended in a C-section, was more of a hinderance to the process than a help. I don’t think I would choose to deliver at home (I loved my epidurals), but I love reading about the experiences of other families!

    1. I’m not sure I could deliver at home either, Abby! That’s totally understandable! I’m glad you had a good experience with a nurse midwife and that all your babies got here safe and sound! 🙂

  14. I totally agree! I’ve had two CNM assisted home births. I had an OB/GYN previously, but after a friend who was also her patient had TWO unnecessary inductions (I’m certain at least one was so that a vacation wasn’t interrupted) I knew I couldn’t go that route. I also knew that in the middle of it I probably would be weak enough to ask for pain meds (that I had researched in depth and did not want for me or my babies), so we went with home births. So, so glad we did! I agree CNMs are highly trained, and in some cases more experienced and knowledgeable on the whole process. Thanks for sharing this! <3

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