All of my babies were midwife caught. I am one of the lucky few who stumbled into midwifery care quite by accident when I was pregnant with my first child. However, something I didn't really come to appreciate until I was pregnant with my second child, was that midwives are really the experts in normal prenatal care. One thing I hear over and over again is the time difference between prenatal obstetrician appointments (which tend to be very short) and the longer midwifery ones. That extra time became deeply meaningful to me with each subsequent pregnancy. Even as a second (and then third time) mom, I still had questions and concerns. So, what goes into a midwife appointment? You might be surprised.
Yes, there is a clinical aspect (just to refute the fear that midwives don't care for the physical well being of mama and child). In fact, somewhere between 10 to 20 minutes of the appointment is monitoring the physical well-being of the mama. This includes routine assessments such as blood pressure, urine dips, measuring fundal height (the growth of uterus, placenta and baby), and listening to fetal heart tones, etc. It also includes informed consent and shared decision making paradigms, as well options for other other screening and diagnostic tests. The rest of the prenatal, which can be anywhere between 30 to 60+ minutes, is spent on client education and monitoring of the psycho-social aspects of pregnancy and birth (checking in on how the mama-to-be is doing in her work, social, and home life). In many ways, it is time just spent getting to know how their client, and how she is doing.
One thing is true: that we all have different needs and wants during our pregnancy. And many of us value both qualitative and quantitative time with our care providers. What was your experience, needs, and wants during prenatal care with your medical care provider? xoxo