Monday, February 20, 2012

Why I Chose a Certified Nurse Midwife

There are a lot of people who have been intrigued by my decision to see a midwife for my pregnancy instead of a doctor. To me, it seemed like the most natural decision! We are blessed to live in an area where pretty much any type of birth plan can be accommodated so there were a lot of available options.

Here are just a few of the reasons that I chose to see a certified nurse midwife (CNM):

1. I'm not sick...just pregnant. I know that doctors are wonderfully trained medical professionals and that they know what they're doing. I also know that my body is equipped for birth just the way God made it. If complications arise, as they often do, I will be in very capable hands at the hospital. If, like the majority of healthy women, I have a normal birth experience then I feel like there just isn't a need for me to have spent my pregnancy seeing a doctor. Here is a quote from my midwives website: "To a Certified Nurse Midwife, every pregnancy is a unique event. That’s why our approach centers on the emotional, spiritual and physical needs of each woman. We encourage women and their families to consider their options for child birth."

2. I want to have a natural labor. I know, I know. You can call me crazy all you want. As I said above, I really believe that my body is made to do this. The care that I am receiving throughout my pregnancy is very supportive of natural childbirth. It is important to me to be cared for during my pregnancy and labor in an environment that is not just tolerant, but encouraging of my plan for my birth. In the event that I decide to change the plan and get an epidural I will be supported in that as well, but the standard practice of my midwife group is to first help you exhaust all options of coping with the pain. Also, my CNM group has a cesarean rate of 12% ...the national average is 35%.

3.  Relaxed atmosphere. I have a not-so-secret fear of all things hospital. I do NOT like tubes, IVs, monitors, or the general smell and atmosphere. This is why my amazing sister makes a great nurse and I make the worst hospital guest in the world. I really sought out all options for a good combination of safe environment (in case something goes wrong) and an atmosphere that is relaxed enough that I can just forget about the tubes and IVs and feel free to walk around when the panic sets in. Yes, it probably sounds as though a homebirth might be a better option but 1) We rent and 2) I'm aware that in the event that something goes wrong (especially since this is my first pregnancy) it's best for me to be at a hospital. The CNMs that I see work in conjunction with an ObGyn practice and they deliver at a hospital in our city that is fully supportive of natural childbirth. Exactly what we were looking for!

I'll end this by saying I fully understand why this isn't for everyone. It fits exactly what my husband and I desire for the birth of our son but plenty of women have an entirely different idea of what their ideal birthing experience is. I would never, ever think poorly of a woman who chooses to do things differently than me just as I would hope that no one would ever think poorly of me for my decisions. This is such a personal journey and it's one that deserves lots of thought for the expectant mom. I hope that this post has given some insight into my journey because I know that I'm loving every minute of it!

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