What is the function of a mid-wife?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by SomewhereOutThere, Mar 27, 2016.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I am reading a true story about a young women who only used mid wives in her pregnancy. She is now suffering from post partum depression.

    The mid-wifes, during and after pregnancy, do not seem to me to have the expertise to best help a pregnant and post pregnant mother. I would not pick one over a doctor as far as knowledge goes.

    Are they nuses? Do they answer to doctors? Would you pick one over a doctor? If so, why?

    Thanks for any enlightenment.
  2. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    From my experience, they are much more involved in the pregnancy. They spend more time with the mother and are able to pick up on the emotional well being of the mother as well as the physical. A true midwife is trained and licensed. They can be the perfect choice for a healthy mom to be that wishes to and can handle a noninvasive medication free birth. It allows the mother to labor in a way that she feels comfortable with. They cannot do high risk pregnancies or do surgical deliveries. They must be able to have the mother and infant transported quickly from the location of the birth in an emergency.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks. Then maybe it's just this young woman's experience. She has post partum depression and all they keep telling her is, "Well, of course you do. You just gave birth. It's normal to be stressed."

    Anyone can say that. It's not very helpful in my opinion.

    But, just like some doctors sock and some are good, probably the same with midwives.

    I'd still personally choose a doctor, b ut that's me and we are all different.
  4. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Postpartum "baby blues" and depression are very different. It is not natural to be depressed after giving birth. Stressed, sleep deprived, yes, but postpartum depression is a disorder that needs treatment, the sooner the better.
    If you see this young girl and she is still feeling depressed, encourage her to see her PCP and be referred to a therapist who deals with postpartum depression.
    Caring for a new baby is hard, but it shouldn't leave a person feeling miserable and depressed!
  5. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    My experience of childbirth with a midwife was about a million times better than my experience of childbirth with a doctor.

    They are mother-and-baby-centred, as opposed to medical-intervention-centred.

    Pregnancy and childbirth isn't an illness to be medicalised and managed.
  6. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Well, I never saw a doctor during delivering my sons. Midwives took care of the whole thing. It is the norm in untroubled births around here if the mother does not want epidural in which case an anesthesiologist is called. And we have the lowest infant mortality in the world.

    Midwives are nurses with extra schooling for births and most prenatal visits are also handled by them around here. Gynecologist is an expert of certain female diseases and births that go wrong, midwives are experts of normal births that go like births should go. (Of course they are also experts in noticing when something is about to go wrong and calling the doctor when that happens.)

    To be honest, when it comes down to pregnancy and giving birth I would trust an opinion of an experienced midwife way over average gynecologist. Simply because midwives have so much more experience about that specific topic while gynecologists specialise to much border area.
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  7. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    If this young woman's midwife is dismissing her post-partum depression, she needs to have her license yanked. It is very important to make sure any medical person you see is lic. and legit.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    This is just a book im reading.

    The truth is, we never know if our birth experience will be ok until the baby is born healthy. What if the cord wraps around the babys neck?

    I felt safe with my doctor. Now im not sure if this is the same thing, but after my accident, I had to be in a rehab for two weeks. Doctors were on call, but almost never there. I felt very unsafe in the care of nurses and CNAs and I did not feel that the nurses even had much compassion, at least not where I was. My doctor I see is much nicer and has more knowledge.

    Pregnancy isnt an illness, but it CAN ultimately end with the patient needing medical help. Babies lives are saved by medicine. Thats why I would not have chosen a midwife.
  9. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Well, I was concieved and born in the US, and probably a good thing. My mother after multiple miscarriages and a pregancy spent on hormones that left me at risk for female cancers and abnormalities, suffered a prematurely detached placental when seven months gone with me.

    No warning. Just blood all over the place all at once. She was rushed to a local hospital that had a NICU and I was delivered via emergeny c-section. Luckily, they also saved my mum with the help of lots of blood-bank blood.

    Mom stood in the hospital for 5 weeks. I stook in NICU until I hit 5lbs and my lungs and brains had matured enough that I could breathe properly on my won and quit having random siezure.

    The only longterm effects I have of all that are foot drop in my left foot due to a stroke I had in NICU, and damaged vision due to something called "retinopathy of prematurity". I'm very lucky that all it did was affect the number of rods and cones I have, making my color vision a bit weird, and my night vision awful. I am very lucky because in many cases ROP causes blindness even in this day an age.

    In my case, a midwife wouldn't been disastrous. The hospital was only 3 blocks from our house and my dad drove. Waiting for a MW to be there and call for an ambulence might've killed me and certainly would've killed my mother, who lost better than half her blood volume during the delivery and time just before.
  10. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    We have midwives who work in the hospital. This provides the best of both worlds - access to medical interventions if necessary - but only IF necessary. More and more families are choosing this option.
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Were not there yet. Insurance doesnt cover midwives, I dont think. Frankly, I would want to he in a hospital. There is no guarantee the delivery will go as planned or that the baby will be healthy. Nurses cant care for those unexpected things. I mean, I dont think they can.
  12. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I will take a good Nurse Practitioner over most doctors. They often have more practical, hands-on experience.
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I had 3 different docs deliver my kids. The first one was horrible, wouldn't listen to anything I said or accept that I knew to the hour when I conceived. He failed to realize that my body would not go into labor on its own and let my pregnancy go almost 44 weeks. He only induced then because I threatened him with bodily harm and was far from joking.

    The 2nd doctor was in another city and I loved him. He was partners with the doctor who delivered me and he delivered 12 of my cousins. It was a wonderful experience even though J had some minor complications. Then he retired. T was delivered by a high risk specialist because of my age and some other health issues of mine. I adored him as he truly respected women and openly admitted that there is no way a man could handle half of what women go through during a pregnancy.

    My ins co would have been THRILLED to have me use a midwife as they are cheaper than doctors, at least they were when I had my last 2. But there simply were not any with any link to the hospitals at that time. I know some people who have used them, and the range of experiences is from hideous to amazing. I think a lot depends on the personality of the mom and of the midwife as well as the health history. If I had tried to use a midwife with T's birth I would have been refused due to the heart problems that came up due t the pregnancy. I had to have a high risk doctor and a heart specialist who specialized in pregnant women. I was blessed to be in a city that had one of those specialists, the only one in the entire state!

    The whole doctor, NP, Phys Assistant debate is more about personality and listening skills, in my opinion.
  14. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Our midwives also work at hospitals. During pregnancy, if nothing is wrong, you have few appointments with a doctor and many more with midwife. When your labour starts you go to hospital and a midwife checks you. If all is well, labour starts and end with midwives. If something happens, they call a doctor who is also present in the ward, just not involved if all goes like it should go. Doctors are there, operating rooms for c-section are there, NICU is usually a floor up or down and so on. Most people just do not need those services because everything goes well.

    Then after the birth gynecologist checks the mother and pediatrician the baby, before they can go home. But during labour doctor is not needed in many cases. If it is a risk birth doctor will be there even if it goes well and while midwives still do most of the work and midwives have their part also in very difficult births. Midwives and doctors simply have different areas of expertise in the labour room.

    In fact most of our well child checks are done by midwife with young babies and nurses with extra year of school for child development with older babies, toddlers and older kids. Again, if all is well, you have a pediatrician appointment only few times during childhood, but when something seems worrying you will meet more doctors than you would like. System works well, because both training and vast experience of these midwives and child development nurses will have helps them to notice when things are normal and when something, even very small, is amiss. And they have much more time for you than pediatrician would have.
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Ic, my doctor actually IS an NP. But they have almost all the training of a doctor and mine is fantastic. I have been using her as my "doctor" for 20 years. She can handle almost anything and can prescribe and I love her. But if i need a medical procedure, she sends me to a doctor. She has far more knowledge than a regular nurse, and I always see her where there are doctors all around.

    Maybe its my americanism where we can pick our own hralthcare prifessionals, but to me, and my one birthchild was an unexpected difficult birth, id rather be safe than sorry. This is my child, after all. Since we csn choose a doctor, most of us do. As for watching my baby develop, I still prefer a pediatrician to a nurse.

    Maybe one day our insurance will mandate midwives, but that hasn't happened yet. I never met anyone in the U.S. that didnt choose a doctor. Thst doesnt mean anybody doesnt choose alternatives to our usual hospital births. I tend to think of midwives, maybe wrongly, as a European thing. We do many things differently from one another. That could change as the U.S. tries to address escalating medical costs, but right now we still use insurance and can, more or less, choose. Its not as easy to choose doctors as it once was. But we can still do it. Im not sure midwives are covered under insurance. Does anyone know? Few could afford out of pocket expenses for a birth.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2016
  16. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    I had all of my children in the U.S. Two of them were delivered by midwives. The midwives were lic. and spent years being trained. I was also seen by a doctor to do initial evaluation of the safety of a non "medical" delivery. The babies were seen by a pediatrician shortly after birth. The third child was born in the hospital due to maternal age and other health issues at the time. It was horrible. The baby came on his own anyway because when I rang for the nurse no one came, and the baby slid on out without any help. My husband wrapped him in a towel as I continued to frantically call for the nurse. It was 5 min. before anyone came. My husband had cleaned out the mouth and nose the best he could. The staff had the nerve to get mad at us for what had happened. The doctor never came. This was in a dedicated birthing center with state of the art everything.
  17. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Does insurance cover midwives?

    I'm happy with the care I got when I gave birth. Very attentive hospital and nice handling an unexpectedly difficult delivery. All hospitals/midwives are different, I'm sure. I don't doubt your bad experience at all.
  18. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Half of (any professional designation, take your pick) graduated in the bottom half of their class. There are good ones, exceptional ones, and horrid ones. It's life - they are people.

    That being said, midwifery seems to be growing, in part because it is female-dominated (as opposed to doctors, which is still male-dominated). Women have a better understanding of what women go through.

    I was fortunate enough to have an all-female team of ob-gyns. They were great. But... they were not "bottom half of the class" doctors, either.
  19. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    IC, I agree. All my doctors are women. We have tons of female doctors here. Wouldn't go to a man, especially a man who will birth my baby!!! Women doctors are considered as good as men here. Many women won't go to male doctors and I'm one. We are also starting to get a lot of male nurses, interestingly.
  20. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    All my docs are women as well. My psychiatrist is actually a PA and she is the best psychiatrist I've had. Knows more about medications, too.

    My PCP is a female internist.