How to Decide Between a Midwife and Obstetrician

Obstetrician Vs. Midwife

Although the big day won’t be for many months, new moms in the early stages of pregnancy have the task of deciding between a midwife and an obstetrician for delivery since their prenatal care over the next several months will be administered by the professional that she chooses.

Photo Credit: Conrado Reis

While both kinds of professionals are trained in the delivery of babies, their approaches to childbirth are generally different. Obstetricians are medically trained to deal not only with childbirth, but also illnesses as well. Since deliveries by obstetricians are done in a hospital, obstetricians are usually preferred by mothers who have had a difficult pregnancy or are concerned about complications. Most significantly, obstetricians can perform C-sections if necessary. They also perform the majority of deliveries in our country.

Although they are chosen less often than obstetricians, the popularity of midwifes is on the rise in the United States. To state it simply, midwives focus on a more natural labor. They may differ from OBGYNs in that they typically stay with the mother during more of her labor and encourage relaxation techniques. A new mom who would like to have an emotional or beautiful birth experience and expects few complications would be served well by a midwife. Midwives deliver babies in hospitals, birthing centers and also perform home births.

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