Thursday, 28 March 2013

From OB to Midwife...

I am so excited.  I finally found a Midwife that is wonderful and that would take me even though I have Gestational Diabetes (controlled by diet & exercise, which means I am not high risk!!).  Her name is Poppy and she is wonderful!  I will actually have two midwives, but she is my main one.

So what are the differences between OB's and Midwife visits?  A lot.... but first here are the similarities...

They both do the following:

Check your urine (except at the Midwives, you check your own in the privacy of the bathroom and report back if your urine is clear from a reading on the stick).  

Check for blood pressure

Measure belly, listen to babies heart beat, fell the abdomen. 

Ask if you have any questions

Refer you for tests/ultrasounds/etc...

What are the differences

Generally at an OB's office, you wait....and wait.  Luckily at mine, I never had to wait more than 10-15 minutes.  When you go to your midwife appointment...they are waiting for you.

OB visits are about 5-7 minutes long.  Midwives take about half hour to 45 minutes.  They go through the basics, and then they take the time to know you and who your family is.

At the OB, they are very vague with any results or issues you may have.  Midwives go through in detail what's going on.  

OB's weigh you at every visit.....Midwives don't :)

You are not allowed to bring children to your OB appointments (at least not at mine).  Midwives have an entire play area with toys in the waiting room AND in the rooms for kids to play with.  She even let my son play with her stethoscope and measuring tape.

There are many more differences, too many to go through really, but you get the point.  

At Delivery and Emergency Situations:

The midwives are on call 24/7.  You will never go to the hospital without meeting your midwife there.  They take care of ALL your needs.  They can be paged at any time of the day or night (but obviously expect you to use your own judgement as to if it's very necessary for them to be paged at 3am or not!).

With an OB, you go to OB Triage and they will assess you there and whichever doctor is on call will check you out and decide from there what needs to be done.  

At delivery, again, you would page your midwife when you are in active labour (or call the office if you are in early labour if it's business hours).  They will guide you on the phone, or meet you wherever you are.  Once you are in active labour, she is with you until 1-2 hours post birth.  Her and another midwife are the only two that are present with you for the entire birth...this means it's not a revolving door of different people.  

OB's are on a rotation and take turns being on-call for the month.  This means you are not guaranteed your doctor at delivery (luckily I had mine with Ethan) and you can see 2 different doctors at your birth.  (Like I did! The first one caused a lot of problems and my OB helped me out afterwards).  Nurses are also on rotation, so you will more than likely have different nurses through your delivery.  

With an OB you are allowed 2 people in the room with you.  With a Midwife, you can have a party of people in there if you want :) (No, that would not be my choice!)

After Delivery:

The Midwife takes care of mom an baby 6 weeks post birth.  She comes to your house and when it's possible, you will go to the office for checkups. 

With an OB, 24 hours after you are discharged from the hospital, you need to go to the Newborn Clinic at the hospital for the baby to be weighed.  You have to also make doctors appointments for your newborn one week after being discharged.  It's a lot of hassle with a newborn and being sore to have to lug around to different appointments.

So am I happy about switching over to Midwifery care - you better believe it!

The fact that I do have GD and I control only by diet and exercise, as above mentioned, I am not considered high risk.  If, god forbid, I go on insulin, I will then be referred back to an OB and it would be shared care with a midwife.  This would mean that I would be seeing both OB and Midwife (but mostly Midwife).  At delivery, an OB would be present to help deliver but the Midwife is in the room with me the entire time and post delivery.

It feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders and the anxiety I had with the thought of this next birth has vanished!  So although these next 4 months may fly by, I am pretty sure it will be an awesome experience from now until delivery and beyond!

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