The first decision I had to make when I found out I was pregnant was which type of primary care practitioner I wanted to see. I’m fortunate enough to live in a city with a few different options, so I was quickly faced with a pro-con list.
First on the list was my family doctor. I’ve been seeing him fairly regularly for the last ten years or so, and he’s got a general idea of who I am and the types of health concerns I’ve faced. His wait times are fairly short, and I know that I can get an appointment within a few days if I need one. The lab for bloodwork is right downstairs, and the ultrasound place is down the hall. The problem is that he doesn’t deliver. I could see him up until 26 weeks, and then he would transfer me to an OB instead, and I wouldn’t really get much choice in who that would be (they’d be booked up by then).
My other choice is the midwives clinic. I would be assigned a group of three midwives – with each appointment, I would see one of the three. There is a midwife on-call 24 hours a day, reachable by pager, for any emergencies that might happen. Because the midwives are licensed, they can requisition any of the blood work I need, and they’ve got all of the ultrasound technology in the office. If anything were to happen, they have a few OBs that they work with, so my care could be transferred and I could be seen by the midwives at the same time. They operate on the principle of informed consent; all of the tests, scans and treatments that are offered during pregnancy are carefully explained and detailed before they are done (or not done). They also encourage natural birth, either at home or in the hospital (we’re going with hospital).
At this point, I’ve had an appointment with both my family doctor and the midwives. And based on initial appointments (and a bunch of research), I’m going with the midwives. Just the mere fact that my doctor spent 10 minutes with me, and my midwife spent over an hour going over concerns, questions, and my health history.
One of these days, I’ll do a post detailing the beliefs behind my midwives’ practice, but for now, I’m just excited for my ultrasound in a week! Can’t wait!