Family Magazine

My Visit with the OB/GYN (as I Plan My Homebirth!)

By Lindsayleighbentley @lindsayLbentley

“Don’t choose a midwife who thinks Dr’s are useless, and don’t pick a Dr who thinks that midwives are useless.” –me


Ok, so I’m sure you are wondering what I am doing with an OB/GYN, considering my desire to birth naturally with a midwife.

The midwife that I use has a wonderful relationship with a fantastic OB/GYN who would be the doctor delivering my baby, should I be one of the 10% of women who require a hospital transfer after trying to deliver at home.  It’s part of his protocol to meet with each of her girls at some point during their third trimester, so had I an appointment with him yesterday.

There is a grand misconception that there are ONLY 2 sides of birth: the natural side and the mainstream side, and that the two sides hate each other.

While this may be true for some on both “sides” it really is a toxic attitude that isn’t helping mothers or babies in any way, in fact it can be a deadly attitude. I’m grateful for this doctor and my midwife who are working hard to bridge that divide.

The doctor that I went to see yesterday was just wonderful.  He has worked with my midwife for 8 years and it’s part of his policy to meet with each of her mothers at some point during the 3rd trimester.   He wants to be a familiar, friendly, and comforting face in the even that a hospital transfer is needed.

I told my husband on the way home that if we have a high-risk pregnancy in the future, I absolutely want this man to be our doctor!

He’s very pro-natural birth, pro-midwife, pro-homebirth.  He said at one point during our visit “oh, most of you girls can birth babies naturally no problem!”  He also said that if I do end up needing a transfer, that no one at his hospital will treat me badly, or look down on me for my decision. (He’s the head of the labor & delivery ward!)

Watching the interaction between him and my midwife was so reassuring.  They have a mutual respect for each other, and acknowledge the skills that the other possess.

He said two things to me that were really wonderful:

1. “If Maryann (my midwife) tells you during your labor that you need to go to the hospital, please listen.  She’s never been wrong about that.”

2. “Don’t assume that just because you are going to the hospital that it means that you are going to have to have a c-section.” 

Even though about 10% of homebirths require a hospital transport, it’s not generally because of an emergency.  Only about 2%-4% of home births require a c-section.  The vast majority of these transfers occur because the mama has simply run out of gas.  She’s exhausted and needs a break in order to have the energy to push her baby out.  He informed me that if this were to happen, I would be admitted immediately (because he and my midwife have such a great relationship, she calls him on his cell phone before leaving for the hospital so that they are all ready for you once you get there…in an emergency room that only services pregnant women – how awesome is that?!)  He would then administer an epidural and let me take a nap.  Once I woke up, I would ideally have the energy to finish the labor.

Because my labors in the past have been so quick and smooth, I am not anticipating ever seeing this sweet Doctor again, but it was so wonderful to know what the process would actually look like if I were to need his help.

So anyway, I hope to not ever see him again.  But in the event that I do, I am so thankful to know that I will be being cared for by a Doctor who respects my desire for as natural a birth as possible.

This meeting was so encouraging because I could sense a “change in the tide”…he is an older man, which is even more encouraging.  It’s not just the crazy youngsters who are wanting to work together to change our declining birth statistics in America.

Ahhh…2 more days to go until I’m full term…until then, I’ll be napping.

live well. be well.

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why I chose natural childbirth

miles’ birth story

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