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Midwifery versus Hospital Birth

Updated on July 31, 2012
Home birth in a pool in Tahiti
Home birth in a pool in Tahiti | Source

People are often apprehensive when it comes to there birthing options. After all this is your child that you are talking about. You want to make the choice that will be best for her. I have actually experienced both a hospital birth and birth center birth. I will lay out the pros and cons for you as I experienced them.

Hospital Birth

Obviously if you have complications you want to stick with a hospital birth. The doctors are trained to deal with complications with years of schooling and experience. However, if you have a normal pregnancy - and most pregnancies are a birthing center is a viable option.

Hospital births provide ready access to epiderals and medication if you are nervous about handling the pain of childbirth. This was actually one of the reason I chose to have a hospital birth with my first child. However, despite having a birthing plan that stated I wished to use drugs as a last resort and that I was extremely sensitive to medications, I found myself on Pitocin.

The medical professionals told me that my labor was not progressing like it should. This was my first child so I took them at their word. It was only later that I realized my labor only lasted a few short hours. A very fast delivery considering I was a brand new mom.

Of course once I was on pitocin the labor grew very intense and I asked for an epideral. Again I warned them that I was extremely sensitive to medications and would only need a small dose. However, by the time my daughter was born I was so out of it from medication that my drug addled state would not allow me to enjoy and bound with my new daughter. It was several hours later after the drugs wore off that I was able to hold my daughter close and enjoy being a new mother.

Also, despite the fact that I was breastfeeding my daughter a nurse came in the night and started feeding her formula. I told her I was breastfeeding but she said that my daughter was not eating enough and continued to try to give her formula.

Now perhaps if I were more confident of what I knew and more of a type A personality I would have had a different experience, but for myself I found the hospital to be the opposite of the experience I had hoped to have with my daughter.

Birthing Center

Because of my first hospital experience for my next child I decided to utilize a midwife and a birth center. I chose a birth center that did not provide medication thus avoiding that entire issue. So when my daughter came I got to bond with her immediately in a moment that was almost magical.

Not that the experience was entirely roses and sunshine. I did get to move about as felt comfortable for me and I did have access to a tub of warm water which was very soothing. However, laboring without medication is no picnic and you do reach that point where you don't think you can do it any longer. Because my midwife was delivering another baby I had a stranger there trying to comfort me. Needless to say it was not as comforting as I would have wished.

The final draw back was that I was only allowed to stay a few hours after the birth. At the hospital I got to rest and recoperate for an entire day. Although there were nurses coming at all hours of the night and day. However, at a birthing center they send you right home when you'd much rather be taking a nap with your new baby. However, my midwife did come to check on me and my baby the next day, which I appreciated.

So, in all I would have to say that for my next baby I think I might try a home birth. Then I can just roll over and take a nap with the new baby.


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    • Joy M profile image

      Joy M 4 years ago from Sumner, Washington

      I understand what you mean about the interruptions. They let you keep your baby in the room with you but it seems they are always coming to either check on you or the baby and they never arrange to do both at once. Would it be so hard to check on mom and baby at the same time?

      Glad you enjoyed the hub and thanks for the vote.

    • Sharkye11 profile image

      Jayme Kinsey 4 years ago from Oklahoma

      Thanks for sharing your experiences in an objective manner. You did an excellent job showing both aspects of the two birthing options.

      I had a hospital birth with a midwife. It was the best of both worlds, I guess. I was able to deliver without drugs, (fast too, six hours), and had no complications. If I had needed a doctor, there was one on staff. Still, I would have preferred a home birth. I wanted to go home right after my daughter was born!

      Whereas the birth was natural and perfect, the newborn care was strictly policy. They came in every few minutes, and interrupted us to do all sorts of tests. We were both exhausted when we finally did get to go home.

      The hospital birth made me nervous, because I have seen too many women that pretty much got butchered. An emergency is an emergency...but those interventions shouldn't be used just because labor is taking too long for the doctor's schedule. My sister had a doctor, and they did such a chop-job on her she was unable to care for her baby for three weeks. Her husband got all that special bonding time and took care of her. It was horrible. Next time...I am hoping to just accidentally have mine before I make it to the hospital. :)

      Great hub, voting up!

    • Joy M profile image

      Joy M 5 years ago from Sumner, Washington

      The midwife does them - part of the reason she stops by the next day.

    • leahlefler profile image

      Leah Lefler 5 years ago from Western New York

      I had two hospital births, but my last one was so horrible that I would be thinking of a birth center if we decided to have another baby. I don't like the idea of being sent home right away after the birth, though! How do they do the newborn screening checks at a birth center? Do you do them later, at the pediatrician's office?