When I got pregnant, like most other women around me, I continued my visits to my family physician with the plan of moving to an OB (obstetrician) in due time. Everything was going as expected, the care I was getting was excellent, and I could not hope for anything better.
But, sometimes, you don't even realize if it could be any better unless you really try and experience other ways.
There are lots of resources in the form of websites and books that deeply touch upon this question, and I'll mention some of them later below.
First, jotting down a few reasons from my experience:
In general you would think what significant difference does the personal touch make?
Further, if you are an introvert like me, you may think of this probably as a downside!
But let me tell you, the other end of the spectrum - the regular care with family physicians and OBs - has become so much business-oriented that you would definitely care for some personal angle.
Yes, that's true - from multiple accounts I can tell you that the feeling one gets while visiting their family physicians and OBs is that of a lifeless object the only purpose of which is to generate money for them.
You can almost always feel this simply from their gaze, tone and body language.
I'm sure you must have experienced one or more from the below with your regular care:
Well, I got chance to deal with no less than four midwives recently and I can declare that there was not even the slightest trace of any of the above in their behavior.
Perhaps because of both their experience and training, I've found midwives to be really knowledgeable in their field. I didn't find their answers ambiguous or to be beating around the bush.
Unlike general physicians who are like jack of all trades (and master of none?), midwives are really masters of the specific area they chose to be into. This brings some great focus and insight into their analysis and predictions.
In addition to the peace of mind you get from the reasons mentioned above, it's also hugely comfortable physically when having a midwife caring for you. This is because:
Unlike with OBs, you get multiple days' home-visits from your midwife after the delivery.
If you've already had a baby you would know how big this deal is!
If not, just take my word.
It would have been such a big problem for me to step out of the home carrying my newborn. I simply can't imagine how I would have gone to the hospital or to my physician myself for any regular check-ups.
It was so relieving to have my midwife visiting everyday for about a week after the delivery for regular follow-ups.
Apart from the physical comfort factor, when a midwife comes to your place, it becomes much more than a fixed-item-checklist job. Now, a completely new world opens to you in which you have got someone to help you in their professional capacity while being your friend all the time.
Midwives tell you so much about so many things related to your recovery and the handling of the newborn, they train you wherever needed, answer all your questions multiple times, observe your surrounding and make valuable suggestions, and while doing this never make you feel like a client or an object to them.
This makes you really comfortable in handling the most fragile and delicate thing for you in the world - your newborn.
This is another very important thing to note about.
While they do not discourage you from going for medicines, sedatives and artificial methods, their first preference is using natural methods.
So, they try home-birth, but only if it seems perfectly plausible.
Then, they do not simply get you injected with epidural at the first opportunity. They wait and seek your opinion and assess your condition.
Similarly, they do not try to go for vacuum extraction or C-section unless those are absolutely needed.
At any stage of pregnancy or after delivery, they first give you natural cures, e.g. how you can deal with constipation, iron-deficiency etc. by trying out some changes in your diet.
But, at the slightest indication of a real need for allopathic medicine or procedures, they go for that without any hesitation.
This section is dedicated to one of the midwives I got a chance to get care from.
But, when writing about midwifery in general, why would I want to have a section for an individual midwife?
Well, the fact of the matter is that there are people out there so extraordinary in the real sense of the word, that you cannot help the temptation of telling the world about them. Erin is one of them.
When I had first learnt that Erin would be my midwife (the last one), I just thought if I could learn about her before meeting her. Luckily, she has some presence online in a few forums and groups.
The first thing that caught my eye was how she has described herself at couple of places -
Erin Laing, your fierce midwife
This was interesting. I had no idea, maybe because English is not my first language, how someone would describe themselves as fierce in terms of their profession, that too without any negative connotation.
But, after having spent so many hours with her, now I can say that she impersonates the best positive meaning of the word in relation to their personality anybody possibly can!
She is so active, alert, responsive, tireless and passionate every single moment of her existence that no other word would have done the justice in describing her 🙂.
By the time she made her last postpartum visit, I had made up my mind to describe her here, on my blog! Let's see how I've done below.