Pregnancy Questions: Midwife or Doctor

When I went to my last prenatal appointment I was told I needed to make a decision by my next visit. Doctor or Midwife.

In the past I didn’t think twice and went with a midwife from the first visit. I love that midwives stay with you from the moment you walk into the hospital to the moment you walk out. When I was in labor with Johnny I wanted the 20+ people in the room out and didn’t know how to speak up without hurting anyone’s feelings. I was tired, in pain, and just needed to be left alone. My midwife sensed this. She asked everyone to leave so she could check me and it was a perfect way to not bring everyone back in. I know Dr.’s only come in for the main event and that’s about it.

But this pregnancy is different. I’m not walking in with a perfect history. Johnny’s birth was impressive I’ve been told. From the moment I walked in to the hospital to the moment he was out was less then three hours. It was an easy delivery with only one crazy moment where he got stuck and almost needed an emergency c-section because his heart rate was dropping. My midwife kept me calm got me to give one more push and there he was. I didn’t even tear. I jumped from the bed to the shower.

Gavin was a different story. He didn’t want to flip. He was stubborn already.

I was petrified of having a breach baby and signed up for the version in hopes to turn him. NO WAY. Don’t let anyone EVER talk you into that. That was the most pain I have felt in my lifetime. It didn’t work. I was told I needed to switch to a Dr. I was going to need a C-section. I wanted to cry. I was so scared.

Day of the delivery I was stupid enough to let the fool me into thinking that after I was drugged for the c-section I should try the version again Drugs or not. It was excruciating. I was having a c-section.


This brings me to where I am today. I was told I make a great candidate for a Vbac. It will be considered a high risk delivery but hopefully problem free. I need to plan for a regular delivery but be prepared for a c-section. A midwife cannot do both.

Another dilemma?
My office doesn’t have midwives anymore. If I chose a midwife I have to leave my practice until after the birth. This means I also don’t know where we’d stand financially. I don’t know what to do.


  1. I think that you should go with a doctor this time. I loved my midwife but since you already had a section, you are trying for a VBAC with possibility of a section I would be more comfortable knowing that my doctor can do both if absolutely necessary. The nurses can remove anyone from your room you want, you can let them know that you want so and so in for the entire thing and no one else, or no one else from a certain point on.

    If you switch to the midwife you won’t know the doctor if you need a section? I don’t think when I am putting my life and my baby’s life in someones hands I would want it to be a stranger.

    You are a very smart momma and will do what is right for you and your baby in the end I am sure of that.

    • Jennifer says

      I don’t know the Dr’s wither. The person I see is a midwife who no longer delivers. She didn’t want to leave the practice when the midwives all went to their own practice. I don’t like one of the Dr’s. they messed up on Gavin and required him to have a surgery at 12 months old that required 25 stitches. I was told I can’t refuse her if I stay with the practice.

  2. Hugs Jennifer!
    Go with your gut. I believe you are capable of having another fast and worry free birth. Every single birth is totally different. I bet you could have a beautiful home birth! But do what is best for you – financially and emotionally. I know you will be reading every living paper ever written about VBACS – you are so thorough. So I bet if you hired a midwife you would have an amazing birth. And on the flipside if financially you have to go with an OB/GYN you will be educated and vocal and not let them do what they want, you will have the birth YOU want. Get a doula, they are worth every penny.


  3. I know it’s a complicated decision and to be honest, my first pregnancy was O/B, second was mid-wife. I didn’t feel encouraged by my mid-wife when it was delivery time. They were too busy honestly holding conversation with menopause with a nurse and did not check me, pushing more drugs through the epidural.
    My O/B was FULL of words of encouragement for me and did not let me get discouraged.

  4. Andrea says

    I may not be the best person to answer this because I have never used a midwife. However, I had two very complicated births (both pre-term) and I am so glad that I was with an OB and in a hospital specialized in high-risk births.

    With the history you have mentioned I think you would be better off to see an OB rather than a midwife. If you do go for the VBAC but have problems and need a c-section it will be much better to have an OB you are familiar with be able to deliver the baby. If you go with a midwife and have problems you will end up having to use an OB who you possibly will not know and they may not know your history either. That’s just my 2 cents and I wish you all the best with whatever you choose!

  5. Amanda S-K says

    Get a doula, and if you can’t afford one, try to ask if students are available. A lot of times students are just as good and are willing to do it for free or the cost of parking or reduced, (a very reduced rate) They need the hours. I delivered at BIDMC for my first, biggest mistake ever. Brigham’s very VBAC friendly. I don’t know if it be worth it to drive up to Boston for you, but if it is, I can give you my doctors name. I really liked her, and even though I had to have a repeat c-section, she made it a good experience. My repeat was for medical issues though (high blood pressure and protean in my urine)

  6. A vbac can be tricky – and you need to be in the safest position possible for delivery. Midwife might have been the way to go before, but a high risk is a high risk…and you don’t just want the on-call doctor to come walking in not knowing anything about your situation. I would highly recommend a doctor and maybe get a Douala in there with you for support.


  7. Wow tough call. I had a midwife with my son and an OB with my daughter only because my midwife moved far away and she was the only one on my insurance. My pregnancies weren’t high risk though.

    Personally, I’d rather spend the time getting to know a single practicioner who can meet all my potential needs so I would probably go for the OB if it was me.

    Good luck!!

  8. Kelly says

    I say go with the doctor based on your history. I have the utmost respect for midwives and think they work for a lot of people, but not everyone and for every situation. Do what feels right to you but there’s no guarantee you’ll have a VBAC and it’d be nice to be prepared with a doctor you can trust.

  9. I am by no means an expert because all through my pregnancies I had an ob and no complications. My suggestion though because it is VBAC would be to go with the OB.

  10. jeleighbean says

    I’d research other OB/GYN practices in your area/insurance coverage. The office I used for both my pregnancies had midwives and 2 Drs. I mostly saw the midwife, but I did also have the option to see either Dr. for any appointment, so it helped in getting to know him just in case he would have to be used. I saw both and chose the one I was most comfortable with to oversee my care if anything happened (with pregnancy #2 I was high risk). He did end up doing my c-section, which was a bit of a bummer, I wanted my same midwife to be there, but as I said I had met him and used him for prenatal and GYN care in between pregnancies, so I was still comfortable with him. It sounds like (from what you posted) that you aren’t too comfortable or excited about either provider, and imo, that is no fun during pregnancy. It is a long road and you need to feel comfortable in that aspect at all times.

  11. As a nurse, I would say with a VBAC go with an MD. Midwives are AWESOME, but VBACs can be very complicated.

  12. Midwives are underrated (after all, they delivered babies for thousands of years before men took over the field), but someone with extensive medical training and experience is best in any labor with possible complications, so maybe a female doctor who had bedside manner and sympathy akin to midwives?

  13. erin says

    I don’t know why obgyns get a bad rep compared to midwives. My obgyn was awesome. She delivered both my kids, both my nephews and one niece. She is sensitive, understanding and listened to me. I think partially because she was a woman who was herself on her third pregnancy – due the month after me. I loved her. In fact, my SIL had complications and had to switch mid-pregnancy from the midwife TO my obgyn and she loved her too. And the difference is, the midwife was unable to handle the complication but the obgyn can help from day 1 to delivery.

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