The difference between a doctor's office and a midwife:

Doctor- Fill out multiple forms before first visit, provide insurance and proof of ID (usually a driver's license)
Dinah- She asks me questions in person writing down the answers throughout our visit and expanding on information where necessary

Doctor- Lots of nurses walking around working, no one knows your name unless they are leading to someplace
Dinah- There are two people in her office, both know me beyond just my name

Doctor- Sterile office setting, cold floors, minimal fixtures and furniture
Dinah- The office is in an old house transformed into a business so there's wood floors, home-like furniture intermingled with office furniture. It's always comfortably warm.

Doctor- Nurses check all vital signs before doctor appears for exam and questions
Dinah- Dinah does all the work in an appointment and inquires about everything before checking vital signs like blood pressure, heart rate, weight, protein/glucose test, etc.

Doctor- Payments made at each appointment with insurance taking care of a portion
Dinah- Payments made at each appointment with insurance taking care of a portion at the end

Doctor- Informs patients on each stage of pregnancy and answers any questions
Dinah- Informs patients on each stage of pregnancy, answers any questions, checks diet intake and provides feedback for improvement, inquires about dreams, stress, home life, family history as applicable, recommends exercise and books for further reading

Doctor- You wait 15 minutes to an hour to see the doctor in some busy offices
Dinah- If she's running late, her office will call you to let you know before you arrive

Doctor- Available by appointment only
Dinah- Available by appointment but is flexible in available if needed

Doctor- Usually has blood lab and ultrasound/sonogram machine in office or building
Dinah- Sends blood to outsourced clinic (no extra charge) and schedules you for sonograms at a nearby medical office

Doctor- Prepared for complications
Dinah- Prevents complications but is prepared to transfer care if needed

Doctor- One option: Hospital birth
Dinah- Several options: Hospital birth, home birth, or birth facility. I imagine if a woman was laboring in the car she's meet her there on the street too.

Doctor- Office smells clean and neutral if not slightly like cleaning disinfectant products
Dinah- Office smells like herbs and plants

Doctor- You sit on a tall, cold table with a paper liner
Dinah- You sit on a sofa covered by throw blankets and pillows

Doctor- You're lucky to have a window
Dinah- As many windows as a home, each with curtains to give soft lighting

Doctor- Answer to questions about pain: epidural.
Dinah- Answer to questions about pain: you are strong and capable of handling the natural process of childbirth. Be prepared for what to expect by taking a Bradley Method class, get your partner involved, go to yoga classes if possible, learn to internalize and prepare for contractions

Doctor- Probably drives a vanilla if not upscale car
Dinah- Drives an fuel efficient Honda decorated with bumper stickers like "I 'Heart' My Midwife" "Childbirth is Natural" "The Breast is Best" and "World Peace Begins with Childbirth"

I'm out of ideas and you get the picture. Doctor experience described above is based on my experience with an OB/GYN I saw in the first 5 months of my first pregnancy before switching to Dinah's care.


Maktaaq said...

Ugh! Doctors sound awful!

If I were of the childbearing type - which I am not and would never, ever consider having a child - I would go the midwife way. Anyhow, everyone knows that doctors got their way with childbirth by casting midwives as witches during the Renaissance. I'm glad you're sticking with the midwife - hopefully all will be well and you won't need the doctor.


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