Midwife Vs. Hospital... Which Is Best?

Updated on February 06, 2008
S.H. asks from Keller, TX
8 answers

I'm at the point of needing to make a decision on which birthing route to take. I'm interested in using a midwife and have heard great stories from people who have used them, but am looking for some bases for comparison.

1. What (if any) is the cost difference between the two?
2. Does the midwife do the same sort of tests on the baby as a doctor would? or will I have to go to a pediatrician immediately to get things like shots, tests, etc?
3. I am not comfortable with the thought of someone sticking a needle in my spine and would like some other pain-relieving options -- I know that there are things like a birthing pool to consider. Anyone have experience with anything I should know about or consider?

There are so many options and I really want to make the best decision since this is a once in a lifetime event with no do-overs!

Thanks for your help!

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answers from Dallas on

You need to consider all the these that could go wrong, so my opinion is to give birth at a hospital whether you have a doula or doc. The hospital is more equipped with taking care of you & the baby in an emergency...which could happen to anyone.

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answers from Dallas on

The people I know who've used midwives have still given birth in the hospital with the midwife attending. So it wasn't really a midwife vs hospital situation unless you are interested in using a birthing center or home birth. That would be a different question. I've known women who've done those too and had a good deal of prenatal care before hand as well.

The midwives my friends used did just about all the same tests, etc that the dr's did. They were even in practice with MDs so they are there if needed at the hospital. Re costs... Check with your insurance. Mine covered either a Dr, midwife or birthing center. Not all carriers do and that may affect your choice.


answers from Dallas on


there is so much to consider.pleas me if you have any questions or want to talk further.
first baby: was induced hated it was only 2 days overdue.
wanted to natural no medecine birth but the pain from induction was too much so took a epidural at 8 cms...
but had a normal birth
2nd baby:changed doctor went to doctor cummings in Denton( very natural birthing doctor) hired a doula and stayed home the entire labor and when to the hospital and had a baby 1 hr after arrivig at the hospital.
it was great experience stayed home and was very comfortable.no medication at all.felt great
I wanted a water birth but just had no time for it.
I went with a doctor/hospital mainly because my husband was so comfortable with midwife and home birth and my insurance would not cover it.i paid just 100$ for my hospital birth.

we can dicuss more details if you PM me
I would say trust your body and midwwife is a great option if i would do it again i would do a home birth with a midwife
good luck



answers from Dallas on

honestly it is a very personal choice and well, sometimes MEDICAL...I don't think there is an encompassing BEST. I think there is a best for you... and only you and your husband/significant other can make that decision.
I was 40 when I finally delivered my first baby... and there was NO doubt I'd be in a hospital...

However, there are lots of sites about doula's, natural childbirth, having babies in tubs at home...
Whatever your decision... GOOD LUCK!



answers from Dallas on

Congratulations! Motherhood is the best thing that will ever happen to you.

I don't know what your reasons are for not wanting an epidural. If it is the pain, I thought that I would share my experience with you. I had an epidural and I didn't feel a thing. In fact, I didn't feel a thing during the entire labor and delivery. I joke with my friends that papercuts hurt more than childbirth. So, my vote is for the hospital. I odn't have experience with a midwife. I've heard great stories from people with midwives as well. My main concern was pain.



answers from Dallas on

Hi S.,

It's great that you are searching for the best care provider for you and your baby!

The cost difference between a midwife and a doctor does depend on where you are delivering. For midwives who care for women out of the hospital (birth centers or homes), the cost tends to be half of what a doctor costs...or even less than half.

As for what midwives can do for you baby: At our birth center (Gentle Beginnings Birth Center) we do a complete exam of each newborn with the mom and dad at our sides and we explain what we are checking and why. You have the option of giving your newborn baby a Vitamin K injection (routinely given to newborns born in a hospital). We don't do vaccinations at our birth center. We also do the Newborn Metabolic Screens as well.

As for pain-relieving options: We use a variety of comfort measures at our birth center since we don't have pain-relieving medications. You're right that a birth pool is a great measure. It's at the top of my list! We also use low-lighting, quiet voices and soft music to keep external stimulation to a minimum as a mom is laboring. Frequent and various position changes are important as well to find what works best for each mom to help her labor progress well. A supportive team of people who stay with you through it all, encouraging you, monitoring you and your baby, helping your husband to know how to support you, and who believe in your ability to birth your baby is crucial. Massage is also great, as well as counter pressure on your lower back and hips as baby moves down helps moms as well. We spend time during your pregnancy preparing a mom and dad for their labor and birth. Our childbirth education classes focus on preparing for an un-medicated birth.

Many midwives, though not all, will often spend 30 minutes to an hour with you at each prenatal appointment, finding out how you're doing, answering questions, discussing nutrition and other important topics to maintain a healthy pregnancy, and of course monitoring your growing belly and checking your baby's heartbeat.

I know that's a long response, but I hope it helps you on your journey for the right care provider and place of birth for you. If you're interested in a free tour and consultation with the midwives at our birth center, feel free to call us at ###-###-#### or ###-###-####.



answers from Dallas on

My first daughter was by C-section, and my son was born via V-Bach. (Vaginal Birth after Cesarean). I had a midwife deliver my son, which scared me to death. She did not put a fetal monitor on the baby, which is a must with a VBACH. The chance of rupturing is higher than normal. I was a good little soldier in the military at the time so I didn't say anything. Thankfully, everything went well, no pain meds, no epidural. Afterwards, I told her I was scared of rupturing while pushing, and she said, I didn't have to worry about that while pushing, only before. Which is so wrong!!! So I would not trust another midwife, they haven't been to medical school, to handle another VBACH. Medical doctor all the way!!! Just because they went to medical school doesn't mean they lack the compassion. Dr. Atkins at MCNT in Arlington is phenomenal. http://www.mcnt.com/AtkinsB.I.htm If I ever decided to have another baby, he would be the one. Dr Johnston, only works as a laborist at Arlington Memorial, so chances are she would deliver your baby, is wonderful. She treats you like you're the only patient she has in the world. I wish she weren't just a laborist, she was a great gyno. :) Good luck. If you don't have any health problems, no risks to the baby, then try a midwife, but I wouldn't recommend it personally. It would be scary if something went wrong.



answers from Dallas on

Hi S.,

I used a midwife (CNM) and gave birth in a hospital. I also hired a Doula to be with me....BEST money ever spent!! I would never give birth again without a Doula!!

If you are wanting to consider other pain management options, you should take a natural birthing class. The one I took was 6 weeks long, one class a week. At each class, we learned a couple of different pain management techniques. In the last class, we tested which ones worked for us while our hands were submerged in ice water....very educational!!

I loved having a midwife...she was there with me pretty much the ENTIRE time I was in labor....not just popping in at the last minute to catch the baby! She was very hands on.

There is a wonderful birthing center in Denton...they could help you find a midwife, childbirth classes, etc: Inanna Birth & Woman's Care, ###-###-####

Good Luck!