What to Expect at a Midwife Appointment?

Updated on January 24, 2012
K.H. asks from Fernley, NV
11 answers

I am pregnant with baby #3 and we finally have our first appointment next week! I am so excited but I have never been to a midwife. We chose to see one because I want more personalized care, less needless intervention-I could go on. What is different about seeing a midwife than an ob/gyn? Will I get an ultrasound at my first appointment? Is there anything different about the labs? Do they listen? My last 2 ob's always seemed to be rushed and didn't seem to pay attention to symptoms I was experiencing that could have ended badly(Pre-term labor at 30 weeks with dd after complaining of contraction for weeks.). Thanks for your help! Also I was thinking about trying hypno birthing-has anyone tried it?

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answers from Los Angeles on

Good midwives take a lot of time and really listen to you. They don't do as much intervention but still access labs and ultrasounds. I had my first with midwives and hypnobirthing and just had my first midwife appt for #2!

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answers from Seattle on

I absolutely loved my midwife! I will always have or request midwifes. They are kinder, gentler, and they listen wayyy more than a doctor or OB in my opinion. They seemed like they truly cared about me, my needs and the needs of my baby. Any concern I had, may it be little, or big was addressed and made me feel comfortable and like I was going to be taken care of. They are the best.

I didnt feel embarrassed to ask any questions, or like I would feel stupid for asking, they truly made my pregnancy experience easier.
I have anxiety when going to doctors, but never did whenever I saw my Midwife. I could even call them and they would get back to me quick and answer anything.

And when it came time for the baby to come, they were sweet and made me comfortable, and did their best to stick to my birthing list, and requests.

My first appointment, they saw me, and got to know me, and listened to the heartbeat. But no ultra sound quite yet.

Anyways, I love Midwifes! And congrats on the baby!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

My doctor's office has a nurse midwife on staff and I LOVE her! The practice is very "old fashioned" which is why we liked them to start out with and the fact that they had someone on staff who had actually given birth (unlike the sweet old men) was a huge plus.

Here's what I have observed over the course of both pregnancies:
- She uses less jargon
- Spends more time on how I am feeling physically and emotionally
- Encouraged us to have my son involved in the prenatal appointments when appropriate
- Same labs/ultrasounds because she's part of an OBGYN office, but that may be different if yours is in private practice

She saw me through week 20 with both of my children and then went into "the rotation" for the second half of the pregnancy, so I saw each of the 4 doctors and 1 midwife twice between the 20 week ultrasound and delivery. The quality of care wasn't all that different, but I just felt more comfortable asking her "mommy" questions because she had actually "been there, done that".

We also used a doula for our prenatal classes and that was a great experience! She saw us privately in our home, which was a huge plus because my husband is very shy and reserved, but was comfortable asking her a 100 questions each week over a cup of tea in our living room.

If you were to meet us you wouldn't guess that we are "doula and midwife" people, but when it comes to something that has been morphed from a natural and intuitive process into something to be scheduled and planned... we just wanted to be with folks who understood that childbirth doesn't have to be so overly planned! I highly recommend using a midwife as long as you aren't high-risk and as long as she is affiliated with a medical practice just in case!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

They do listen more. Most don't do ultrasounds themselves but send you out for them, will only do them for dating purposes and 20 week if you want it. I'd worry that you may be high risk because of the history of preterm labor but if you're headed that way they will transfer you when the time comes. For that reason, I would go with a CNM (certified nurse midwife). Good luck!



answers from Los Angeles on

Oh, you probably won't have an ultrasound at your first appointment! And that's a good thing! Ultrasounds really aren't very good for babies at all,so unless it's a medical necessity, like something's going wrong, they usually don't do it.

It's amazing being with midwives. The appointments are longer, they really listen, you don't have to defend your body integrity with them. They really respect the birth process and they respect you as a person. It's amazing.

For the birth, I did hypnobabies, and I definitely recommend it over hypnobirthing. It's much more comprehensive from what I have seen.

Good luck!



answers from Pocatello on

You will get more personalized hands on care. Your midwife will LISTEN to you.... sometimes that is how they get the best information. Just talking will allow her time to see/hear how you are day to day, what you are eating, are you dehydrated, low on energy, getting enough sleep, emotionally stable, etc, etc. She can multitask and will learn all this whilst doing the regular exam: pee, measure, feel the baby, listen to heartbeat, all that. Your midwife will get to know YOU and your family, how your relationship is with yuour husband and those around you, what are the stresses in your life. It's AMAZING. So, when the time comes to birth she will know just what you need.
Hypnobirthing is a wonderful thing. I have many friends and clients that have used it (I work as a doula), but I have never done it myself. A lot of women find that it helps tremendously to prepare prenatally and then they only "kinda" use it during the birth but that it still made a significant difference.



answers from Seattle on

I was high risk.... so I went through a high risk group (team of OBs & CN Midwives).

Urine test at the beginning of every apt. 30-45 minute appt slots. They had an ultrasound and lab in office (no extra appts needed). Lots of talking, testing, and education. Because there were 4 CNMs (any of whom could be on call for the birth) they rotated apts. so I got to meet/ get familiar with all of them. GREAT people. The surgeons would occasionally pop their head in and say hello, or to tease me about something, so I'd be familiar with them as well. It was just a tremendous experience. LOVE that office.



answers from Honolulu on

I used a midwife for my 2nd delivery and it was a HUGE difference from the "foot out the door" experience I had with my OB. My appt's were "self-led" meaning I decided when it was over. Also, every appt I would weigh myself and check my own urine levels. They allowed me to be part of the process instead of just a "patient."

My midwife really did listen. She would have me talk about my day, how I'm feeling, etc and often times I would mention something that I didn't even think pertained to my pregnancy but she'd catch on to it and ask me to elaborate. Sometimes the little details that I had time to discuss were the important ones.

No hypnobirthing for me though, I wish I had though! Good luck!


answers from Dayton on

Congrats! My first appt. for #3 is next week too. :)
I have seen 2 different groups of midwives w/ my other kids. (Returning to who delivered #2.)
They are a pretty busy office (unfortunately). But my only real option apart from a all OB practice.
W/ both my kids my first appt. included a pap. : /
Doppler heartbeart check.
Medical history.
Only 1 ultrasound-offered at 20 weeks.

They do listen to a degree. But I am not silly enough to think they really remember what I say.
My big sticking point this time (and I am going to lose it if they don't listen) is that I will not give birth lying on my back. My 2nd birth was a waterbirth and they still made me stay on my back.

I went to a OB to resolve some problems after a miscarriage (when I fired the first group of midwives).
She was actually really good at listening. But way too medically minded for me to stick w/.

I am sure there are some truly awesome midwives out there. I have not really met them yet-probably never will.
Remember that their hands are kinda tied-they have to stick to the same protocol that OB's do. (Unless you're homebirthing.)

I don't say that to discourage you! Just for you to keep in mind.
I was so hopeful when I was young and pregnant for the first time. And my midwife totally left me in the lurch come judgement day.

2nd time was a better all round experience-but I never thought they would confine my movements in the birth tub.

I did not do hypno birthing, but I did take Bradley classes w/ my 1st and those were very helpful.

HTH! Sorry to ramble on so long.
Wishing you a great appt.!



answers from Los Angeles on

I had midwives for both of my pregnancies and could not say anything but the best regarding my experiences. The lab work is the same as midwives are required to provide complete health oversight. I also saw a traditional OB/GYN who was a contracted back-up to the midwife and the organization that she was affiliated with and while he was himself very kind, the viewpoint was less individually driven and more comparatively driven. It was alwasy evident that his office was on a tight schedule and while he was thorough and personable, it was more as you might expect in such an environement. The midwife, on the other hand, was able to schedule the time that really made each appointment feel centered and, being far more naturopathically inclined, we were able to discuss any issues from that perspective rather than from a conventional/western view. I wish you a fabulous pregnancy and hope that your experience is just as fabulous as both of mine were. If so, you will most likely find that you have welcomed one extra person into your family, that person being your midwife. Mazel!!



answers from Las Vegas on

I had a midwife with all 4 of mine, she was really nice, listened and talk to me like a caring mother would. she was always there for me, no matter what it was. she came to my home and did what she needed to do and it was the best experience I ever had. wouldn't change it for nothing. we even stayed in contact after the my kids were born. they will have you do some lab work if necessary. they do have hospitals they stay in contact with just in case of an emergency. so many things different than having your baby in the hospital. cheaper and more relaxed when giving birth at home. not alot of strange people handling your baby, not loud and noisy, it's more quiet and peaceful and calming feeling at home.I hope you enjoy it like I did with all 4 of mine.:);) Dee

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