When you find out you’re “expecting” there are so many decisions to make. Will you find out the gender before birth? What names do you like? What items do you have and what items do you need? And, perhaps most importantly, who will deliver the baby? For most women, this means choosing between an obstetrician-gynecologist and a midwife.
There’s no right or wrong answer. Every pregnancy is different, every woman is different and every woman has a different idea about their ideal birth experience and needs to make the decision that’s right for them.
An obstetrician-gynecologist (OBGYN) manages medical complications throughout pregnancy and birth. If you have certain complications that make your pregnancy high-risk, an OBGYN will be equipped to guide you through the pregnancy and delivery, and will be able to perform a cesarean section, if needed. IHA has many trusted OBGYNs in the greater Ann Arbor area.
An OBGYN isn’t your only option, though. A certified nurse midwife (CNM) is a registered nurse who has graduate-level training in midwifery and is certified by the American College of Nurse-Midwives. IHA Nurse Midwives, who have office hours at the new Domino’s Farms building and attend births at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor, are trained to handle all aspects of prenatal care, labor and delivery for low-risk pregnancies. CNMs are trained to recognize potential complications during pregnancy and birth, like the need for a cesarean section, for example. In this case, your CNM will consult with the IHA obstetrician that is readily available on the Labor and Delivery unit.
Additionally, CNMs provide care for the well-woman including family planning, contraception, annual exams and problem gynecological visits. CNMs favor a holistic, family-centered approach to pregnancy and birth with a focus on education, support and intervening in the process only when necessary.
While you’re interviewing and considering practitioners, don’t hesitate to ask specific questions about their approach to prenatal care, labor and birth, protocols for complications and anything else that may help you make your decision. The more information you gather, the better you’ll be able to choose the right provider for you and your family.
If you’re interested in learning more about IHA Nurse Midwives, please join us for a midwife-guided tour of the hospital birthing center on October 16, 2014 from 6:00-7:00pm at St. Joseph Mercy- Ann Arbor, 5301 McAuley Drive (the first floor lobby of the birthing center).