Midwife or Doctor? It is always interesting to see how a pregnant woman goes about choosing a caregiver. Many don’t even ‘shop around’ or know that all women have choices. Some important points to consider:
- Doctors treat illness and disease.
- They are attracted to study medicine because they are interested in diagnosing and fixing problems – a worthwhile profession
- Looking after a woman with a normal pregnancy holds no interest because there is nothing to diagnose or fix (understandable from their point of view)
- It becomes interesting, only if there is a ‘rare’ foetal or maternal problem
- Most are male
- Midwives specialise in looking after normal pregnancies, normal labour, birthing and post-natally
- Midwives are specifically trained in the ‘normal’ and recognising the abnormal
- Midwives look after a pregnant woman’s physical, social and emotional needs
- Midwives specialise in supporting normal birth and respecting a woman’s right to do it in her own way, without interference
- Most are women
An obstetrician that I used to work with told me he couldn’t just ‘sit around’ in a labour as he felt he was being paid to ‘do something’! I think this is a very common thought, if not consciously then certainly sub-consciously.
I do get to see many women, who, for whatever reason have chosen an obstetrician, believing that the private hospital and him will ‘allow’ her to do exactly as she chooses. It is a fact that very few women get to have the normal and beautiful birthing experience they want in this system. It is not the philosophy of the private system to promote normal birth. Why would they? They run a business and there is no money to be made in a woman birthing normally, without using medical intervention.
So choose wisely. You are making this decision on behalf of your baby. Purchasing the ‘Birth Right’ book will give you a great insight in how to shop around, what questions to ask and what answers you should be getting. You only have to look at the difference in medical intervention rates between public and private hospitals to help you make this decision. What problems do you have in choosing?