Choices in Childbirth: Stories From Real Mamas

To finish out our week of choices in care providers, I did a little mini-survey amongst moms on Facebook. I asked the following questions:

  1.  Midwife or OBGYN- how did you decide?
  2. What did you look for in a care provider?
  3. If you have had your baby- are you happy with your decision and would you change anything next time regarding your care provider?

I got some really wonderful and interesting feedback, and I want to publicly thank each of the moms who responded so candidly. Know that your experiences WILL help others!

Sometimes it’s hard to know what choices to make. Sometimes it’s a roll of the dice. Especially in areas of the country where there aren’t a lot of choices. We get that. I hope these women’s stories help- and remember- there are good and bad hospitals as well as good and bad birthing centers and midwives. Some of these stories are scary, but in some areas of the country- that’s what birth is like. Not everywhere, thank goodness! And, as always, if you have questions or need resources, contact us!


I looked into midwife-obgyn practices at hospitals, but I wasn’t sure about the ob/gyns and my good friend had a bad experience with one of the midwives so ultimately I went with a low intervention obgyn-only practice. I looked at C section rates, asked about episiotomy, vbac rates (even though this is my first baby), etc. I looked at online reviews too. I also had a choice between three hospitals and selected the one with the best low intervention options, great birth classes, lots of laboring flexibility ( showers, food, drink, movement OK). I was really happy with my experience.


I didn’t really choose my provider I used what was covered by my insurance. I would LOVE to use a midwife but have a hard time justifying $1500 vs $5000. I had a c-section for my first, and my OB is supportive of VBACs, so I am using them again.


 I felt that a midwife would let my body do what it was designed to do. After doing a lot of research, I was sold on the idea that an OBGYN would interfere with my body’s natural plan and makeup. I didn’t want an intervention!!! I also went through a very hard time emotionally. My partner bailed on me and the baby when I was approx 15 weeks pregnant. I never felt an OBGYN could meet my emotional needs. A midwife was a person to me and OB was just a Dr. I needed emotional support form someone who wasn’t going to be cold and sterile.

OBGYN- I’ve been with this group since I moved to Austin (15 years) and I feel extremely comfortable with them and the care I’ve been given.  I did switch OB’s from my first to my second child within the practice.

I wanted a care provider that gave me all of the options, but ultimately gave me the opportunity to participate in my care decisions.  I also didn’t want to feel pressured to receive care that I wasn’t comfortable with (ie inductions etc.)

I would not change my decision.  I switched OB’s after my first child because I felt pressured to induce early by my original OB.  Fortunately, my husband and I went with our guts and chose not to induce and my child came on his own a few days later.  I did not feel this same pressure from the OB I chose for my last two pregnancies.  I also switched because my first OB did not make it to many of my appointments that I had scheduled with her and never offered a reschedule when she couldn’t make it.  Again, it was the polar opposite with my new OB.


My decision to use a midwife was pretty much decided for me, since I wanted a home birth.  But I couldn’t have been more happy with my decision to use a midwife. I had three recommendations from three very trusted friends, and interviewed three midwives.  I think they all would have been great, but I felt a real sense of peace and very at ease with one provider in particular, and so ultimately that impacted my decision the most.

I had a very traumatic experience with my first. Nurses who knew nothing about me, continuous monitoring that I did not want, no one talked to me, nurse forced drugs (Magnesium Sulfate was horrible) on me I didn’t need, it snowballed into a shitshow of intervention (epidural, epinephrine, pitocin, oxygen, anti-nausea meds, etc) that I did not need. Even the on-call doc who finally delivered my baby said I didn’t need any of it. I felt like the hospital environment, doctors and nurses did what was in *their* best interest, not mine, trying to control the labor, timing and forced meds on me mostly to protect their own liability, not because it was in my best interest. They were also non-existent in the room except when they needed to dose me with something. They insisted I didn’t eat and my low blood sugar made me so sick and week. The doc vacuumed him out without asking, I ended up with a 3rd degree tear (miserable!), he ended up getting sent off to a NICU 2 hrs away for slightly low O2 levels, which he probably would have been fine if they had let labor progress naturally. I didn’t see him for over 24 hrs and I was a trainwreck. Oh and all that cost us $20k. I knew in my heart it didn’t have to happen that way so I sought a different approach for #2.


My second was all natural at a birth center with midwives, right next to a hospital if anything went wrong. It was how birth should be. Patient. Supportive. Following my lead. I was able to walk around, EAT, lay down, get in a tub, change positions. The midwifes helped oil my perineum to minimize tearing (which I didn’t have a perineum tear this time, just a tiny labia tear), they let me do what I want, hold the baby for hours immediately after, didn’t cut the chord right away… It was such a positive experience. And recovery was so much easier. I also think it helped my baby be incredibly easy and relaxed. She arrived naturally and was with me, on my chest the entire time following. I was happy. She was happy. It was so joyous.

We had just moved to a new city 6 weeks before my baby was born. So, naturally, I had to switch providers. I had just finished nursing school so I trusted the opinions of nurses so I just decided to go down to the hospital in my new town and ask the OB nurses who they would recommend. Hands down, they all highly recommended the only certified nurse midwife (CNM) in town! They said she was so supportive of whatever you wanted to do. So that’s who I went with and was absolutely THRILLED with choosing her!! She attended the births of my first two children and was totally supportive of my choice to get an epidural both times. When my next three came along, in different cities, I had no doubts in choosing CNM’s again. I chose natural/med-free births with my last three and was supported wholeheartedly by my midwives with that choice as well.


I am also grateful for good OBGYN’s as well; my fourth birth was actually attended by an awesome OB (saw mostly CNM’s through the pregnancy but all the midwives were busy that night…full moon … and I was somewhat high risk with that pregnancy) who had a very midwife-like way about her. I was also pretty high risk with my last pregnancy as well and appreciated the expertise of all of the OB’s I consulted with. But I’m grateful I was still able to have the birth attended by my midwife, which was a medically indicated pitocin induced birth where an epidural wasn’t an option even if I wanted one (and thus stupidly intense!!), as she was SOOO supportive and encouraging!! One other thing that solidified my choice to choose midwives was when my BIL, who is a fantastic OBGYN, said that he chose that specialty because he liked and was good at surgery. OBGYN’s, in general, do a lot of surgery and if you need surgery to birth your baby you would want a good surgeon. But I didn’t need a surgeon for my births so a CNM was the better choice for me!


Have a wonderful weekend, and we wish you a very HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!


A. 4 Rounds:

30 sec. Strict Pullups

30 sec. rest

30 sec. Box Jumps or Step ups

30 sec. rest

B. Take an 800m recovery walk

C. 4 Rounds:

30 sec. Burpees or Sprawls

30 sec. rest

30 sec. KB swings

30 sec. rest

D. Finish with an 800m recovery walk and mobility work


  • If the 30 sec. rest isn’t enough, increase the rest time. You want to recover enough to bring your heart rate down so you can be ready for the next round.
  • Use a band for pull-ups if needed. Focus on lat activation. Alter your grip each time.
  • For Part C, BE SMART! This is an intense set of movements. If it’s too much, go slower, do Russian swings, take more rest.

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