Thursday, September 01, 2011

A Midwife Helped Me Out: Prenatal Care

It will hopefully be another 11 weeks or so until this baby is helped "out" out, but I wanted to write a post to all the things I have appreciated so far about my prenatal care with my midwives, especially compared to my experience last time going to a family doctor.
  • Appointments are usually 45+ minutes long and cover a variety of topics including any questions I have. When I say "variety of topics", that includes things like chicken-raising advice, tasty ways to cook with coconut oil (fry your french toast in it!), the logistics of flying with a newborn at Christmas, what's going on in my life, etc. Mostly health or baby related, but not necessarily.
  • Appointments start on time and I don't have to sit in a waiting room with annoying cartoons on, and with people who might be sick. Tobias comes along and plays in the toy room or "helps" measure my belly.
  • They're directly available by phone or e-mail if needed. When I was pregnant with Tobias I had some unexplained abdominal pain (not during office hours, of course) and my choices were to go in to the ER (the ER or OB department understandably can't give any advice over the phone) or wait it out with some extra-strength Tylenol. I haven't had any medical reason to contact them, but Nate did e-mail Lorri asking for a reminder on which Chinese restaurant in Prosser she had recommended during childbirth class. It's the Golden Horse near exit 80, if you're curious! Nate's there right now meeting someone for lunch.
  • Nutrition is really important to them. My blood work showed I was low in Vitamin D and probably iodine, so I'm taking supplements to correct those things as well as some other supplements and vitamins. They also give lots of specific advice on healthy eating and haven't stressed or lectured me about my weight at all. Who knows if these changes are why I haven't experienced any leg cramps, bleeding gums, etc. during this pregnancy!
  • Kristin stopped by my house for a prenatal appointment when she was in my area, which was nice. If everything continues to go well they will both be here at my house for the birth too, and postpartum checkups. I'm looking forward to not taking a 1 week old baby in to the doctor's office for a checkup...I remember Tobias screaming with hunger while I tried to fill out a bunch of paperwork. But I'm getting ahead of myself there, this is supposed to be about prenatal!
  • With many tests and procedures I am presented with the pros/cons and all the options, and then I can decide. For example, since I am at low risk for gestational diabetes, I chose to test my blood sugar with Holly's meter after a meal rather than spending time and money on an official glucose tolerance screening.
  • Thousands of dollars cheaper. I'm guessing the prenatal care and birth will come to $3150. Even if for some reason the baby had to be born in the hospital, I think $3150 is a great deal for such excellent prenatal care.
Doctors' knowledge and experience can be crucial, which is why the Midwives Model of Care includes "identifying and referring women who require obstetrical attention". However, since I am currently very healthy and low risk, I can't imagine going back. Why pay more for less?

1 comment:

Maria said...

There really is no comparison, is there? "can we" and "would you like" vs "we're doing this." No waiting, lots of talking & listening. The woman is in charge, not a "patient."