"Midwife or doctor?" I remember this question when I set up my first prenatal appointment and I immediately bought into a specific stigma and sad, sadly, "Who would use a midwife? I definitely want a doctor." Boy, was I wrong. There are plenty of instances when doctors are more beneficial, don't get me wrong. However, there are other situations, however, were having a midwife by your side is beneficial. As a woman who used a midwife instead of a doctor, and knowing that the stigma I bought into is, unfortunately, still at play, I hear many rude and sometimes even inaccurate things about midwives that people need to stop saying.
Personally, I was skeptical about using a midwife, at first. Actually, if we're being completely honest, I didn't even know midwives still existed. As a history major, I knew they were the norm prior to hospital care and modern medicine, but I had no idea that the practice was still around. Close to the end of my pregnancy, however, I began having issues that my doctor waved off as "norma." To me, it did not feel normal, and I definitely didn't appreciate having my concerns completely dismissed. My gut instinct was screaming at me I knew it was worth paying attention to. Thankfully, it was my midwife who caught the problem (that was very real) and possibly saved my baby.
The stigmas surrounding midwives shouldn't be ignored. Instead, they should be combatted and put to rest. Each woman should feel free and comfortable to choose the person with whom she feels more comfortable, regardless of whether it ends up being a midwife or a doctor. In the end, there are so many factors that play into who a pregnant woman, eventually, chooses to assist her throughout her pregnancy, labor and delivery. Some of it has to do with the individual's knowledge and training or schooling; some of it has to do with how well you get along and understand each other and how comfortable you feel communicating with one another. Either way, if you come across a woman who chose to work with a midwife, please stop (or just don't start) saying the following things: