Integrative Obstetrics


Why I went with a midwife/MD co-care practice for my pregnancy.

I went to my first doctor’s appointment excited and eager to experience my pregnancy and all the pitfalls and bliss that it had to offer. After 6 months of trying to conceive (TTC), i was more than ready and willing to face whatever challenges were ahead in the nausea, heartburn, headache, backpain, and sleepless nights departments..  When I arrived for my first visit so excited to share my news (because the only person I had told was my husband), the receptions barley looked up from her computer and I was told to “leave a sample.”

After I figured out it was a sample of urine, not a Costco tater tot, I obliged and sat down to wait to be called in. And I waited, checked my ovia app, read some online blogs and waited, and waited.  45 minutes later I was called into the room. Blood pressure and weight and then more waiting in the room. Then it was my big time. The doctor comes in. I was armed with my questions. He takes 45 seconds to do my exam and pap and then puts his hand on the door handle, like he’s got more important places to be.   He quickly says: “everything looks good, your due date is December 5th”.

I was so taken aback, I didn’t have time to get my questions out and he was gone after 3 minutes. I went home feeling lost. I called a friend who told me about her experience with a midwife. She assured me that midwives have a modern take now. They do sonograms, assist in cesarean deliveries and handle high risk pregnancies.  She told me that at her vist, she waited 10 minutes, had a sonogram and the midwife spent 40 minutes with her at her first visit. It sounded good, but I know I want an epidural for birth and I wanted the security of a doctor. My friend assured me that a midwife provided epidurals too, but what if something happened? what if something went wrong?

I was fortunate. I found a practice that utilized an integrative obstetrics model. The idea that midwives and physicians work together collaboratively to provide the best from both of their individual specialities.  It made it easier for me to choose, because I felt like I didn’t have to. I was getting the security of the doctor and I was getting the personalized attention of a midwife. Also, I liked what each speciality brought to the table. Knowledge of high risk issues and surgery and different techniques for natural birth progression . A practice where I had the option of seeing a midwife or a doctor at my visits. I felt like I was getting the new mom nervousness handled with my midwife, but also felt secure having a doctor involved in the care.

In the end, after 36 hours of labor, and pushing for 3 of those 36, I was able to have the normal delivery that I wanted. Throughout the course of my time in the hospital, both the doctor and the midwife were involved in my care. I felt that I really did get the full service experience with my safety and my baby’s safety completely in mind. The world I kept using over and over again was “held.” I felt held throughout my pregnancy and delivery experience and even thought it didn’t go to plan (does it ever?) I had the vaginal delivery I wanted and a very empowering, exciting, and peaceful birth experience that I am extremely proud of.  I am such a fan of this type of care of people like me, on the fencers. Can’t decide between a doctor and a midwife, maybe we don’t have to anymore.


– Hannah is a mother of two who lives in Bergen County who used Mindful Midwifery & Integrativ

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