Looking at the difference between midwife and obgyn care and which is right for you
You find out you are pregnant. Now what? The first step is to locate a practitioner who specializes in prenatal care. When it comes time to choose a provider who will guide you and partner with you through your pregnancy and birth, it is important to feel comfortable and confident with your choice. You should know the difference between midwife and obgyn care before you start making calls. We will discuss them here.
Dr. Lona Sasser and Dr. Mary Squire-De Leon are highly skilled, compassionate gynecologists in Coral Springs, Florida, who offer an array of comprehensive services for patients of all ages.
The difference between midwife and obgyn care
Let’s start with the similarities. Both midwives and obstetrician-gynecologists want to see the very best outcome for your pregnancy and birth. And both are medically trained in prenatal care, labor and delivery, as well as other reproductive healthcare.
Before choosing which provider is the best fit for you, you should know the difference between midwife and obgyn care. Let’s look more closely at each of these fields.
What is a midwife?
Midwives aren’t medical doctors, but most have attended a rigorous accredited training program. Most have been certified by the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) or the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM). Sometimes you can find a provider certified by both.
There are certified nurse midwives (CNMs) and direct-entry midwives (DEMs). A direct-entry midwife enters directly into the field without becoming a nurse first. CNMs are more common. Both may practice and be licensed in the state of Florida.
In general, midwives focus on reducing a pregnant person’s reliance on medical interventions
unless absolutely necessary. They generally rely on natural methods of pain reduction during labor, and are unlikely to recommend a c-section unless there is a medical need.
But an obgyn might take a similar approach. It’s important to talk to your care provider about their beliefs and practices and to share your own philosophy and expectations with them.
What is an obgyn?
Obgyns are medical doctors who are trained to perform surgeries, including C-sections. They are also trained to manage pregnancy-related complications with medical interventions. Some pursue additional training in areas such as infertility or fetal medicine.
Obgyns must meet the requirements of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG). These include graduating from an accredited medical school and completing 4 years of residency covering gynecology, obstetrics, and related care.
If you already have a relationship with an obgyn who you see for non-pregnancy related care, it might make sense for you to stick with that provider through to delivery. Also, if you have pre-existing medical conditions or a high-risk pregnancy, an obgyn may be the best choice for your prenatal care and delivery.
What’s right for you?
When you are pregnant and ready to deliver your baby, you have more choices than you may realize. From the provider you work with to where you give birth: at home, a birthing center, or a hospital, and whether you want to use a tub, a ball, a bed, or other labor support, the options are plentiful and up to you.
Certified midwives will often work with a labor and delivery team that can include an obgyn. So if you are interested in working with a team that includes both, it can be an option. If you choose a midwife and certain complications arise, you are likely to find yourself working with both a midwife and an obgyn for delivery, such as in the case of a c-section.
The most important difference between midwife and obgyn care for you is dependant on your unique needs and philosophies.
Comprehensive, compassionate care
At Dr. Lona Sasser Obstetrics & Gynecology, we are here to support you from conception to birth, from adolescence to menopause, and beyond.