Birth can be unpredictable, surprising and mysterious. There is not much that you actually have control over when it comes to the way your labor will unfold. There are plenty of elements of birth that you "just have to wait and see". However, there is two areas that you do have some control over: Your Birthplace and Care Provider. let's take a look at what your options are in the Denver metro area when it comes to deciding with whom and where to give birth. It is very important to take your time, do your research and choose a birthplace and care provider that aligns with your vision for birth.
Part One: Your Care Provider
So... what ARE your options for care providers in the Denver Metro area?
Here in Denver, you've got three choices when it comes to giving birth: a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM), a Registered Midwife, (also known as a homebirth midwife), or an OB/GYN. Which one is right for you?
Certified Nurse Midwife,
CNM's are midwives who attend births in a hospital, birth center, or home. A CNM has a nursing degree and has completed a graduate nurse-midwifery program. CNM's are trained in the normal, physiological aspects of pregnancy, labor, and birth. In a hospital setting, CNMs have access to interventions, such as drugs for pain relief. They support VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean), and work in collaboration with Obstetricians if a pregnancy becomes "high risk". A CNM is trained in and follows the midwifery model of care. A CNM might be right for you if you: are low-risk, desire a vaginal birth, may or may not want medicated pain relief, desire a holistic approach to maternity and postpartum care. Find out more at the American College of Nurse Midwives- Colorado Affiliate.
A Registered Midwife is trained exclusively in midwifery through academics and apprenticeship, by direct-entry. These "Direct Entry" midwives, are the only midwives licensed to attend births at home in the state of Colorado. Registered Midwives focus on nutritional counseling, comprehensive prenatal care, emotional needs, and education through out your prenatal period. They work with "low-risk" mothers, and are trained in the normal, physiological aspects of pregnancy, labor and birth. They consult with or refer to doctors when medically necessary. A Registered Midwife is also trained in and follows the midwifery model of care. A Registerd Midwife might be right for you if you: are low-risk, desire an un-medicated birth, find comfort and safety in your own home, or desire a holistic approach to maternity and postpartum care. Find out more about Registered Midwives at The Colorado Midwives Association.
An OB is a physician who has completed medical school and specialized in obstetrics and gynocology. Choosing an OB means you will give birth in a hospital setting. Obstetricians are typically trained by the medical model of care, focusing on preventing, diagnosing, and treating the complications that can occur during pregnancy, labor, and birth. OB's utilize strategies such as testing along with medical or surgical interventions to prevent undesirable outcomes. An Obstetrician might be right for you if you: are high-risk, desire an epidural or other medicated pain relief, or would feel more at ease or safer in a hospital.
Other things to consider when choosing your care provider.
1. Are you able to choose, or is there some reason why you might be locked into a certain provider?
2. Where would you feel most secure when giving birth?
3. How do you imagine you'll cope with the pain and intensity of birth?
4. Will you have a doula at your birth?
5. Do you want an epidural?
6. Are you healthy and low-risk?
7.Have you experienced any complications during your pregnancy?
Finding a care provider who is just right for you can take some time. In fact, you might feel good about one person at the beginning, but the more you learn about yourself and your desires for birth, that may change. It is more than okay to find a care provider who truly meets your needs, even if it means switching in the 3rd trimester! Remember, this is YOUR baby, YOUR birth, and YOUR body.
If you would like to talk more about what is right for you, please set up a free 20-min phone consultation with me. I would be happy to help you sort through all of this!