Cool! Well, I might as well answer my own survey...
I am seeing a 2-midwife HB practice in the US, first baby. I just had my first "real" prenatal appointment last week @ 11 weeks, but have actually seen them a total of 4 times for things related to my first pregnancy, an "early" (~8-10 week) loss that completed only 6 weeks before I conceived again... so I can kinda answer most of these questions.
0 minutes for most appointments, as they come to my home. In the late 2nd/early 3rd tri, they coordinate "group" visits that are longer and involve the handful of other moms who are due around the same time you are. Those are held at one of the MW's houses, but I've been there and it's only 7-8 minutes from my house.
-Wait time before appointment
-Time with assistants/nurses/etc.
0 minutes. Though their apprentice will be attending many of the appointments, she won't be leading or doing anything without a MW right there.
-Time waiting in exam room/etc.
-Time actually spent with OB or MW
It should be about an hour for most appointments, though longer for the "group" appointments.
-Also, was your first appointment/intake significantly longer? How long was it?
2 hours. All but 5 minutes of which consisted of me asking questions and talking about me and DH... My favorite subject.
I'm not terribly surprised, of course, that OBs spend less time with people than MWs. But the disparity is still pretty shocking! And an hour and a half waiting in the exam room? Ay naku!/Oy vey!
Another part of why I asked was to confirm that I made the right decision (financially) by going with my current practice. My only other reasonable choice for a HB would be a much larger practice-- and though they do HBs, I would have to commute 1-2 hours round trip (depending on traffic) to their birth center for all but one of my appointments. Plus, given how much larger and busier that practice is, I'd have to imagine I'd be spending at least some time in their waiting room, etc. It's true that they are somewhat cheaper than my current MWs because my insurance would cover them more fully, but since I work from home running a sales-based business, and it's easy for me to literally value my time in $$, I think it at least evens out in opportunity cost/work missed. Even if my MWs are super-late, need to reschedule because of a birth, etc., it's little to no skin off my back, as I literally go from working on my computer to being at a MW appointment at the ring of my doorbell.
...plus, very little gas money spent! And easier for DH to be at the appointments as well.
(But no wonder my MWs, while "comfortable," probably make 20 cents on the local OB dollar-- even with almost no overhead and barely needing "office staff." They clearly can't take near as many patients!)
Edited by buko - 8/14/12 at 2:35pm