Do midwives use ultrasound, and how soon do they see you? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 05-10-2009, 08:06 PM - Thread Starter
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I am newly pregnant and plan to use a midwife this time. I had a bad OB experience in the hospital and would prefer to only use a midwife. However, I don't know how "different" it will be this time. Last time, with an OB, we had an appointment at 7 weeks with an ultrasound to "date" how far along I was, then an NT ultrasound test at 11 weeks.

I guess my real question is -- when will a midwife see me AND how do they "date" the pregnancy. I honestly don't know if I am 4 weeks or 8 weeks!! Do midwifes use ultrasound? In the office? Or do they send you somewhere else?

I can't believe I don't know this!!
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#2 of 7 Old 05-10-2009, 08:18 PM
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with the group i see, two cnm's, if mama and midwife want an ultrasound or anything else outside of their scope it's done through a local ob office.

i'm pretty sure mine start seeing women at 8-10w. not positive as i didn't even call for an appointment until 12w.

the main difference i've noticed between the mw's and ob's i've used is that the mw's are more personal, take more time and are ultimately supportive of a natural pregnancy and birth.

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#3 of 7 Old 05-10-2009, 08:31 PM
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with the midwifery practice i use they offer ultrasound at the 1st appt which is a group appt....they don't use ultrasound alone to date the pregancy they go more by the last period or assumed day of conception if you were charting although the ultrasound tech does confirm that the ultrasound verifies the dates

at each visit they also measure the fundal height to make sure of the dates

the try to schedule that first appt early in the 1st trimaster....i was one of the furthest along at 12 weeks

but i would assume all practices are different some might want to see you right away other might be in less of a hurry

my midwives are in a cnm run birth center and in group practice.... they have the ultrasound tech come to the birthcenter

thye also offer the anatomy scan around 20 weeks...

you might try calling midwives in your area to see what their usual protocols are or posting in the finding your tribe
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#4 of 7 Old 05-10-2009, 08:52 PM
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My midwife only refers for ultrasounds if she feels they are warranted. I've only had them with two, both due to possible postdates with my pregnancies and needing to check their water levels/placentas.

With my first pregnancy we interviewed her around 8 weeks and then had our first prenatal about a month later I think. She usually has me do my first appointment around 12 weeks.

I just started read Your Best Birth by Ricki Lake and Abby Eipstein and it might be something you would be interested in. The sub-title is 'Know All Your Options, Discover the Natural Choices, and Take Back the Birth Experience'. (FYI - There is some in the text so if you are really offended by that you might skip it.)

My midwife dates pregnancies based on LMP, but would refer for an ultrasound if your measurements (fundal height) seemed to be off for your dates, or like me, your baby doesn't seem to be ready for the party by 42 weeks.

Midwives will differ on all this depending on state laws, what type of midwife you are using, where you plan on birthing, etc... My midwife only does homebirths and does not work with doctors directly, but will turn over care to the provider of my choice if needed. I've birthed twice in the hospital with the doctor on call due to a non-emergency transport during labor and a transfer of care prior to onset of labor for an arom induction & NICU care for my baby. Both times my midwife remained with me to act as my doula, but was not allowed to "deliver" the baby because she can't practice in the hospital.

I've never seen an OB for prenatal care, so I really don't know how they work exactly but routine ultrasounds and ve's are not part of midwifery care ime.
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#5 of 7 Old 05-10-2009, 10:20 PM
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Sounds like the consensus here is: it depends! Just call them and ask questions!

With my ds1, my midwife had me come in at 4 or 6 wks because I had a previous m/c. With this one, she had me come in at 11 wks.

I had a 20 wk u/s right in their office for both.

I love love love working with my midwife. I hope you have a great experience!

Christina, Mama to Salvador (3 yr) & Santiago (6 mo)!
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#6 of 7 Old 05-10-2009, 10:28 PM
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Depends on the type of midwife. Are you using a CNM that attends you in the hospital? Or a CNM or CPM at a birth center? Or a CPM at home? Or insert any other type of midwife here?

My CPM has no access to u/s herself, but she can refer someone for one if necessary. She usually sees women at 12 weeks.

A CNM that attends you in the hospital might have access to u/s though. And the birth center midwife may or may not have access to one. They can all refer you though.

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#7 of 7 Old 05-10-2009, 10:31 PM
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I really liked my MW, but I didn't like that everytime I was in there, she wanted to do an US. She was in a practice with 2 "hish risk" OBs, so maybe that made her a bit less "crunchy" than other midwives.

I think they can help date a PG with hormone levels, no?
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