Overweight pregnancy and disapointed in my MW. - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 6 Old 03-23-2013, 08:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok, I need to complain a bit. I had my family dr's practice follow me with DD back in 2010/2011 and I had an easy, complication free pregnancy and a good hospital birth. I was induced at 41 weeks (my request as I worried about the placenta's condition) and did have an epidural (my request again, not at ALL pushed on me. Dr just said "if you'd like help with the pain, now is a good time to think about it."). Overall I was very happy although being a first time obese mom, they did refer me to an anestheseologist for a quick assessment (no issues) and an OB to ensure I wasn't in a high risk category. The OB looked me over, read my chart, took my blood pressure and said "so why are you here? I see absolutely no reason why you'd need a specialist." For me these seemed like reasonable precautions at the time since I've never been pregnant, much less birthed before and I was aware that my weight carries additional risks.

When I became pregnant this time, I decided to go with a midwife practice, since I've heard so many wonderful things about midwifery and how they are a lot more relaxed and not so clinical about pregnancy and birth. I figured, great! I'm a good candidate despite my size since I've had a very straight forward easy pregnancy and birth and I've already been assessed by specialists who saw no red flags at all. Well it took weeks on a waiting list to even get picked up by a practice which I can understand. Then when I met the two midwives on my team, I actually felt like the drs were warmer and more friendly last time. I figured, maybe we just didn't click and didn't sweat it. My primary midwife said she has to put me on the "bariatric protocol" involving many US, two GTT and an OB. I figured, fine, whatever. She sent me for my anatomical at 20 weeks instead of 18 (I had no issue with that) but I had to convince her to please let's try the standard baby friendly hospital for the US where I'll be delivering at instead of the research hospital in the same city. My hospital is nearby, I can easily park a few blocks away and feel comfortable there. The research hospital is a nightmare for everything from parking to navigating to perpetual ongoing construction. She consented and I had my US. Everything looked fine but it took a while but baby was being stubborn and the tech wasn't able to get a facial profile pic. She got every other measurement successfully and there were no indications of any issues, baby was simply stubborn and wouldn't get into the position we needed. So I needed a followup US, which is fine. My MW INSISTED this time that it be done at the research hospital though since they have newer/more powerful equipment. I didn't fight it but wasn't happy. I was called in and the tech was confused.
"Are you delivering here?"
"Then why didn't they send you back to St J? I have all their results right here and they got good data, just need an additional image."
"I know, I don't get it either, it's what my MW wanted."
I know it's not a big deal but I feel let down by my MW. The whole reason I switched was to have more relaxed, easier prenatal care without all the additional appointments that proved unnecessary with my first pregnancy anyways. I have a two year old who is really only comfortable staying with my mom (or DH and I) and she works full time. I feel like if my first pregnancy was low risk and no blood test or US is picking up any issues, I don't spill sugar or protein in my urine and my BP is fine then bringing an OB in this time will have the same outcome: "why are you here?" I've already done the GTT at like 14 or 16 weeks and will have to do it again at 28 weeks. She mentioned monthly US... Why?! The anatomical US is done and everything looks good, including placental position. I know US are notoriously inaccurate to gauge growth in the third trimester. Argh. I seriously feel like they took one look at the scale and got their guard up and I'm no longer the patient they want. With my last pregnancy, I had one extra US after the anatomical around week 32 which I'd be happy to do again. I'm honestly starting to regret going with midwifery. I can't switch because everyone is all booked up and I don't want to spend weeks without care. I'm just very disapointed and honestly kind of hope they are both busy on the day I go into labour so I'll have a random on call MW who may not be as anal and defensive about overweight pregnancies.

Thanks for reading if you made it through all that. Can anyone relate?

ETA cross posted in August DDC
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#2 of 6 Old 03-23-2013, 02:25 PM
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I don't have insight into overweight pregnancy precautions, but I can say that I've experienced a similar disappointment with my midwife practice. I think we hear "midwife" and assume a certain sort of person or philosophy, but just like choosing an OB, I think you need to put effort into choosing the right person. I actually think my OB is more down to earth, accessible, and supportive than the midwifery practice I was seeing. Who knew?

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#3 of 6 Old 03-23-2013, 09:04 PM
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I have also had a bad experience with a midwife, and I switched providers (to another MW) at 20 weeks during my pregnancy with DS. I had typed up a long response to give you the full story of how I thought my first MW was micromanaging and over medicalizing my pregnancy (including being too fussy about weight gain, IMO, and giving me grief about my age- at 34, for crying out loud!), but my computer died and wiped it all out!

Anyway, the gist of it is I agree with PP who said, basically, not all midwives are going to have the characteristics you're looking for in a provider. It was stressful to switch later in pregnancy, but I was so glad we did. And honestly I wish I'd been less concerned with upsetting MW1 at the time- I would've changed sooner, but I felt loyal to the provider we'd become established with.

Do you have other options? Maybe you can still look for a better fit?

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#4 of 6 Old 03-24-2013, 02:41 AM
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Do you have CPMs and/or out of hospital midwives in your area? Unfortunately, you may end up having the same issues with a hospital CNM that you did with your OB. 

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#5 of 6 Old 03-24-2013, 05:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for all the support and replies. I'm not comfortable with a home birth and would feel very anxious. I'm confident in my ability to birth but I simply feel safer in the hospital with emergency help right there just in case. In my province MW are run through practices and set up in teams and they basically follow the same routines that a family practitioner follows. I haven't looked into it in depth but they seem to all be CNM. It took me so long to get picked up and there are so few openings that statistically only about half the women who want it are able to get MW care here. I do still want to birth with a midwife since last time I got a random dr who (while very nice) was busy with another labour and I swear the L&D nurse had me pushing but kind of on hold eyesroll.gif At least with a MW I know someone will be with me and ready for birth when my body and baby are ready. I'm not furious enough to go through the hassle of trying to switch now with Easter, my toddler's birthday and other things on my shoulder. I can't deal with the uncertainty of trying to get back on waiting lists, getting my hopes up and doing the initial song and dance to quite possibly end up back here in a month or two with different people but the same issues. I really just needed a place to vent and get my disappointment out since I was expecting a different type of care and outlook. I'm not radically anti-intervention/monitoring but it absolutely blew me away that the drs with my first pregnancy were more relaxed and confident than these midwives are. I can tolerate it and get through it and after baby is six weeks old, I'll never have to deal with them again. Honestly I'm so busy and distracted with my two year old that this is little more than a nuisance. I just feel like the warm, relaxed relationship my friends described having with a MW is something I'm missing out on due to my size since everything else about this pregnancy checks out perfectly. Thanks for reading and responding smile.gif
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#6 of 6 Old 03-24-2013, 07:28 AM
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How stressful!


If you were able to, would you want to switch? I think it is so important to feel 100% comfortable with your provider whether it's a midwife, OBGYN, or family doctor. I have heard of people switching providers at 37 weeks because they were so fed up with how they were being treated. After things calm down in your life (Easter, bdays, etc) maybe just talk to your former provider, if possible and see how they would care for you. Also...is hiring a doula a possibility for you? I know it won't be help during prenatal appts but maybe during labour when you are...ya know Busy! she would be there to make sure your wants and needs are met. 


I had a family doctor for my first pregnancy and this time I am going with a MW. My situation is totally different, I feel good about her and how she is handling things but I think it is unfair for people to assume midwives are just BETTER. Not all doctors are lurking in corners with a scalpel waiting to perform a c-section and not all midwives are practicing a more natural based care. It's unfair and really does not help women at all. I would have had the same doctor this time but she's busy having twins this summer and won't be back in time for my delivery :) This is one aspect of ... I don't know..the natural community or maybe just the internet, where midwives are forced down a person's throat and for some people they just are not the right fit. I'm trying not to step on toe o I hope the point I am trying to make is clear. 


Are you Canada? I see you mentioned your province so I am just curious. I have a friend who lives in Canada and she is also going with a midwife but she often complains that because of the health care system around her, midwifes have to act more as doctors rather than that vision most people have when they hear "midwife".


OKay...I'm kind of rambling now (sorry!). I would suggest maybe talking to her and if it's just not working with her, find another midwife or if possible see your former provider. You deserve the care you desire.

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