Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Washington state
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I just finished a great book called Giving Birth (by Catherine Taylor I believe). It really outlines the differences between different types of midwives. Check it out at your local library.
I had a CNM (certified nurse midwife) with dd1 (born in hospital). If you are in a hospital, you will have a CNM or a doctor. All CNMs (at least where I live) live under the hospital/doctor rules. It is better (IMO) than having a doctor but some things are the same (short prenatal appointments, still use a fair amount of technology, etc.) We had a good birth and I was happy.
Our second daughter was born in a freestanding birth center with a certified midwife (not nurse midwife). This was so wonderful - I cannot describe though I will try. Hour prenatal appointments, she actually cared about me as a person, not just my belly. Connected on a much more personal level but with just as much (if not more) professionalism and health care info. With her, you could deliver at the birth center or at home.
This pregnancy (#3) we are using the same certified midwife but are delivering at home. I would suggest looking into certified midwives (have gone through midwifery school but not necessarily nursing school). This originally bothered me but only due to society teaching us that we must have a doctor to be "safe". So not true! I was much safer, more informed, better cared for (in every way) out of hospital than in. Even dh (who is very mainstream) agreed we would not go back to the hospital again (after our great birth #2).
Good luck deciding. I would try meeting with a few midwives and see who you click with.