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Rethinking Prenatal Care...Your Thoughts?

672 Views 10 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  txgal
What are the real benefits of prenatal appointments? Mainly, I feel like I am going to see if somethings wrong with the baby and I get a little anxious before I go. Wouldn't I know if something was wrong? I guess the hearing an off heartbeat, uterine growth, weight gain could indicate a problem that could be helped? But the baby can't even survive outside of the womb until a certain maybe I could start going in at twenty someting weeks? I could see finding out the position of the baby closer to birth so I could do my best to turn him/her.

I couldn't see myself not having any just what was really necessary. Realistically, I doubt I'd have an option to do way less appts. because my mid-wife has to cover herself legally. Am I the only one reevaluating this?

Edited to say...I hate getting questioned and lectured about my diet, exercise, etc. I suppose some women need this but I sorta resent it.
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I think for me the biggest bennifit of prenatal appts was to get to know my midwife. With my second child, when I went to an appointment, we generally talked for a good 45 minutes in a casual way. She would ask if I had any questions and point out things to think about in case I hadn't. Then she listen to the heartbeat and feel my uterus, but that never took more than 5 minutes. I always left the appointments wondering where the time had gone, and by the time I gave birth I was totally comfortable with her. I think it helped a lot beacuase it felt like having a truly caring friend there to help me.
If I went to the MW just to make sure my baby was ok I probably wouldn't want to go every month either.

Yes, my MW talks to me about my diet but I need that. I know that I do much better when I write everything down to make sure I am getting enough protein and staying away from sugar.

Going to my MW is more like a counseling session for me. Yes, we check my weight and I pee in a cup but most of the one hour appointment is about how I am feeling. We discuss any concerns I may have and our hopes for the upcoming birth. Along with any issues DH or the two of us are having.

I don't really heart the heartbeat though, I refuse the doppler and even though my MW and my DH are able to hear the HB through the fetoscope I can never hear it
Which isn't a big deal really because by the time you can hear it with a fetoscope you can feel the baby kicking and obviously a kicking baby has a beating heart.

I don't usually start going until 12-14 weeks because before that there really is no reason but I honestly looked forward to my appointments and that is one of the things that will be my favorite part of getting pregnant again.

Maybe if you don't enjoy your appoinements with your MW she isn't the right caregiver for you. If I dreaded going then I'd have to look at the reasons and who my MW is as a person is a HUGE part of my enjoying my pregnancy and my emotional well being leading up to the labor & birth.

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Going to my appointment's is a great way to get to know the mw. The better I know my mw and vise versa the better she can attend me during birth.

We end up talking for over an hour each time about any and everything.
My mw may ask about diet and the such but she knows me so she not worried about it. We end up educating each other
She now know a lot about sodium ascorbate

I hate the monthly appointments early on and often dont go ever month till I am maybe 6-7 months along. But IMO they are a great way to get to know each other

I have had the same mw all 3 of my hb's, I
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I noticed, esp on babies #2 and 3, that the MW appointments gave me 2 things that I found to be quite valuable: Time to myself as I drove over to her house, and an hour to focus completely on ME, the baby inside, and my own health and well being, which got lost in the blur of my busy life with young kids... I really enjoyed it. I also liked getting to know the MW and envisioning the birth together. Liked hearing the heart every month too, and we had great philosophical discussions about birth in general, and all aspects of prenatal care. She had a great library and let me peruse and borrow books and videos. It was fun, a nice relaxing time that I looked forward to, as it should be IMO. Can't imagine getting the same feeling from an OB office...
I think with a MW the most important aspect of the prenatal appts isn't the health part - if you're self selecting a MW, you're pretty attuned to your body and its needs and IMO, already take pretty good care of yourself. So, her job is easy on that front.

What is really important is getting to know your MW and building a relationship with her. This is a person who is going to be responsible for your health and well-being at one of the most vulnerable times in your life (yes, labor and birth are empowering, but I believe they are also a time of vulnerability). You're going to want to be comfortable enough with her and know her well enough that it's going to be ok that you're running around naked and follwoing your body's impulses. You might throw up in front of her, you might need to go to the bathroom in front of her, you might need to do a lot of *very* personal things in front of her while you're in labor and if you're not comfortable with her, it might be more difficult for you to just let go and honor your body. Birth is very primal (I can't think of a better word right now) and there's not a lot of thinking involved. So, if you're not comfortable on a deep level w/ your care provider, you're not going to be as comfortable in general in such a time and place that really isn't very comfortable at all.

I agree w/ pps, if you are uncomfortable with her in general, perhaps you should explore why and maybe look at a different MW? I know, around here, you kind of take what you get b/c they're so few and far between, but it's worth examining the why.

Good luck and I wish you the best with your pregnancy, labor and birth.
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I don't think you can fully understand the bliss of not, unless you are just not going.... With my last pregnancy... I did all my own prenatals and it was the best pregnancy (3) that I had ever had. Right at the end I saw my midwife...umm.. I don't know???...perhaps on week 35 and 39, something like that.... I told her my thoughts and questions and concerns... She basically agreed with me that women do not need to see a midwife unless they want too. It is mostly a comfort thing for the mothers.... if they are just your average healthy educated pregnant mama. So here I am in pregnancy number 4... I called the midwife when I found out and told her..."see ya at the end". She congratulated me and told me we would talk more at the end of the summer, but to call her if I had any questions.
On that note, my last pregnancy was the first time I had used her... and I am a no nonsense kind of girl: I know I like her, I know I am an easy pregnant mama, I know I can birth just no need to sit and talk. But that is me and if I need time, I would rather spend that time shopping or going to a spa

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i really enjoyed my appointments, though mostly it was just because i was getting to know my midwife. unfortunately, we ended up having a disagreement on my care and developing pre-eclampsia and all those appointments were basically for nothing. i did like to know things were going as they should, but mostly i liked getting to know her, felt like i was making a friend. guess not...
It was important to me to really get to know my midwife each time I was expecting. Especially with the last one as we became good friends. I love being pregnant and the prenatals gave me that one hour or so once a month to really luxuriate in the specialnes of it all. It was important to me on a physical level as well as emotional. Also, my two year old always came along, and as he was going to (and in fact was) at the birth it was a nice way for him to acclimate to it all.

I have a history of prenancy loss, and needed help keeping my last two babies inside, so having the regular prenatals with both my midwife and family practice doctor was especially important for that reason as well.
You all gave me many things to think about...Thank You! I think I am discovering why I have this lack of enjoyment. I had the same mw for my first two births but this one is new to me. I am just really tired this point in my life...emotionally and physically. It is hard establishing a new relationship on a personal and caregiver level and I just don't have it to give. But, I do agree with pp that this is the woman that will be with me at a vunerable time having an understanding where each is coming from is important. I don't want suprises of that sort on baby's birth day. I guess i'll just keep trucking along and hope I get out of this funk. It's a long and cold winter where I come from and there has been alot of cold and flus this year that have really wiped me out. I am looking foward to some warm weather and getting my self and my little boys out of the house. Thanks again
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What Keri said, but like she said before we have the same midwife.
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