Giving birth is an intensely personal event. Any decisions you make should center entirely on you and the health and well-being of your baby. This is why the choice between using the services of a midwife or a conventional hospital birth should be approached with careful consideration. Always heed your health conditions as well as your personal preferences before making a decision. In fact, there are particular scenarios where a hospital birth would be preferable and others where the assistance of a midwife may be a better choice.

Is Your Pregnancy Considered High Risk?

If your pregnancy is considered high risk, more than likely it’s best to give birth in a hospital instead of utilizing the services of a midwife. Obstetricians have received training in how to deal with high-risk birthing situations and have the tools readily available to use if you need them.

How do You Want to Manage Your Pain?

Generally speaking, midwives are not strong advocates for handling pain with drugs, although they are licensed to administer drugs in many cases. Midwives generally encourage drug-free ways to manage pain. These strategies often include the use of a birthing ball, changing position, massage, showers, and acupuncture to name a few. You should consider what your approach and philosophy are on drug-use for pain management as part of your decision-making process.

Do You Have any Chronic Health Problems?

Just as it’s probably a good idea to have a hospital birth if your pregnancy is high-risk, it’s also a good idea to choose a hospital birth if you have a chronic health condition as well. Obstetricians are trained to handle complications that may arise when dealing with a high-risk pregnancy or someone with a chronic health condition. It’s not uncommon for birth injuries or birth defects, such as birth asphyxia, to occur if certain risk conditions are present, including a chronic illness.

What are Your Preferences and Expectations?

Another strong consideration and determining factor should be your preferences and the type of experience you want to have. If you want a lot of personal attention and you’re in good health, a midwife would be more suited for creating that type of experience for you. Conversely, if you would like to use your current obstetrician and she is already affiliated with a hospital near you, a hospital birth may be the best choice. Be honest with yourself about all of the details of your particular situation. However, if you are in good health and your pregnancy is low risk, you can give more weight to personal preferences.

What Type of Setting & Approach Do You Want for Your Delivery?

Some people want a low-tech birthing experience with their family around them. Others want the security of a hospital and a medical staff on hand. Take the time to decide what’s best and most desired based on your health and personal preferences.

Giving birth is a major life event for most women. As a result, you should leave no stone unturned when it comes to deciding how you want to give birth. Weigh the pros and cons of your particular situation and choose the best scenario for the health and wellness of you and your baby.