One of the biggest differences between the medical model of care and the midwifery model of care is the individualization of care that the midwife provides. To truly individualize care means to strive for an in-depth understanding of a particular woman: her unique physical, emotional and mental circumstances with regard to her physical well-being and living environment as well as her hopes and fears about birth.
While some medical practitioners take this to mean knowing a woman’s name and making sure she has time to have her questions answered, most midwives provide a much deeper understanding of this concept. The best prenatal care that encompasses not only the physical but also the mental, emotional and spiritual creates better birth outcomes. As a doula any birth I have attended where there were major complications for either mother of baby, there were unresolved traumas happening in the field around mother or something going on during the pregnancy where the mother did not receive some kind of support she needed or was able to vocalize a major issue as she grew her baby. One of the biggest disappointments for many people seeking Medical Care the United States is that there is no consideration between the mind and body. Many practitioners will admit there may be a connection, but that the subject needs more validation. Therefore do not attempt to provide support in a manner that is cohesive to anything above the physical assessments. Midwifery focuses on a Holistic form of Prenatal Care that entails addressing trauma and stress patterns that could get in the way of the birthing process, fears and emotional support. As well as the physiological aspects of births that deal with medical measurements, tests and calculations related to birth.
Wouldn’t be wonderful to have a system based on quality of care that includes the physical dynamics of birth AND also the emotional, psychological, spiritual and living process of birth. A woman in labor is experiencing a life altering and transformative experience. Doulas are helping to bridge this gap in the medical model of care. However, if you feel like you are being missed in your prenatal visits with an OB and the honoring of spirit is very important to you perhaps you should consider a midwife.
It would be good for you to know that on January 30, 2014 one of the biggest research results was released in the US by the Midwifery Alliance of North America (MANA): comparing planned homebirths to hospital births for low risk women. This research proved there is no different in the risk to injury for moms and babies weather they are planning a home birth or going to the hospital to have their baby. Homebirth is a safe choice especially when you are in good health through your pregnancy.