Ok, yes, that title is a little bit attention grabbing, but let's break it down.
I have maybe once in my time as a doula had a client whose family doctor supported their choice of a midwife for their birth.
Imagine this, you're scared, pregnant, unsure. We are supposed to be able to trust our family doctors for up to date, evidence based advice and information.
You say something like "I am thinking about going with a midwife! I have a couple of friends who have and it seems lovely"
"Oh no, that's not usually how we do things. I will just see you until 30 weeks and then we can refer you to an OB. That's a lot easier for us, and more convenient for you"
NOPE. In my experience, there aren't many family doctors who are well versed in knowledge and comfort that midwives are EXPERTS in low risk pregnancy care.
You aren't sick. You aren't in danger. This is a natural, automatic physiological process that your body is doing. You don't need a highly skilled surgeon as your care provider right out the gate. Especially if you are someone who thinks they don't want an epidural.
Your family doctor honestly just doesn't know. They don't learn a lot about birth. It's likely not a subject they are passionate about, and they are not the expert. Midwives are highly professional, educated care providers who do an amazing job providing low risk pregnancy care to people. If anything happens in your pregnancy that is out of their scope, you will be transferred to an OB if need be! It's a perfect system.
Did you know in some countries you automatically get a midwife when you're pregnant? All low risk people start there. This ke
eps the OB's in their expertise, and the midwives in theirs.
Now for breastfeeding; again you family doctor definitely has not even done a fraction of the education and hands on support you can get from a lactation consultant. We're talking like hours versus months and months. Family docs are great at general medicine. Ear infections, flu, cold, Pap smears even. But they are NOT an expert in breastfeeding.
When you go to see your family doctor 6 weeks postpartum and want advice for feeding, you aren't going to get the best advice here. I highly recommend always seeking out the experts in what you need help with. Not the generalists.
We hear from many clients leaving doctors offices crying because they told them to supplement with formula, or that their baby isn't big enough, etc. This isn't gold information. It's something to take and let your trusted breastfeeding expert or lactation consultant help you out with.
In a dream world, wouldn't it be amazing if Family Doctors recommended Midwives?
Or if they knew what Doulas were? Or what if they had lactation consultants on the team at their offices?! This is the kind of care we want to see in the world. Compassionate, informed, evidence based maternity care instead of fear based, sick care.
Was your family doctor informative or supportive of midwives? Let us know in the comments!
**disclaimer"" I am not telling you not to trust or love your family doctor. They are great at what they are good at, and passionate about. I can tell you it is unlikely that is birth. So don't let their opinions, comments, or outdated information about birth sway your confidence!