Is it even possible to have a low-key pregnancy and childbirth?

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I always planned on being childfree, but lately my partner and I have been strongly considering trying for a baby in the next few years. The thing is, I despise hospitals and the standard American healthcare system (I’m not opposed to modern healthcare in general, but I do believe there’s a lot of judgement, fear-mongering, and over-medicating happening for financial gain more than for true preventative necessity).

My friends all have doctor/hospital horror stories about their own pregnancies, however they think I’m crazy when I talk about possible home birth, or skipping certain tests. Does anyone have any thoughts on finding a good medical support who understands my needs and won’t push for unnecessary tests or pass unsolicited advice on my lifestyle?

Is it even possible to find a doctor, midwife, or doulas who will work with me on an individual level, and not just advise the same old rhetoric given to all pregnant women? Or do I need to just suck it up and accept all of that as part of the pregnancy/birthing process? -Dev

Is it possible to have a low-key pregnancy? Or are you doomed to go through all the scary horror stories no matter what?

Comments on Is it even possible to have a low-key pregnancy and childbirth?

  1. So first I admit that I am biased as I am a family medicine doctor who delivers babies. That being said I would recommend looking for a family medicine doctor or obstetrician who has trained with midwives. Working with A midwife alone is OK as long as they are actually licensed and not a lay midwife, and your pregnancy is low risk meaning that you are not over 35 and you have no complications like high blood pressure or diabetes. A licensed midwife will make sure that if one of these complications, during your pregnancy you still get the appropriate care.

    Those of us who trained with midwives are often able to do all of the same non-interventions that midwife can do. I’ve had people who deliver naturally with me I’ve had sepal who have labored in the pools or delivered on all fours. In an ideal world I’d say every physician will make sure that your pregnancy care is tailored and in some ways this is true as every pregnancy is different. However there are also some things are considered standard of care and we would be negligent if we did not tell you what the standard of care was. As long as you make an informed decision they are things that you can opt out of. I’ve had patients who have opted out of some of the standard repeat testing her for STDs and STI’s which I think can be reasonable.

    I would recommend shopping around and doing a preconception visit with different practitioners and talking to them about their experiences.

    The big thing to know is that most maternal death occur from postpartum hemorrhage and even midwives should have things in their bag to help prevent this. A good midwife deliver at home but also not let you leave her for multiple days after your water is broken. I live in a very crunchy hippie town and I’ve seen several fetal death because of this exact thing. So make sure it is a licensed midwife who has all the right experience and training. Dulas are easy to fine relatively even though they can be expensive and they are often specifically there just to do what you want them to do.

    Sorry for this overly long and explainy comment. I am actually in the same boat with you and I’m getting ready to have my preconception visit in July. My goal is to keep it low-key around my family and coworkers until it is obvious. Unfortunately with my medical training I know everything that can go wrong so I’m expecting everything to go wrong with me.

    Margarette MD MPH

    • OP here, thank you for the input! I had never even considered a preconception visit as a way to get a better grasp on the information I’m looking for. Definitely something I will be looking into.

      Also, I hope you understand no offense was meant to healthcare practitioners. I’m sure there are awesome doctors out there, I just need to figure out how to seek them out! Unfortunately I live in a city where there are not enough MDs to keep up with the quickly growing population, and as a result, care tends to be very rushed/based on assumptions about lifestyle, etc.

      Good luck on your pregnancy adventures!

  2. I had a low key pregnancy, with care from midwives (licensed). They were amazing! I was able to choose what medical testing/ultrasounds I wanted, But was given a lot information about each one so I could make informed choice. The doc I was with prior to switching was booking tests without even asking! However, I ended up with a c-section, due to a breech baby, a broken water, no progress, and a long labor. Couldn’t have predicted that would be the way it would go, but things happen! So low key birth/pregnancy possible? Yes, but you can’t depend on it, you can just get a solid health care provider, keep yourself happy and healthy and hope for the best!

  3. Check out a birth center! I know people who love them so much, they started working at them after their kids were born. They are operated by midwives, but will use a doctor in an emergency situation. From experience, the doctor they will use may have similar holistic values as the midwives, but just happens to have a medical degree.

    • I loved loved loved the birthing center I went to with my second. I had a very good experience with my first too, although it was in a hospital, and I credit that to the fact that midwives were my primary care providers for that pregnancy. But when the birthing center opened near me I went to check it out after I became pregnant the 2nd time. It’s actually the first in the country (there may be more now, I’m not sure) because it is both an abortion services provider and a birthing center, something my Dr. has gotten a ton of criticism over, but it makes so much sense to me–she’s all about women’s services and supporting women’s choices in a safe, clean, professional environment.

      I had an absolutely wonderful experience here and would recommend anyone looking into a low-key pregnancy & birth to research both midwives & birthing centers. But as a few people have already pointed out, there are standards in place for your own protection as well as your baby’s, so there will be things your midwife/Dr. will recommend to you or have to follow–but you can find someone you trust, who doesn’t just blindly run you through every test & procedure imaginable. There are also laws in place that they HAVE to follow in order to be operational and licensed, and they will explain to you why and how certain things will be done. But in my experience nothing was done that was harmful to myself or my babies, I was very well informed and given choices on a great many things, and we had the best, most considerate care I think we could have gotten.

      The biggest advice I can give is to be honest about your wishes & goals for both your pregnancy and labor/delivery. I switched providers twice in my first pregnancy because I was not being supported with my decision to be holistic, intervention- and medication-free (if at all possible), and I wanted to have a water birth. Luckily for me the providers were upfront with me when I explained what I wanted, and said they didn’t think I would be happy with the experience they would provide. So I found the midwives who collaborated with a hospital (I was not comfortable with a home birth) and was able to have the exact experience I was looking for. Best of luck to you!

  4. I had two home births with the same pair of licensed midwives. Visits could be made to their very home-y office or, for a few dollars more, all in my living room. We mostly drank tea and chatted about how my life/pregnancy was going for many visits, and the exams were quick and simple. I was given all of the information for any testing and could opt out of anything, so I ended up doing an ultrasound at 16 weeks just to count fingers and toes, etc, with each child. They were licensed to take blood (which they did only once with each pregnancy), checked my urine with a quick strip test at every visit, and were super chill. The births were as calm as they could have been, and within a few hours of my babies entering the world, my house was tidied back to normal and I was resting and nursing in my own clothes in my own room with my own food, etc. Even when baby #2 chose to come 9 days late, they didn’t put any pressure on me (while still checking that baby and I were fine).

    My husband (a guy who likes his objective research) and my mom (a nurse of ~30 years) were concerned about the home birth at first, but after talking to the midwives at length, they were totally convinced that the midwives were prepared professionals who would not hesitate to get us to a hospital the moment they had concerns.

    All that said, I have friends whose hospital births went perfectly fine, too! Ask around if you know people who have had kids in your area, or join a facebook group of local moms if you can find one, even if you just stay in there long enough to ask your questions. Then find someone you feel will support YOUR birth (someone who will be motherly and pushy? someone who will be hands-off and let you do your thing? someone analytical and to-the-point? earth mother hippie magic goddess?).

    Good luck!

  5. I appreciate this post. I too and starting down this path. I am terrified of a pregnancy full of unsolicited advice, unnecessary tests, judgement, shamming and chaotic labor due to unneccessary interventions. I am going for a preconception meeting today, actually.

    • Oddly I think I am less concerned about over intervention from doctors and more concerned about nosey people. I find it is very frustrating how my Mother told me I couldn’t drink beer at a party when I got pregnant because 1) she is a nurse and should know the facts about drinking and AFS and 2) WHAT PREGNANT WOMEN SHOULDN’T DRINK!?! Thanks Mom for stating the obvious. I have been told by my Father in Law that I shouldn’t be using bug repellant with DEET in it even though that was what CDC website suggests to use to prevent Zika, and asked a million times if I talked to the doctors about my vegan diet. (which I have and they didn’t seem to care at all)

      I think the person who understand the most is my oldest sister since she has had two kids, and knows that I am most likely doing research, and anything she “tells” me is probably something I already weighed the options for. Truthfully for people butting in, I found the best thing to do is to nod you head and just throw it out the window. I’m pregnant and don’t need the stress of explaining how demeaning it is to assume the pregnant woman has less information than you.

      • THIS! I relate to everything you just said SO HARD. I am also vegan, and upon telling my best friend since childhood that I was thinking about trying for a baby, the first thing she did was give me a lecture on how I better not “force” an unborn child into a meatless diet! Even my carvivore partner is on board with my diet, but I am already bracing myself to hear it fifty times a day from the meat and potatoes crowd in my life.

        Also, I have heard that the glucose test is based on the standard American diet, and results aren’t always accurate for vegan or paleo eaters. I hope I can find a healthcare provider who takes that into consideration, if it applies to me.

        • 1. My veggie partner and veggie self have produced two happy healthy veggie babies! Totally doable 🙂
          2. My midwives offered me the glucose test (but didn’t end up even giving it to me, as I didn’t want it and didn’t have any risk factors) in terms of waking up, eating a carby-sugary breakfast (think waffles with syrup, juice, etc), and then getting my glucose level tested. I’m sure there’s an attentive practitioner in your area who would consider that!

      • Funny, my nurse partner was the one who kept insisting to my husband “You know she can have the occasional beer with dinner and that’s okay, right? One beer (or glass of wine) every now and then is not going to affect the baby.”

        As for being vegan, your body will let you know if it’s not gonna work out. Your doctors don’t really need to say anything. I was vegetarian during my first pregnancy and there’s a pretty funny/horrifying story of me descending upon the carcass of a rotisserie chicken someone left out on my dining room table. There isn’t really a reason to worry about it because if your body NEEDS something, it will *make* you eat it.

    • Get a copy of “The Guide to Childbirth” by Ina May Gaskin! It really breaks everything down & helps you understand your body was made to do this. Education & belief in your body & baby to do what nature intended is key.

      Evidence based birth is another excellent resource.

  6. With my first child I started out doing the normal doctor route. I very much felt like I was just a number to them and I felt I had no say in anything they did. Plus with it being my first I didn’t really know what to expect or even what questions to ask. I ended up switching to a certified nurse midwife about half way through my pregnancy and delivering in a birth center. The care felt much more personal. She actually knew who I was, walked me through things and I didn’t have to wait in a doctor’s office for 45 minutes for a 5 minute appointment. She also stayed with me the whole 18 hours of my labor instead of just sticking her head in at the end like I’ve heard many doctors do.
    Now I’m half way through my second pregnancy and planning to deliver at home. The only tests I’ve done so far are 1 blood test, a urine test I do myself at each visit and an ultrasound to find out gender. Another bonus, I’m a conservative person ( which granted can go out the window during labor) but in my case the only people there were my husband, midwife, and her assistant so much less awkward for me than a rotation of strange nurses.
    So in my experience a birth with a midwife is much more personal, you can have much more control and assuming you have a low risk pregnancy your treatment and birth can be as low key as you want it to be.

  7. I had a regular OBGYN but the practice had midwives and doctors. My doctor was great and I think the fact that she worked with midwives daily made her a lot more open to some of my ideas that others would have considered “crunchy”. Actually a lot of the stuff I thought I’d have to ask for ended up being standard when I was drafting my birth preferences! The appointments seemed brief sometimes but I realized I always had all my questions fully answered by the end of the appointment and she never rushed me. If something I wanted to do deviated from their standard practice of care she would explain why they did things a certain way so I could make an informed decision. That included tests during pregnancy as well as birth practices.

    My first trimester we also interviewed a midwife who was part of a small practice and would do a home birth (not covered by insurance at all), and we checked out a birth center run by midwives (partially covered by insurance). Doing that helped me feel more comfortable with choosing to remain with my doctor and delivering in a hospital setting – my doctor’s office is separate from the hospital on paper but they’re just two floors away by elevator, so there was never any question about there being a conflict between what they were willing to do and “hospital policy”.

    Also, please don’t feel like you’re obligated to stay with a terrible doctor! I know someone who switched doctors entirely at 30 weeks and her only regret is not switching sooner!

  8. Honestly, I feel like a lot of this will depend on where you’re living life. I’m lucky enough to live in Seattle, an extremely low-judgement city. I’m pregnant with my second son right now, and this is the second low-key pregnancy I’ve had. I think I should also note that I’ve gone through all the “traditional Western medical” channels. I have an OB. I gave birth at a hospital, and plan to again. When I got pregnant with my first, I was interested in homebirth because of a similar discomfort with hospitals, but because of a few past medical issues, my husband convinced me that a traditional hospital birth may be a better way to go. It turned out to be absolutely the right decision when my son came, unexpectedly, a month early. However, I was able to have a pain med-free birth with an amazing nurse who helped me and advocated for me every step of the way. I definitely can’t say for sure that it’s this way everywhere in the country, but in some places, a low-key pregnancy and birth is possible even within the flawed medical system!

    • I totally agree that location plays a part in the experience. I’m in a city where everyone kind of dabbles in offbeatness for a short while, but “normals up” in time for weddings and babies. I’m definitely the most granola amongst my friends, so if they had unpleasant experiences, I feel like it’s super likely that I will, too.

  9. Not specifically about doctors/doulas, but about the fear-mongering and having a low-key birth. I highly recommend checking out hynobirthing, which is a birth training class, ala Lamaze. But hynobirthing specifically deals with meditation and getting into a state of relaxation so that your contractions (they call them surges) are noticeable but not debilitating. You are told over and over again that childbirth is natural and normal and your body is ready and prepared for the child. It specifically tries to take the fear out of childbirth, so that you can have a relaxing, even pain-free, labor.

  10. My daughter had an incredible low key pregnancy and a wonderful midwife. She is located in Santa Cruz and the support she had was great. She did, however, have to have a c- section because the baby was very overdue and was beginning to have problems. I think if you look around and interview several midwives and doulas you will find what you need.

  11. If looking for midwives (which I highly recommend), be sure to do your research on the difference between Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) and Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM). CNMs have more rigorous academic nursing-based training, whereas CPMs are more apprenticeship-based training. Personally, I would trust a CNM much more, seeing as in most other developed countries, a CPM’s level of training may not be enough to practice. (But ‘Merica! Freedom!) We ALL want a laid-back birth with someone who values what we value, but birth can come with unexpected complications and it’s good to know that your practitioner is prepared to respond. If you can find a combo of the two, that is your ideal situation!

    A relevant article I found interesting.

    • After I had my first, at home with a CPM, I got a bit of “midwife fever” and thought about switching careers. I interviewed a handful of CPMs and did my research online. What I found was that starting with the bachelor’s degree in human biology that I already have, it would have taken me longer to become a CPM than it would to become a physician. Medical school 4 years, CPM 5 or 6. I was warned that it would be a very intense 5-6 years, and I would pretty much need to devote all of my time during that period to its completion to have a hope. It is based far more on an apprenticeship model than traditional schooling, but that doesn’t mean it’s insufficient. It’s quite thorough.

      Both CNMs and CPMs can be great midwives, both work hard to master their crafts and help women and babies. I decided I was more comfortable with a CPM because I was having a home birth, and CPMs have home birth specific training whereas CNMs often don’t (they can still be excellent home birth midwives of course, but home birth specific training is not required). I also was more comfortable with someone who didn’t start out with years hospital ‘indoctrination,’ since I didn’t want my experience to be “hospital-like” unless I had a specific reason to transfer to the hospital.


  12. For us (in Houston, Texas,) a midwife was the way to go. I had a free interview with her before we committed so I could ask questions, see what tests she would or wouldn’t require, ask her what she would do if the baby was breech, etc. She was very upfront and willing to let me opt out of things. She did require that I eat a specific way (low sugar, high protein and lots of veg) but I had no problem with that.
    The care throughout my pregnancy was very personalized and never rushed. We even discussed the emotional aspects of the pregnancy and I ended up crying in her office more than a few times. And the actual homebirth was great with only the very few people I wanted there.
    As far as low key, we had a very strict no-horror-stories policy. If someone were to start a story, I’d either ask them to stop or excuse myself and leave. I also didn’t read a bunch of pregnancy books. I only read Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth and the literature my midwife gave me.
    Lastly, I pulled back in a lot of other areas so I could have plenty of time to rest, meditate and process everything that was happening and was going to happen because of the pregnancy. This was the most invaluable part for me (besides the midwife). Whatever you choose to do, good luck!

  13. As someone who is currently pregnant and also hates unsolicited advice (from doctors or others), I think it’s important to recognize that there will *always* be unsolicited advice. What you do with/about that advice is what ultimately determines how low-key (or not) your pregnancy will be. Remember, it is your choice whether or not to get those tests and procedures. A doctor may or may not pressure you, but no one (NO ONE) can force you into doing something with your body that you do not wish to do. I’m getting a little better at telling people what I need, and telling people to stop or change when they’re not giving me what I need. I’m not saying I do a perfect job at it – there are times when I offend a coworker for snapping at them about their stupid “you’ll seeeee” scary parenting advice, or when I word an email to a doctor a little too sharply about a test result. But ultimately, you are only in control of your own behavior. Other people can be trained to respond to you in a certain way if you tell them how to treat you. Being polite and kind, of course, makes things much easier (though believe me, it’s not always possible!). Hang in there! If you do choose to have a child, you will end up finding your way, and it will be a great way, because it’s YOURS!

  14. I think it’s important to understand that no one is guaranteed a low key, uneventful pregnancy and birth. This is just the same as the fact that you are not guaranteed good health. There are things you can do to up your odds, but there are no guarantees in life.
    That being said, yes, you can have a low key pregnancy and birth. It’s possible. I had two. No guarantees, but it is not improbable. Lots of people have them every day. I had my first in the hospital, unmedicated, and it was pretty low key. I got all the tests during pregnancy but didn’t find them invasive. My second I had at home with a midwife. I had most of the tests, the ones I skipped were pretty minor. The birth was uneventful (besides the obvious) and fairly pleasant, as far as births go.
    However, my third pregnancy and birth were about the furthest from low key you could probably get. I was a surrogate, so that alone meant the pregnancy was much more invasive from implantation on. We had ALL the tests, even some that weren’t offered to me in my other pregnancies because my eggs weren’t at risk for things the mother’s eggs were. The parents of the baby I carried were fairly high profile, so media was involved throughout the pregnancy, and a camera crew was in the waiting room while I was in labor. I was induced twice (long story there), there was a small incident at birth that caused blood to spray everywhere (it looked like more than it was), and after the birth I hemorrhaged. Pretty much the polar opposite of my other two births. But you know what? It was still some of the coolest shit I’ve ever been through. And I’m not just saying that because I’m grateful for my baby, I didn’t even get a baby out of that one.
    My point is that even if your birth doesn’t end up low key, it can still be a pretty awesome experience. No promises there either, but it’s possible. The most you can do is make choices that will increase your chances of having the birth you want, try to keep a positive attitude, be flexible, and be gentle with yourself about the times when you have less control than you would like. Good luck!

    Jessica Troy

    Gardener, writer, activist, pop culture geek

  15. Yes. I agree with your opinion regarding hospital births and the lack of true informed consent taking place. Woman’s health and pregnancy aren’t treated with the baby and women in mind and I hate it. Too many are bombarded with medical interventions that are unnecessary and it steals the experience of true mother-child bonding that takes place in the first few hours after delivery. Natural birth is presented with fear instead of the beauty and emotional amazement that truly takes place. I hope whenever you decide to bring another life into this world you are able to do so with the assistance of a midwife and doula having the best possible experience. Being a doula and having given birth naturally unmedicated to four beautiful children I have a strong desire to offer the best experience for both mother and baby. That surge of oxytocin, the ‘love’ hormone that is released by our body, the child’s body as well as the partners is essential to that initial bond. However the unnecessary use of medical intervention interrupts the natural release of such hormones. There are times medical treatment is needed and we are blessed to have the knowledge and know-how in the modern world it just needs to be used in the right time. I strongly recommend a doula and midwife approach possibly in a calm birthing center where medical treatment can be given in an emergency but not given unless necessary. Home births are a great option as well. Wishing you all the best!!!

  16. I’m 4 months pregnant and planning to have my baby in a hospital with an obstetrician, HOWEVER, I love my doctor and I really like how our hospital is set up with birthing suites (i.e. there is a soaking tub for laboring, all the equipment is hidden in cupboards, you are allowed to have more than one other person with you and they get a bed…). Both my sister and my sister-in-law had pregnancies that were high-risk and needed intervention, and since I miscarried my first I really didn’t want to chance anything (even though I am low-risk). My hubs and I opted out of the 10 week blood test (genetic anomaly) and the amnio because we had already decided I would carry this baby to term and because our doctor said that if there is anything wrong they will be able to see it on the 20-week scan. Due to the previous loss, I am getting all of the ultrasounds I can, though!
    Ultimately, I recommend shopping around. When I was in the pre-pregnancy stage I went through several Drs at the same clinic before realizing I needed to just switch clinics. The doctor I’m with now is amazing and is very supportive. I come from a family of nurses, so I tend to ask a lot of questions in appointments – I have never felt like I was a just a number or like I wasn’t getting enough time with the doctor. Basically, everyone has a different experience. Definitely shop around and feel free to change doctors/midwives/clinics whatever if it isn’t a good fit.

  17. I’m at 39 weeks and have had the most low-key pregnancy ever. No morning sickness, ate healthy, took a prenatal (though the doctors never asked), didn’t gain too much weight too fast, no issues with blood pressure, protein in urine, or baby’s heart rate.

    I did do the glucose test (twice, the first one put me in the potential range but I passed the second) which I know some are apprehensive about but my doctor uses a brand without food coloring or corn syrup nonsense so that was cool.

    No one has pressured me into anything or made me scared that if I didn’t do something my baby would be damaged by my decision.

    I think you just have to find the right people/practice.

  18. I was able to find a hospital that allowed midwives to deliver there. Best of both worlds! And it was great because when I came down with pre-e, I had all the necessary medical interventions (IV meds, epidural, OB, episiotomy, vacuum, NICU, etc…) while still being allowed to have a natural birth with my midwife & doula.

  19. My pregnancy was fairly low-key because I made it that way. You always have the option to refuse tests, I refused to have my cervix checked because it was triggering to me. I suggest doing a lot of research online and trying to understand what the reason behind the test is. Coming in with facts and figures and being well informed served me in good stead.

    As for finding a doctor/other assistance for birthing, I cannot recommend going in for consults enough. Have an idea what you are looking for (maybe even a birthing plan) and ask the person about those things up front. I didn’t have a doula, but I have heard amazing things about them on the internet and from personal friends. It’s their job to be there for you and to help your voice be heard throughout the birthing process.

    Just for a reference, I wanted a natural birth, ended up with a scheduled c-section because my child was breech and no doctor in the area knew how to deliver a breech baby and I refused the option to try and flip my baby. If I was going to have to have a spinal block (which I was for the process) I only wanted to do it once, not possibly twice. It was probably the best decision of my life.

    The c-section went smoothly and even in the surgery situation I dictated how I wanted things handled and they accommodated me.

  20. It totally depends on where you are! My hospital opened low-intervention rooms (basically like a birth center inside the hospital) most of the way through my pregnancy. I didn’t get to use them, but they are there for future moms!

    I was planning a home birth with a wonderful midwife and ended up getting induced and getting a lot of interventions, but I was still so happy with my birth experience. She stayed with me as a Doula in the hospital and was insanely helpful. She helped me know when an intervention was necessary versus when it could wait.

    If you end up being offered an intervention, ask these questions:

    What are alternatives to this intervention?
    What will happen if we don’t do the intervention?
    What happens if we wait a while longer?

    These questions make it clear that you want control over what is happening to your body and can give you a chance to figure out what you want to happen. Obviously your partner would need to ask these during the later stages of labor!

  21. I am completely opposed to giving birth outside a hospital, and let me tell you why. I work in neonatology, so I basically get the baby right after delivery and I make sure he/she is okay or I take measures if that’s not the case, and the baby ends up in the NICU. I have assisted births where everything was supposed to be okay, but ultimately wasn’t. Asphyxia at birth is no joking matter and I’ve only been able to do something about it because I have everything I needed right there, a positive pressure ventilation system, oxygen, a laryngoscope, suction etc. I’m not saying this is really common but it does happen even when you’re least expecting it. My opinion is that you would want your baby to receive the best emergency care possible in case something does happen.

  22. I’m with Feather. I’m apparently fine at being pregnant, but bad at giving birth. Neither of my babies liked the experience, with dropping heart rates and emergency interventions. In both case, with out heart monitors and vacuums, they probably wouldn’t have made it. I may have some complaints about the hospital experience, but I will always be glad I was in one during that last dramatic hour. When I talk about it, I’m sure my tendency is to complain about the wires, and the pointless medications, and the nurses who were clearly having power play issues. I might not mention how truly grateful I am for the medical interventions that were available to me right there at the end because we, as a people, tend to complain to bond rather than express gratitude.

    So let me say on behalf of everyone who rolls their eyes at the number of sonograms, tries to bully the front desk person into letting them go longer between appointments, and bitches about the shots and tests – I am SO grateful for modern medical intervention and the two beautiful children that I would not have had if they had been born in any other period in history.

  23. I’m close to the end of my first pregnancy and am going with my hospital’s birthing center, but my friends have had a range from high risk in a hospital to home birth with midwives. I haven’t heard any horror stories from the hospital folks so I guess I’m coming at it with less hesitation.

    I also happen to go to a hospital with a mixed OB/GYN & midwifery office with pamphlets about doulas and such, so they’re pretty laid back in general. I’ve been going to the same doctor since the start, but she was really cool about reminding me during the first half that if I wanted to switch doctors or go with a midwife or give birth somewhere else that there was still plenty of time to do that. She gave us all the options for prenatal testing but was totally no pressure (we didn’t end up doing any). She recently asked if I had a birth plan I wanted to follow. I shrugged and said, “Have the baby. If I can do it without drugs, cool. If not, bring on the meds,” and she said, sounds good, but if there’s anything I decided I really do/do not want, just let them know.

    So if you’re still not 100% sure you could always look for a mixed office so you’re covered if you change your mind either way.

    As my friends (and doc!) have told me, you can make a plan but baby does what baby wants, so even if you make a plan, just be prepared to roll with it if things change 🙂

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