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What’s the Difference Between a Midwife and an OB?

Updated: Jan 10

What’s the difference between a Midwife and an Obstetrician?

Well first, let’s talk about their similarities. Both deliver babies. Both are medical professionals and provide care to women during the antenatal and postnatal time. Both can work in hospitals. Both are so important!


Obstetricians and midwives often have different methods and outlooks on how they view the birthing experience.


OBs:

-May believe birth must be actively managed and controlled

-May manage higher risk pregnancies

-May believe that birth is a medical event

-May view medical interventions as the answer to pain management or both minor and major complications

-Are trained surgeons that will perform C-sections in medical situations


Midwives:

-Handle healthy and low risk pregnancies

-Often view birth as a natural event

-Believe that women instinctively know how to give birth and trust in the women’s body and it’s ability to birth

-Support the notion that healthy women can give birth to safe babies with minimal interventions

-Practice the Midwifery Model of Care and often have a wellness/holistic approach to birth

-Can be work in hospitals, birthing centers, or attend home births (depending of the type of licensure)


When looking for a provider to deliver your baby, consider what kind of outlook you have on birth and whether or not your provider shares that outlook and is willing to support you in that!

And while some of the outlooks above may not be shared by all OBs or Midwives (there are absolutely more medicalized Midwives and more holistically minded Obstetricians), both are so very important!


Thank goodness we have options in our providers, whether we have a higher risk pregnancy potentially in need of a c-section or a normal pregnancy looking for more well-rounded care and a natural approach!

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