I <3 my midwives

When I first told my family that we were seeing a group of midwives for the baby’s birth, they didn’t even think twice about it. They know it’s more “me” to go a non-conventional route, but it’s kind of funny considering midwife-led births are far more common all over the world and are recently starting to spring back into popularity in the states.

n1068221231_261155_9416-1 Source

When I first started researching pregnancy and the birth process last summer, I was shocked to discover that many women in labor are treated like they have a disease or something wrong with them. Women’s bodies are designed for childbirth – it’s an entirely natural process. [There’s a TON of info about this in “Your Best Birth” and the documentary “The Business of Being Born”, which can be viewed online for free] As soon as I read Ina May’s Natural Guide to childbirth, I knew I wanted to have a midwife-led birth.

[Birth snippets in the trailer- may be weird to watch at work]

[While I liked “The Business of Being Born” – it opened my eyes to a LOT- I definitely took it with a grain of sea salt. A lot of the info presented was fantastic, but a lot of it was “the government is out to get you, wah wah”, so I just took parts of it to store in my brain and left the rest, ya know?]

*****Of course, this post is not meant to spark some doctors vs. midwives debate, because that’s not at all what it’s about. There are tons of amazing doctors out there and there are some midwives that suck. I just wanted to give my experience so far and why I’ve enjoyed it, but it’s up to all of us to research and make our our health decisions.

For those of you who may not be familiar with midwives and what they do, here’s the downlow from Wiki:

In the United States, a Certified Nurse-Midwife ("CNM") is an Advanced Practice Nurse who has specialized education and training in both Nursing and Midwifery. CNM’s function as primary healthcare providers for women and most often provide medical care for relatively healthy women, whose birth is considered uncomplicated and not "high risk," as well as their neonate. Certified Nurse-Midwives, in most states, are required to possess a minimum of a graduate degree such as the Master of Science in Nursing, or Post-Master’s Certificate. By 2010, all Certified Nurse Midwives will be required to hold a graduate (Masters) degree.[1] Most recently, the first Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program has become available for Certified Nurse-Midwives and will graduate its first class in May 2010.[citation needed] Additionally, Certified Nurse Midwives must also hold an active Registered Nurse license in the state in which they practice. Certified Nurse Midwives practice in hospitals and medical clinics, and may also deliver in birthing centers and attend at-home births. They are able to prescribesome medications, treatments, medical devices, therapeutic and diagnostic measures, et al. in all 50 states.


The midwives we’re seeing practice in a group, and it’s recommended to see as many as possible because there’s no way of knowing who will be on call when you go into labor. The good thing for me is that out of the 5 I’ve met, they’ve all been fantastic.

Here’s why I’ve been happy with their care so far:

1. A non-traditional experience. I’m SO used to being rushed off by doctors. The ones I’ve seen in my lifetime have always been in a hurry, quick to write prescriptions and get me out the door and on my way. With our first midwife appointment, I was blown away by the time she took with me to answer questions. She sat there and said “ok, what else do you have questions about?” – we could have had lunch in there. It was amazing. All of our appointments have been like that. One time, a midwife was running late and she asked if I was doing ok, and I said yes but I was ready to get some food, so she brought me some Trader Joe’s trail mix to munch as I waited.

In today’s appointment, not only did I get to hear that sweet baby’s heartbeat, but the midwife (who has delivered babies for 30 years!!) asked me what name we’d chosen for the baby and talked to the baby, using her name while she measured the size (right on track) and listened to the heartbeat. She answered all of my questions, went over my previous test results with me, hugged and kissed me goodbye.

2. Support and encouragement. I’ve so refreshing to be constantly encouraged about my diet and exercise schedule. The midwives have been totally fine with me maintaining my fitness schedule within reason (no supine or prone exercises, and make sure I can say a full sentence while exercising) and are totally cool with my quasitarian eating ways 🙂 The only thing they want me to focus on is more protein and iron.

3. Similar ideals. Today, I had a lot of questions about induction and birth process policies. She said that they wait 41 weeks until they start to discuss induction options (which she originally wasn’t a fan of because she liked 42 weeks- however, statistics determined that by waiting up to 42 weeks there were more stillbirths since the placenta stopped working as effectively).

We looked at my due date (which was based on my last cycle), and I told her that I ovulate later that most people. I had ovulated on day 17, instead of day 14 like the due date calculators assume, so she increased my due date by 3 days. She asked how I knew I ovulated that day and I told her I tracked my cycles using the Fertility Awareness Method – that’s all she needed to know to change it. Amazing… so that will give me a little more time and won’t subject me to be induced 3 days earlier than I would need to be.

As far as birth policies go, she said “you can definitely write a birth plan, but I can go ahead and promise you that your plan is my plan.” It’s their policy to assume to want a natural birth, unless you request otherwise, place the baby on your chest directly after birth and wait for the cord to stop pulsing before it is cut. 3 things that were critical to me. So I may not end up writing a birth plan. The midwives know what I want, our doula (who is going to be a rock star… I’m lucky to have her) knows what I want, and Tom knows what I want. We’re all going to go in there with a goal in mind, but flexible if things need to go another way.

So, since little nugette has a real name now, should I keep calling her nuggette, or using the first initial for something? 😀

Post Navigation:


  1. Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance on August 30, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    I’m nowhere near having a baby, but after reading this I feel like I definitely would consider the mid-wife route. It drives me up the wall when doctors don’t give each patient the attention they deserve. I know that you will get the best care this way, Gina 🙂

  2. Audrey on August 30, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    I would love to know the little nugette’s first initial! 🙂

  3. Julie (A Case of the Runs) on August 30, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    Great that you are making the choice that’s right for you and not villianizing the other choices! For now, I am planning on doctors, but this isn’t something I need to worry about anytime soon so things could change.

  4. Morgan on August 30, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    Glad everything went well today. I say keep the suspense up with the names.. I love trying to guess the names my friends have chosen for their babies!

  5. Darien on August 30, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    initial…at LEAST!

  6. Molly on August 30, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    First initial! She’s know longer a little nuggette if she has a name! =)

  7. Natalcho @ Tomatoes Rock on August 30, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    This is a great post! I live in London and my sister managed to have two babies here without ever seeing a doctor. She was very happy with her midwife! And congrats on the natural birth choice – not that I would expect anything different from the Fitnessista:)

  8. Tori on August 30, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    Oh! Use her initial:) Or just tell us all her name:))

  9. jennyv on August 30, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    LOVE IT!!

    My husband and I aren’t hoping to start a family for awhile now — but I’m very interested in women’s health issues. A year ago I read a few books on unassisted childbirth, etc., and it was so empowering! Our bodies are DESIGNED TO have babies safely — and I think there is so much fear that is put in to us from outside sources. I have also watched “Business of Being Born” and enjoyed that too.

    Sounds like you have a great team to help you with whatever you decide — awesome!

  10. angie on August 30, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    I would looooooove to know your Nugget’s first initial! 🙂 ohh me me me lol wooo you totally gave me a lesson on a buuuuunch of stuff!! 😀

  11. Bridget on August 30, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    I would love to know her first initial!

    Also, I read Ricki Lake’s bio on the Dancing With the Stars website and it says a follow up to Business of Being Born is coming out in November. Just thought that could be interesting.

    I have thought about becoming a midwife for years. I love the idea of it and that you are having such a great experience with them!

  12. Kali on August 30, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    Pleeeeaaase tell us the first initial! 🙂

  13. Shayla @ The Good Life on August 30, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    You are so lucky to be having such a great experience and have such an amazing supportive group of midwives 🙂

    And I would love for you start using the nuggette’s first initial – it gives a more personal touch too 🙂

  14. Kelly J on August 30, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    You don’t want to share the nuggets full name?

    • Fitnessista on August 30, 2011 at 7:23 pm

      nope! haha

  15. Amanda @ the beauty notebooks on August 30, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    First initial!! <3

  16. Carmen on August 30, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    I used a midwife for both my births- the first ended up being a cesarean, and the second a VBAC. Midwives are also generally more prone to be educated on breastfeeding and supportive of practices like the baby rooming in, nursing while performing tests on baby, no circumcision, etc.. Of course, not all do, but I was lucky that our midwives were great! I also gave birth to my first in my birth country where many of the practices done here are not mainstream, so I knew when moving to the states and after we knew we were expecting a second that we needed to find someone that would support our views.

  17. Ashley on August 30, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    Great post! I also recommend checking out Pregnant in America.

    • Ash on August 30, 2011 at 10:52 pm

      Pregnant in America is good (takes place in Tucson!), but take that one with a GIANT grain of salt. Cool interviews and great info, but very preachy, a lot more antiestablishment than Business of Being Born. I’m a midwifery student and am down for home birth to the core of my body, but a) no one who has been educated on their options should be forced/guilted into having a birth that isn’t right for them, b) hospitals are great! for many things! NICUs are important! Doctors are trained for high risk/complications and we need them! I feel like Pregnant in America got a little cray cray at the end about doctors being the devil.

      If anyone is into home birth/natural birth, check out Orgasmic Birth as well (don’t be scared by the name, it’s really great). It’s not on Netflix instant stream (they have the DVD), but it’s pretty marvelous. Plus, it features my numba one gal, miss Ina May Gaskin. 🙂

      • Fitnessista on August 31, 2011 at 12:36 am

        love ina may! and you 🙂

  18. Courtney on August 30, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    Hello there. I thought I would comment for the first time to let you know that I really enjoyed reading this post. I’m no where near baby bearing time yet but I do know that after seeing The Business of Being Born that I’m pretty certain that I want a natural child birth as well. Do you ever watch Mad Men? There is an episode about child birth in… season 2 maybe? and it reminded me so much of the documentary. Scary stuff.

    When I told my Mom all about the stuff I had learned… about the chemicals in your brain that allow you to bond and even how giving birth on your back is so counter productive she laughed at me and said I was weird. My Mom will support me even if she doesn’t really “get” me.

    Did you run into any problems with insurance paying for a midwife or choosing to give birth in a birthing center rather than a hospital?

  19. Laury @ thefitnessdish on August 30, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    I want to know the name..initial…you’re killing us!!!!!!

    Glad you love your midwives!
    I went with docs because I thought it was the best choice for me. I opted out of watching that documentary..my baby brother saw it and I knew I would just get freaked out haha. I think mid-wives are great and agree about some docs are bad some midwives bad and some docs amazing and bad midwives etc. I think I am just too much of a wuss…I wanted to do all natural but needed that option of epidural if I couldn’t handle it haha. Maybe baby number 2 I will looking into the mid-wife route! Did LOVE my docs though and my hospital experience was amazing. They respected all my wishes and were amazing with the nursing stuff.

    Again…initial…I’m in suspense!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Laura J. on August 30, 2011 at 10:57 pm

      I went w/ doctors for both of my kids too. I heard my share of doctor horror stories, but I was lucky to have really great doctors and amazing nurses. 🙂 After reading your posts on mid-wives, it’s definitely gotten me interested in researching it if we ever try for a 3rd 🙂

  20. Maria on August 30, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    I recently tried to watch “The Business of Being Born”. I got the main idea about giving a more natural birth but hated the conspiracy theories. They were constantly repeating their theory that the hospitals want to make money and this is why they rush the birth. Couldn’t watch more than 45 min until I got tired of it.

    Overall, even though I have never given birth myself, I do suspect that there must be some wisdom in a woman’s body! Good luck and hope you enjoy the process!!!

  21. Lisa @ Fresh Spinach on August 30, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    While I haven’t gotten to the point in my life where I want to have children (give it another 4 years or so and I’ll revisit the idea), I do know that I will be using a midwife. I can’t imagine going through that with a doctor.


  22. lindsay on August 30, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    i’m so intrigued by this. I know a lot of women who have actually done both and ended up liking the midwife pregnancy better due to the comfort.

  23. Holly @ The Runny Egg on August 30, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    Yes use the first initial!!!

    I’m glad your experience with midwives has been great so far!

  24. TanyaS on August 30, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    You’ll be begging to lose those 3 days by the last week!! I always used to tell people “I’m pregnant, not disabled!”

  25. Kathleen on August 30, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    I love reading things like this! I’ve been researching all about birth and babies and think that this is the way I want to go but sadly the state I live in is really against home-births, birth centers, and midwives =[
    I only know of one midwife in the (fairly large) city I live in that practices at a hospital. Hopefully the state will get it’s act together in a few years…

    Aww yay! Baby girl’s inital! I’m guessing it starts with a vowel…

    • Fitnessista on August 30, 2011 at 9:53 pm

      you would be correct 🙂

  26. Curlysar on August 30, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    So strange that midwives aren’t more widely used – they’re the norm in the UK. Glad to hear you’re getting everything sorted though, it sounds like you’re having an excellent time – and making me broody in the process haha!

    I say keep the name a total secret – once the initial is known, everyone will be guessing like mad and I wonder if you’ll be able to keep cool about it if someone guesses the actual name hehe 😉

  27. lucy on August 30, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    My brother and I were both born at a midwife center in DC (mid-80’s) and it has certainly garnered some interesting reactions when this info has been shared. I’m not sure what my choice will be when the time comes along for me, but I’m glad the practice is becoming more commonplace in the US, since it worked out great for my family.

  28. Felicia (Natural + Balanced) on August 30, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    wait, her name isn’t going to be nuggette? aww comeon! haha you know whats interesting, is that you can definitely tell the difference between NP’s and (some) MD’s in how they treat patients and their bedside manner. i think its a huge reason why people prefer NP’s too. i love all things pregnancy related and work pediatrics (thats how i get my baby fix haha), but really could see myself going back to school to become a CNM. but now im getting a masters in acupuncture and my poor bank account and brain can only handle so much haha 🙂 PS those macaroons were gone within 3 days, i was nice and shared, family loveddd them!

    • Fitnessista on August 30, 2011 at 9:53 pm

      i’m so glad they liked them!
      will finally have time to send your package on friday- sorry it’s taken so long! let me know if you have any requests 🙂

  29. RhodeyGirl on August 30, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    GINA! How crazy is this- I used the same cartoon in a post on birth plans! I’m obsessed with that cartoon. It’s hilarious. it’s also the only really funny midwives cartoon out there 🙂

    I love that you’re going to midwives. I am going to a traditional doctor, but I am thankful that my doctor has been 90% supportive on everything I need and he never rushes us off. I will say my hospital is a little tough, but they do support breastfeeding, kangaroo care, rooming in, etc.

  30. Amy on August 30, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    I am so happy you have found fantastic care providers during your pregnancy- that can be a challenge in and of itself regardless of whether you are looking for a ob/gyn or midwife. All three of my sons happened to be midwife-led births and I greatly appreciated the care & time they took with me. It was such a different environment than my regular doctor’s office, almost like extended family cheering me on. Every woman needs to find what they are most comfortable with and who can provide them with the best care, doctor or midwife.

  31. mi-an on August 30, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    Share the name!! c’mon! 🙂

  32. mi-an on August 30, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    or give us the initial and we’ll guess!

  33. Kristen @ Chocolate Covered Kristen on August 30, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    I like nuggette! If you give the initial people will start guessing. And I just really like that you added the extra -te haha.

    Very interesting post. My mom had 3 natural childbirths (in military hospitals – scary, talk about dr’s that rush you along!) and when I asked her what she thought of it she said her body just seemed to handle it how it was supposed to handle it.

  34. Amber, Blonde & Balanced on August 30, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    so do you plan to do an epidural or no epidural? i could never do no epidural …. owwwwwww. major props to those women that go au natural though.

    • Fitnessista on August 30, 2011 at 9:53 pm

      the plan is to go without, but if i really need one, i’ll get it

  35. AR on August 30, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    This is all super interesting and I’m enjoying everybody’s comments. I’m nowhere near having kidlets but I don’t think anything other than a hospital environment has ever crossed my mind. As the child of medical parents I feel like I grew up with the same suspicion of alternative medical options that most everyone here expresses towards conventional medicine. At the end of the day I’ll probably be a hospital (and druggy) gal but the conversation is really thought provoking. 🙂

  36. Ser on August 30, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    De-lurking today. Nothing like a post on childbirth to bring people out of the woodwork, right? I’ve been reading your blog for a few years now, and it is so fun to follow your pregnancy! I’ve had three natural (no drugs) births, all with CNMs, one at home. It was intense, amazing, awful, crazy, and wonderful each time. Hold on to your hat! You can never predict how your birth will go, but having a birth team that you trust and taking good care of yourself are the best things you can do to get ready for one of the most amazing days of your life. I can’t wait to hear all about it.

  37. Lisa O on August 30, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    Sounds like a beautiful experience! I didn’t get private health cover for maternity in time so I am going midwife and public hospital system in Australia which I’m happy about as the hospital I’m going to has a great reputation for good midwives! But I still have the option of an epidural which I like, just in case it all gets too much. Will you have the option or does your midwife route mean absolutely natural, no changing mind once you’re there?

    • Fitnessista on August 30, 2011 at 9:52 pm

      that’s awesome that you will have excellent midwives and choices. nope, i can still change my mind once i’m there. i’m going to plan for a natural birth, but if it needs to go a different way, that’s cool too

  38. Katheryn on August 30, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    Great that it’s working well for you. I used a Certified Nurse Midwife for both my pregnancies, and was so happy about both experiences.

  39. Stephanie @cookinfanatic on August 30, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    This is such an informative post! I’m no where near at a place in my life where a baby is an option, however it’s good to gather information and know what I’ll be dealing with in the future. Seems like you are really finding what is going to work for you and your family and I only hope that I can do the same! 🙂

  40. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga on August 30, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    I love this post…it gives me happy goosebumps and chills both for your experience and as I recall my own. Being pregnant is stressful, or it can be..so many changes, so many things that are NEW and going on and to have a medical team who is kind, compassionate, doesn’t rush you off!, doesn’t rush you, is gentle, calls the baby by her name <–love that! and is just there for you, supporting you…thrilled for you.

    My own experiences were similar and I had a beautiful, natural childbirth, 100% natural and I wish you nothing but the most peaceful birth ever and a healthy Nuggette 🙂

  41. Suzi @ Confessions of a Fitness Instructor on August 30, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    please, please, please use the initial! 😀

  42. Katie on August 30, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    I just saw a play this weekend called “Birth” by Karen Brody. (It’s in the style of the Vagina Monologues.) Definitely recommend it if it ever comes to your area. Extremely great message about the natural strength of women and our rights involving letting the mother choose how she wants labor to run. I was followed by a panel of midwives, doulas and doctors. Very educational!

  43. Gina @ Running to the Kitchen on August 30, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    I watched the Business of Being Born last year and found it incredibly eye-opening. Not planning on having kids any time soon I was still fascinated by some of the stats and how the US treats births vs. the rest of the world. Like you said though, much of it needs to be taken with a grain of salt but, it was interesting nonetheless.

  44. Kiah on August 30, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    My sister and I were born with midwives, and my mom says it’s the best decision she ever made 🙂 What’s crazy is my brother now lives in the house we were born in (she did it old school…she didn’t even go to the hospital. Not sure how I feel about that :-)) so when I visit with friends I get to show them the room where I was born! So happy you found a birthing option that works for ya 🙂

  45. Rachel on August 30, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    Ooooh I guess the initial is A. Baby A!

    • Fitnessista on August 31, 2011 at 12:32 am

      nope! 🙂

      • Rachel on August 31, 2011 at 1:05 am

        Ooooooooooooo denied!!! We’ll find out soon enough. 🙂 I need to go try that chocolate mug cake.

  46. Denise @ Kumara Mash on August 30, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    I am a kiwi and still live in NZ, and it is the NORM to be under the care of a midwife. You only see an ob/gyn if your pregnancy deviates from the normal, and even then, you will still be under a midwife. Pregnancy is treated a normal life event, and women have the choice of where they want to birth to as well, whether it be a hospital, primary birthing unit (which you call birthing centres in the States) or at home. Maternity care and the first 6 weeks post partum are free and paid for by the government. This ensures that every women gets the same standard of care, whether you are high or low on the socio-economic scale.

    Good on you for having your care with midwives 🙂

    • Sara on August 31, 2011 at 12:12 am

      Denise, I’m in NZ too! (hi!). I shall visit your blog.

      My sister had a bad midwife experience (one of those horror stories that you hear about on the news). The baby was sideways, the original midwife was on leave, the replacement was deaf and couldn’t hear my sister every time she told her the epidural was wearing off and other important stuff like ‘the pain is only on one side’. The midwife was reading a book and I had to go and tap her on the shoulder whenever we needed her to do something. After 27 hours the pushing stage came and at that point they found a shoulder presenting. The doctor was called, took one look and got her in for a caesarian. He was appalled that the midwife couldn’t tell the baby was sideways. Oh, before the caesar they tried to push Jasmine back in to get her in the right position. Oh god, god, god. I think I’m still traumatised (I was support person).

      However, my cousin had a totally different experience, and delivered her baby at home a month ago. She told me she was in ‘denial’ about the labour for most of it, because she thought it ‘wasn’t painful enough’. Now, that’s a good story to hear! However, she is only 19.

  47. Nicola on August 30, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    Its interesting to see how different pregnancy and birth is handled in the US as opposed to here in New Zealand. We dont see a doctor at all during pregnancy (not unless the baby is ill), we only see our Midwife and we only have one (not a group).
    Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy and I am sure your birth will go as well as you are expecting!!
    And yes please an initial!!

  48. Abby @ Abz 'n' Oats on August 30, 2011 at 11:58 pm

    I am in nursing school and my teacher for the OB class I had is a Midwife. She is amazing and has opened my eyes to so many things! 🙂 I would definitely love to go to a midwife when I am ready to have kiddos! I think it would be fun if you started calling that little girl by initials!

  49. Rhoni on August 31, 2011 at 12:20 am

    I’m super glad you liked “The Business of Being Born”! My mom is actually a CNM (certified nurse-midwife) who has always practiced in hospitals alongside doctors and had been telling me all this stuff for years before the movie came out. She’s worked for two different midwifery practices that were closed down by their hospital each time because they started taking all the patients from the doctors. In some ways – you can’t fault the hospital for wanting to be business savvy and make as much money as possible. But that corporate attitude definitely doesn’t always have the best interest of the patient in mind. I just can’t wait till midwives have more respect in our country and in our hospitals. On an unrelated note – yay for having a name picked! I’m patient and going to be respectful of your choice and not even try to guess. 🙂

  50. Laurie M. on August 31, 2011 at 12:31 am

    I watched the business of being born. I was also set on having a natural childbirth. It did not go as planned.. :/ Hoping that next time (if there is a next time) I will be able to try again!!!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.