Midwife or doctor: Which is better for delivery?

In modern Singapore, most women automatically opt for a gynecologist to deliver their babies. But did you know that there is a growing movement for midwifery? Midwives in Singapore can run prenatal classes, coach mums-to-be on their labour and deliver babies. They can either work with doctors in hospitals or deliver babies on their own. Midwifery is more modern than you might assume, but it might not for every woman. If you’re trying to choose between a midwife or a doctor to deliver your baby, here are some things to consider.

How midwives can be good for you

The advantage of hiring a midwife is that she will usually give you more personal attention than a doctor, whose time is usually limited. Typically, midwives are more mature women who are mothers themselves. They can offer help and support to expecting women from early pregnancy onwards.

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During labour, midwives will stay by your side the entire time, whereas doctors may not come in until it’s time to deliver the baby. They have been trained as specialized nurses who will track your blood pressure, monitor the baby’s heartbeat and assist with pain relief.

One big reason why more and more women are asking for midwives is that they can act as your personal labour coach, helping you achieve the right breathing and pushing techniques for smoother deliveries. They can also support mums-to-be with achieving their birth plans, such as water delivery, for example. If you wish to have a natural birth without drugs or medication, you’ll want to consider using a midwife to coach you through the labor and help you through the pain. You can also choose to deliver your baby at home with the help of a midwife. Another advantage not to be discounted is that the midwife’s service can go beyond the baby’s arrival. A midwife can help the mum with breastfeeding and caring for the baby for up to two months after birth.

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When you need a doctor

Midwives are best when you have a normal, low-risk pregnancy. But if you have a high-risk pregnancy, you still require a doctor to deliver your baby in case medical intervention is required. It is best to have your baby in a hospital if you have health problems so that you and your baby can be monitored by medical staff.

Despite advanced medical technology today, complications with labour do happen. For example, you might go into labour too soon. A hospital has the equipment to give premature babies the immediate neonatal care they need. In the process of delivery, a baby can get stuck, which is very common when the baby is large. This situation requires a surgical operation to cut open the vagina and extract the baby either with forceps or a vacuum, which only an obstetrician can perform.

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The best of both worlds

Can’t decide if you’d rather have a midwife or a doctor? You can have the best of both worlds. Hospitals like KKH and NUS train midwives and have a midwivery program that you can opt for. This allows you to enjoy the reassuring support of the midwife and the medical expertise of the doctor in the same room.

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