With my firt son, I delivered with a traditional OB. With my 2nd and 3rd, I delivered with a Certifiied Nurse Midwife. All three deliveries were in a hospital, but there was definitely a HUGE difference between the OB and CNM. In my experience, the midwives put an emphasis on this being a natural process and letting your body do what it is suppose to do. The prenatal care with the CNM and OB was almost identical. All the same tests and screenings were done. The only difference is that toward the end the CNM did not check my cervix for dilation. With the OB it was routine to check at every weekly appointment from 36 weeks on. Labor and delivery with the OB & CNM was completely different. With the OB I was hooked up to the IV drip from the start. I was not allowed to eat or drink anything the entire time. I was not allowed to get off the bed for any reason. When I told them I had to use the bathroom, a catheter was used. Nurses did a cervical check every 15 minutes to check progress. It felt like everyone on the L&D floor had their hand up my junk. I even joked one point that I should start charging admission. When my labor slowed down...it did not stall or slow down dramatically, but slowed down a bit...Pitocin was injected to my IV. If the progress of my labor deviated a bit from their guidelines, I was treated to a higher dose of Pitocin. When it was finally time to push, I had to do so flat on my back with legs in stirrups. It's hard to push in that position. Everytime I tried to sit up to brace myself a bit, a nurse would shove me back down. Needless to say, I tore a bit. Even with an epidural I felt that tear. It felt like my lower body was set on fire. Immediately after delivery my son was take away for testing and weighing and a bath. They did not give him back to me until 2 hours later. This pregnancy was low risk and I spontaneously went into labor. I was full term. And they STILL treated my delivery like it was a high risk delivery. It is all they know how to do.
With the CNM, the IV needle was inserted (just in case of emergency) but then blocked and taped off. I was able to move around and eat whenever I wanted. They even let me get into the tub. All of this made pain mangement a lot easier. I did not even feel the need for an epidural until 7 cm with my 2nd and not at all with my 3rd. I was allowed to labor as long as I wanted and in any position I wanted. The CNM was more of a couch. When my 2nd son was stuck in the birth canal and everyone feared a C-section might be necessary, my CNM stuffed her hand inside and guided his head as I pushed him out. C-section not necessary and he was just fine. With the CNM my babies were immediately placed om my chest and I was able to nurse right away. They cleaned them off and did the Apgar test as I nursed. For me a delivery with a CNM in a hospital setting was the best of both worlds. The CNM provide a more natural birthing experience, but it is still done in a hospital with an OB just a phone call away in case there is an emergency. If I had to do it all again, I'd go back to the midwives every time.
If you were to put a website together, I think a listing or a link to available midwives in an area would be nice. When I was researching, I had no problem finding info on natural birth or midwives. Findind practising midwives in my area was hard. Any lists I found were old and no good (some had moved away or gone out of business). Another good bit of info would be the different state laws regarding midwives. I think that would help a woman know what to expect to find in her state. It might also motiviate some to change the laws in their state if they do not like it.