Objective: the purpose of this study was to describe women[U+05F3]s reasons for choosing to birth with a privately practising midwife. Design: a modified grounded theory methodology was used. Participants and setting: the sample comprised 14 Western Australian women who had received maternity care from a privately practising midwife within the previous five years. Findings: data analysis revealed three categories: the first was conceptualised as 'I knew what I wanted from my caregiver', which included sub-categories of: I wanted continuity of care; I wanted a relationship with my care provider; and I wanted a care provider with the same childbirth philosophy as me. The second encapsulated 'I knew what I wanted from my pregnancy and birth experience,' with two sub-categories, I wanted a natural, active, intervention free pregnancy and birth and I wanted my partner and family to be included. The final category was labelled 'I was willing to get the research to get what I wanted' and incorporated two sub-categories, I researched my care options and I researched my care provider options and the evidence around pregnancy and birth to be actively involved. Key conclusions: findings offer insight around women[U+05F3]s reasons for choosing this model of midwifery care and highlight that women know exactly what they want from their caregiver. Women valued working with their midwife towards a shared goal of an intervention-free, normal birth, researched their options and found mainstream services restrictive and focused on medical risk status rather than on the individual woman. Implications for practice: findings will be of interest to maternity care practitioners and policy makers, as they highlight why some women prefer a social model of midwifery care that reflects a family centred, individualised and holistic approach. This insight can inform the development of maternity health care practices to recognise and accommodate the needs and values of all childbearing women.