Your Pregnancy Team
Now that you're pregnant, it's time to choose a health care provider for your pregnancy, birth, and postpartum care. Either your doctor or midwife can coordinate your care, but other obstetricians may can play a role in making your pregnancy a safe and positive experience.
Prenatal care and delivery options
Many health care professionals offer prenatal care and birth assistance. Most are good choices if you have a healthy pregnancy.
General practitioners ensure low-risk pregnancies and births. This means there are no complications for mother or baby. Your family doctor can work with a specialist if you or your baby develop problems during pregnancy. An obstetrician (OB) provides special care to pregnant women. Obstetricians and Gynecologists (OB/GYN) are concerned with the reproductive health of all women, pregnant or not.
Maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) specialists are also called perinatal specialists. These doctors are specially trained to deal with complex, high-risk pregnancies.
A midwife is a specially trained nurse or other type of health care professional. Midwives typically focus on natural childbirth and reduce unnecessary medications and medical care during pregnancy. Midwives care for healthy women who have low-risk pregnancies. Also, if you have any problems, consult an expert. A Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM) is licensed to provide nursing care anywhere in the United States, but there are many types of midwives. Your privileges, along with policies regarding insurance coverage, vary from state to state. Doulas are non-medical trained professionals. Support before, during and after birth.
Nurses, physician assistants, and registered nurses can help you before, during, and after your baby's birth.
Your Choice for Pediatricians
It's good to start looking for a pediatrician before your due date. You can find like-minded people over time. After seeing a pediatrician, inform the hospital where you plan to deliver. If your family pediatrician has privileges at the hospital where you are admitted, they can work with you and your baby from birth.
How to choose the best provider for your needs
The term ''health care provider'' includes people such as doctors, midwives, and nurses (NPs) and the places where they work, such as hospitals and birthing centers. Finding the best provider depends on your health, your baby's health, and your care and delivery plans. When meeting with potential professionals, talk about:
• your health
• Whether you have or may develop pregnancy complications
• Whether you want to avoid unnecessary medical care or pain medication during labour.
• Personal preferences such as:
o Eating and walking during labor
o birth position
o Access to bathtubs, squat bars, birthing balls, etc.
o Guidelines for taking photos and videos
o Whether the hospital follows breastfeeding best practices
• Hospital caesarean section rate
• Do you already have a family doctor or obstetrician/gynecologist?
• Where you plan to deliver your baby, such as a hospital or maternity home, and whether caregivers will be able to work there.
• Whether you have a say in who can participate in deliveries;
• whether the provider is covered by your insurance;
How teams work together
Prenatal care is often teamwork. All providers have something to contribute.
• Obstetricians and general practitioners often collaborate with nurses, midwives, nutritionists, etc. during prenatal visits. A specialist will examine you. Another tells us about pregnancy and childbirth. Still others can give advice on what to eat and make other health decisions.
• If your obstetrician is participating in a group practice, you may see other obstetricians during your visit. If your doctor is unavailable, any of them can deliver your baby.In practice, consider whether you are happy with all providers. You may not have a say in who will be present at the birth. • Midwives often take over routine prenatal care in their own practice. Consult her OB if necessary. You can work with another midwife during labour.
• Midwives, general practitioners, and obstetricians consult MFM specialists if you or your baby develop complications. If needed, an MFM specialist will help manage your care. • During childbirth, care may be provided by other professionals, such as nurses, anesthesiologists and other staff.
14 Jan 2023