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June 8, 2017

Birth Options | Part Two: Care Provider

choose a pregnancy care provider

This post goes hand-in-hand with my first Birth Options post about choosing a birth location. Your care provider may dictate your location so keep that in mind when choosing. Your care provider also has the potential to dictate how you feel during your prenatal appointments and much of your labor. Needless to say, this is a very important decision!

My goal with this post is to help you to understand your options when choosing a care provider during pregnancy. I will lay out the options and point out some differences. I hope this is helpful!

OBGYNs

Obstetricians (or OBGYNs) may be the first type of care provider that you think of when thinking about prenatal care. The majority of women in the United States give birth in hospitals under the care of an OB. While this is not the only option, it’s certainly the most popular one. If you choose to use an OB for your pregnancy care, you’ll most likely have all of your prenatal appointments in their office. These appointments will be very similar to any other gynecology appointments you may have had in the past so you should know what to expect.

A few things you should know about choosing an OB:

  • Obstetricians are trained surgeons.
  • For most of your labor, you’ll be working with the nurses in the hospital. Your OB may come by to check on you periodically but will mostly just be with you when it comes time to push.
  • All OBs have different philosophies and opinions. You’ll want to make sure you’ve discussed your birth wishes with them before you go into labor. Some are more open to natural options than others, so keep that in mind.
  • You can continue to see your OB after baby’s birth for wellness visits. It’s always a good idea to build a relationship with someone who will be caring for you during pregnancy.

birth center midwife

Midwives

The main difference between a midwife and an OB is that a midwife is trained in vaginal births while OBs are trained surgeons. Another difference is that some midwives offer care for women planning out-of-hospital births. If you choose to use a midwife for your pregnancy care, you’ll either have your prenatal appointments in their office or at your home (depending upon your birth location choice). Often times these appointments are more relaxed and longer than traditional OB appointments. During my pregnancy, I regularly had hour long appointments with my midwife during which she answered any questions I had and talked me through my concerns about giving birth.

A few things you should know about choosing a Midwife:

  • Midwives are trained in vaginal birth.
  • Some midwives will work with you throughout your labor while some just check up on you periodically (more like an OB). You’ll want to talk to your midwife about what labor will look like.
  • Because midwives are trained in vaginal births and are not able to perform C-Sections, they will most likely work with you a bit more than an OB to help you achieve a vaginal birth.
  • You can continue to see your midwife after baby’s birth for wellness visits. It’s always a good idea to build a relationship with someone who will be caring for you during pregnancy.

birth center midwives

Yes, the momma above JUST gave birth and is taking a “selfie” with her midwives. This is what midwifery care can look like. I’m admittedly biased, but my experience with midwives has shown me how amazing that relationship can be.

If you have any questions about your options for a care provider during pregnancy, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me. If I can’t answer your questions, I’ll put you in touch with someone who can!

  1. […] Can you even handle sweet Avery? This little doll baby was so sweet and sleepy during her Fresh48 session. The following images are exactly why I love Fresh48 sessions – cuddles with a fresh new baby? Could you ask for anything better? It’s the perfect session for those who want the tiny baby photos but may not be comfortable with birth photography (although I’ll say if you have doubts, read this blog post). […]

  2. […] **Let me just take a minute to acknowledge that level of care. You aren’t going to find that in just any care provider. The midwives at Regional Midwifery in Durham went above and beyond for Radhika. They talked her through each and every decision, they held her hand, they literally stood in the bathroom for an hour working through contractions with her. I love midwifery care and this is exactly what it looks like. Don’t settle when choosing who will be helping you birth your baby, mommas! Read more about choosing a care provider HERE. […]

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