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!
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:
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:
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!