Choices in Childbirth

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Choose Your Birth Team

Choosing a maternity care provider is the single most important decision that you will make during this process.  Take the time to interview providers to ensure that you find the best possible match. Ask your provider many questions to make sure he/she supports and agrees with your personal birth philosophy (For some guidelines, see “Questions to Ask Your Provider”). You should feel confident that your provider is skilled AND that they will respect your wishes.

Trust your gut!  Once you’re in labor you won’t be able to convince your care provider to go against their own birth philosophy and follow your wishes. This is an unrealistic and often disappointing expectation.  Listen to your instincts NOW as to whether or not the provider is the right one for you.

Use the links below to explore the various types of care providers who are available to help you with the birth of your baby. (There are many other types of care providers who can play a supporting or complementary role during your pregnancy, birth and postpartum period! Please visit the Complementary Care section of the site to learn more.)

Obstetricians

Obstetricians are highly trained surgeons who specialize in pathology associated with pregnancy and childbirth. OBs work in hospital settings and are most appropriate for women who are considered “high risk” either due to a pre-existing medical condition or a complication developed during pregnancy. [read more]

Midwives

Midwives are experts in normal, uncomplicated labor and birth. They consider birth to be a natural event and tend to have very low rates of medical interventions. [read more]

Family Physicians

Family medicine is a three-dimensional specialty, incorporating knowledge, skill and process. [read more]

Osteopaths

Doctors of Osteopathy (DOs) have the same caliber of training as an MD, and are licensed to practice medicine and surgery in all 50 states. They differ from MDs in that they have a more holistic view of medicine, viewing the body as an integrated unit of mind, body, and spirit, which contains a natural ability to heal itself. [read more]

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Jackson, 2 and Walker, hours old © Liz Rubincam