pregnant woman with caregiver

Choosing the Right Care Team for Your Pregnancy

From pregnancy to labor to delivery, you want expert care for you and your baby. Fortunately, you have choices when it comes to your care team — obstetricians, certified midwives and doulas.

Obstetricians

Obstetricians (or OBs) manage normal and high-risk pregnancies. They are also called upon if there are complications during delivery.

During pregnancy OBs will help you maintain your health through regular appointments, routine lab tests and ultrasounds. From prenatal care to delivery, OBs offer expert care and advice.

Certified Midwives

Like OBs, certified midwives also have special training in pregnancy and delivery. They collaborate with OBs to support you during labor and delivery.

Midwives also offer counseling and education. They concentrate on communicating with you and focus on your family with respect for your cultural values and personal preferences. Your midwife might see you for health or counseling appointments, and she will be with you through your entire labor and delivery.

After birth, your midwife will help you with breastfeeding and infant care.

If you’re looking for a birth plan with fewer interventions, a midwife may be a good choice for you.

Doulas

Doulas are labor support partners who are trained in physical and emotional support during birth. They will help you manage labor, even before going to the hospital, and will provide support during your delivery.

After birth, your doula will continue to offer support with follow-up appointments.

Can you have an OB, midwife and a doula?

Simply put, yes. You can choose the care team that is right for you and baby. Talk to your caregivers. Ask questions about your health and what you want for your delivery. Then, choose the caregivers who will help you with your birth plan.

Watch interviews and read patient ratings of our caregivers in our Find a Doc tool.