How to Choose the Right Care Provider for Your Pregnancy and Birth

How to Choose the Right Care Provider for Your Pregnancy and Birth


Finding out I was pregnant was honestly one of the most exciting and frightening days of my life!
Some of the first thoughts in my mind were... I'm still in midwifery school, I do not have a job that pays well, I'm unmarried, and I have to move out of my cabin. Who is going to be my midwife?

I am an independent woman and I knew I needed to make wise decisions.

In this blog post, I am not able to teach you how to get a good job, or tell you if you should get married or not, nor can I help you find the right house to raise a family in, but I can help you find the right care provider.

And through my Birth Song Blog Pregnancy Series, I can help you figure out how you want your birth and postpartum experience to be.  I can help you have realistic expectations of what pregnancy, birth, postpartum, breastfeeding and natural parenting are like.  And most importantly how discover and to stay connected with your true self through out the entire process.

Types of Care Providers 

The word midwife means “with woman”.  That means her role is to be a guardian and a guide for pregnant women, she is there to help women make informed choices about their bodies, babies and births.  Midwives provide professional services like prenatal care, childbirth education, labor and birth support, as well as, postpartum and newborn care.  A midwife is an expert in natural birth, she is well trained and understands the wide rage of normal and seeks medical care when something is no longer normal.

Certified Nurse Midwife CNM's-Attend births in hospitals, birth centers and at home.  They have a masters degree in midwifery and work under the supervision of an OB.

Certified Professional Midwife CPM's- Attend births at birth centers and at home.  There are many paths to become CPM. Many have attended midwifery programs and are apprentice trained they work autonomously.

Lay Midwives- Attend births at home. Most, if not all, are primarily apprentice trained and work autonomously.  Some do not hold a license because the state in which they live and work midwifery is not legally recognized yet.

The word Obstetrician OB- means, "Standing by waiting".  An OB is a medical doctor who specializes in pregnancy, childbirth and women's reproductive systems.  OB's work with nurses, nurse midwives, physician assistants, and other health professionals.  OB's work in hospitals and are experts in all types of birth especially high risk and medicalized births. 

What Is a Doula?

A doula is a professional support person that can help you think through your birth preferences and desires. They can help you write your birth plan and support you in labor.  Doula's are great at helping you find your own voice so you can speak up for yourself in labor if you have to.

A doula is not a medical professional like a midwife or OB however, she is a knowledgable and compassionate person who is there to help prepare you for birth support you and your partner in labor and postpartum.  They are often well connected in the birth community and can serve as a resource for other parenting and birth related situations.

Hiring The Right Care Provider For You

When it comes to finding and hiring the right care provider for you, it is always a good idea to ask the right questions to get a clear picture of what your parental care, birth and postpartum care will actually be like.  Please do not assume that all care providers and birth professionals will know what you want or will be able to accommodate you.

Please, take your time, deciding who is the right fit for you and your partner is very important and should not be taken lightly.  Your pregnancy and birth are a big deal.  Choosing the right or the wrong care provider can make all the difference.