Which Birth Professional Is Right for You?

How to choose a birth facilitator who will meet your needs.

Choosing Your Care

Giving birth is a group effort. Although you'll be the star of the labor and delivery show, it's essential to chose the right supporting cast. This includes your primary caregiver, labor coach or coaches, and any specialists you might need.

Many factors will affect the type of care you choose, including your level of risk (low-risk pregnancies require the least intervention), insurance coverage, and preferred caregiver style. Whomever you choose, you deserve someone who listens to your concerns and provides helpful answers to your questions.

The following pages contain capsule descriptions of the major types of pregnancy and labor professionals. After you identify the ones you need, you'll want to schedule interviews to determine which individuals, or practices, are best for you.

The list of questions at the end of this article can help you find a caregiver who shares your pregnancy and childbirth philosophy. If you're not comfortable with the first person you interview, keep looking. Don't settle for a caregiver you dislike or distrust. You will be seeing a lot of this person in the next nine months. And they will be participating in one of the most important events of your lifetime -- the delivery of your baby.

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