Your first trimester is a blur of excitement, well-wishes and happy anticipation. Then reality sets in. Questions begin swirling, “What will my delivery be like? Do I need an OB/Gyn and a midwife? What exactly is a doula, anyway?” Sound familiar? Our comprehensive guide to doctors, midwives and doulas can help you find the answers you need.
OB/Gyns, midwives and doulas are specialists who assist with pregnancy, labor and delivery. OB/Gyns and midwives are medical professionals. OB/Gyns (obstetricians and gynecologists) are doctors who deliver in hospitals. Certified nurse midwives (CNMs) are certified nurses often affiliated with hospitals. But some will also attend births in independent birthing centers or at home.
Doulas don’t deliver babies or give medical advice. Their role is to provide emotional support for the mother. Think of a doula as a trusted friend who has experience supporting women through pregnancy and labor.