Many of you here might be expecting a baby, and when you are doing so, you know there are a lot of decisions you have to make. One of those is to choose the type of care provider you need for prenatal care and during your delivery. It depends on you whether you want to choose an obstetrician, doctor, doula, or certified midwife.
Each of these care providers is described below. Surely, each one of them has different education, skills, and views on pregnancy and childbirth. Your choice depends on your health and the type of birth you desire. The options available may vary depending on your local resources.
There are a few things you need to consider when choosing a provider. They are:
- Possible risk factors for problems you may face during pregnancy and childbirth
- The place where you want to give birth to your baby
- What beliefs and desires do you have for natural childbirth?
The choice is one hundred percent completely yours to make. However, one, or more, of these three, plays a massive role in bringing your infant into this world. Before your big day is here, you will want to know and understand who they are and what function they could play for your baby`s birth plan.
Who is an Obstetrician?
You might have certainly heard about the term “OB-GYN” a lot. It refers to the practice of both obstetrics and gynecology or to the health practitioner who practices both these fields of medication. Some doctors pick out only one of these fields to practice. For example, gynecologists manage the field of gynecology, which specializes in women`s reproductive health.
Obstetricians manage the area of obstetrics or the field of medicine related to pregnancy and childbirth. Here`s a better idea of what these experts do and the reason why you must see one.
Obstetricians offer surgical care for women at any stage during their pregnancy and childbirth. They additionally manage your postnatal care. Some obstetricians choose to focus on maternal-fetal medicine (MFM). This department of obstetrics specializes in pregnant women who have persistent issues regarding their health or strange troubles that might pop up during any stage of their pregnancy. Because of this, MFM medical doctors are taken into consideration to be high-risk experts. You might also additionally see an MFM health practitioner when you have a persistent health circumstance that could have an effect on your being pregnant. Some women choose to visit their doctors for care before their conception to assist in their pregnancy plans and increase their chances of being pregnant.
What Conditions Obstetricians Treat
You might wonder what conditions obstetricians treat. Women usually start seeing obstetricians for their routine prenatal care. The first appointment might occur about eight weeks after your last menstrual period. You will most often see your doctor once a month throughout the duration of your pregnancy. Obstetricians are also known for their treatment of women with high-risk pregnancies both during and after it.
Your chances of having a high-risk pregnancy are higher if you are pregnant and you:
- have any chronic health condition
- are above the age of 35
- are carrying more than one baby
- have a history of miscarriage, preterm labor, or cesarean delivery
- engage in any lifestyle choice like smoking and drinking
- develop certain complications during pregnancy that affect you or your baby
They also treat:
- ectopic pregnancy
- fetal distress
- preeclampsia, which is characterized by high blood pressure
- placental abruption- it is when the placenta detaches from the uterus
- shoulder dystocia- it is when a baby’s shoulders get stuck during childbirth
- uterine rupture
- prolapsed cord- it is when the umbilical cord becomes trapped during delivery
- obstetrical hemorrhage
- sepsis- it is a life-threatening infection
Who is a Midwife?
In many cultures, midwives are one of the most important caregivers throughout pregnancy and childbirth. In addition to expertise, midwives bring a nurturing and emotional approach. They practice not only in private homes, but also in hospitals, clinics, and obstetric centers. Many obstetric clinics also have midwives on their teams. As an obstetrician, a midwife is there for you throughout your pregnancy. They collaborate with you and your family to arrange physical, social, and mental care during and after pregnancy. They are good at providing personal advice and education, staying with you not only during your pregnancy but during labor and childbirth. They help you in giving birth with less technology and sometimes less medicine. If you think you might need further medical assistance, refer to your obstetrician or other specialists.
Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs) are trained in nursing and midwifery. Most CNMs have a bachelor’s degree in nursing, obtain a master’s degree in midwifery, are certified by the American College of Nurse-Midwives. They take care of women who are pregnant, during labor, and during delivery. Some women wish to have a natural childbirth. If you are one of them, make sure you choose CNM. Midwives consider pregnancy and childbirth a normal process and help women give birth safely, with or without treatment. You are trained to be the primary caregiver during delivery and childbirth. Treatment includes painkillers, vacuum or forceps, and cesarean. Most midwives work with OBs. If complications or illnesses occur during pregnancy, the woman will be referred to her obstetrician and will be advised to consult her or to handle her care.
Certified Midwives are those who have received similar training, but they are not required to have a nursing degree.
Certified Professional Midwife is a skilled independent professional trained in many different settings.
Who is a doula?
You may be confused about doulas and midwives. While most of the people supposedly think they have comparable functions, doulas and midwives honestly have quite different schooling, duties, and certifications.
You might be thinking what a doula does. It is very much easier if you think of a doula as a pregnant mother`s caretaker. The phrase doula is Greek for woman`s servant. Your bond develops a lot earlier than your due date, as both of you plan on how you would just like the birthing procedure to go and analyze the solutions to the numerous questions you might have.
There are two different kinds of doulas: birth doula and postpartum doula.
- Birth doula
One of the main jobs a birth doula (or hard work doula) has is to be by your side at all times offering nonmedical strategies throughout your delivery process, which includes breathing, massages, and helping you in moving into different body positions. They also can offer emotional aid and act as an advocates on your behalf. It does not matter what form of birth you have; a doula can be there at all times to help make you feel safe and empowered. A doula will help you in the selection of what medication you want to choose or have a natural or unmedicated birth. On the occasion of an unplanned C-section, a doula can assist consolation to you and provide you with greater interest to assist alleviate fears and anxieties. A doula may be a beneficial part of your birthing team.
- Postpartum doula
After their births, postpartum doulas assist a now new mother as she recovers from the birthing procedure. This consists of being concerned for the baby and guiding a mother via the breastfeeding procedure. Doulas also can play a crucial function in your own home life, particularly if there are older siblings withinside the home.
Not all doulas undergo a certification procedure. If a doula seeks certification schooling, it commonly consists of didactic schooling and support throughout live births. Certification is not usually necessary, but it differs according to the condition in different places. Some state legislators are working to make the Doulas allow to be reimbursed by Medicaid. This can increase certification and regulations. Not certified mother’s caretaker can also use the Doula title, but its duties are quite controversial in the medical world. Untrained doulas are considered work support and their roles are different. They should not be part of the medical aspect of the birth process.
Doula or midwife?
If you are confused in choosing between a doula or midwife, you should know that both these professions offer both advantages for the expected mother, so they can have both a midwife and a doula to help them during the birth process. If you are planning to have a home birth, you will most definitely want to have a midwife as their medical education will come needy if problems arise. Midwives know what problems to expect and can continuously assess both the mother and baby.
Also, doulas cannot prescribe pain killers or order epidurals. So, you might need a midwife for more flexibility in situations like this. Doulas are not healthcare workers. They are trained people who can provide support to the mother and the family. Talk to your delivery team, including a doctor, to find the right person for your specific delivery needs.
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