Getting early and regular prenatal care is very important for having a healthy pregnancy and baby. The first step in getting prenatal care is to choose your prenatal care provider. This is the medical professional who will care for you during your pregnancy. You have options, so think about it. Will one make you feel more comfortable or confident?
You can choose either a doctor (physician) or midwife to take care of you during your pregnancy and to deliver your baby.
• An obstetrician (OB) is a doctor who specializes in the care of women during pregnancy, childbirth and recuperation from delivery. About 8 in 10 pregnant women choose obstetricians.
• A family practice doctor is a doctor with training in all aspects of health care for every member of the family. A family practice doctor can be your health care provider before, during and after your pregnancy, and your baby’s doctor, too.
• A certified nurse-midwife is a registered nurse with advanced, specialized training and experience in taking care of pregnant women and delivering babies. Certified nurse-midwives are licensed to provide care before, during and after delivery.
• A maternal-fetal medicine specialist is an obstetrician with special training in the care of women who have high-risk pregnancies. If you have risk factors that could complicate your pregnancy, your prenatal care provider may refer you to a maternal-fetal medicine specialist.
It’s important to choose a health care provider who makes you feel comfortable and listens to you. Click on this link for a list of questions to consider when making this decision.