Skip to Content
Home > Wellness > Health Library > Pregnancy: Choosing a Health Professional
It's important to find a doctor or midwife who can work closely with you and share in decision making. This partnership is key to getting the care that is best for you. And it will help you have the pregnancy and childbirth that you want.
Several types of health professionals are trained to provide medical
care or support before, during, and after the birth. These
Choosing a doctor or midwife depends on where you want to give birth. Certain providers usually deliver in certain birth settings. Most medical doctors (MDs) deliver only at hospitals. If you work with a midwife, you may be able to have an out-of-hospital birth.
And your choice affects the options you may have during both your pregnancy and the birth. If you work with a midwife, you may have more options for natural management of pain during labor. But you may not be able to get certain medicines for pain relief.
Doctors and midwives also have different training and skills.
Doctors and midwives share the same goal. They both want you and your baby to be healthy. But sometimes their approaches may be different. When you choose your health professional, ask questions about his or her philosophy and approach. Do the answers match your preferences and values?
Some clinics and hospitals offer a group-practice approach. You get to choose a primary caregiver. But you will also see each of the other doctors or
midwives at least once while you are pregnant. If your primary caregiver isn't
available when you go into labor, you will be familiar with the doctor or
midwife who delivers your baby.
Along with a trained medical professional, you may also want to
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerSarah Marshall, MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerKirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Current as ofMay 30, 2016
Current as of:
May 30, 2016
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
I Want To...
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.