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Pregnancy: Choosing a Health Professional


Topic Overview

Several types of health professionals are trained to provide medical care or support for prenatal, labor and delivery, and postpartum care. These include:

In addition to a trained medical professional, you may want to use:

  • A lay midwife, who delivers babies at home. If you are planning a home delivery, make sure ahead of time that you have medical backup and a hospital nearby in case of an emergency.
  • A doula, to provide support before and after delivery.

Some clinics and hospitals offer a group practice approach. Although you choose a primary caregiver, you will also see each of the other doctors or midwives at least once during your pregnancy. If your primary caregiver isn't available when you go into labor, you will then be familiar with the doctor or midwife who attends your delivery.

Related Information

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerSarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerKirtly Jones, MD, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Last RevisedNovember 10, 2010

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

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