It’s common for many pregnant people, especially during first pregnancies, to slide from well woman care to prenatal care with the same OB/GYN or midwife you’ve always seen. This person or practice may be the right fit for you, or you may discover that you have different needs for the prenatal and birth portion of your care.
Spinning Babies® recommends the guide 12 Steps to Safe and Respectful MotherBaby-Family Maternity Care, written by the International Childbirth Initiative (ICI), when interviewing care providers. This guide is helpful for all pregnant people, not just those who have had a surgical birth. These questions help determine how parent-friendly your provider and birthing location are. The International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN) also provides a helpful guide for finding providers friendly to a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC).
It’s important to understand the difference between OBs, midwives, and family practice doctors:
- Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs) are trained medical providers who practice in many hospitals, freestanding birth centers, or homes. CNMs specialize in normal birth with low-risk pregnant people and can prescribe medicines, including epidurals. They cannot perform surgery and have relationships with OBs at hospitals who step in if needed.
- Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) are skilled and professional independent midwives who have met certification standards set by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM). The CPM is the only midwifery credential that requires experience in out-of-hospital settings.
- Obstetricians are doctors who specialize in childbirth. OBs are also surgeons. They can specialize in high-risk pregnancies and typically attend births in a hospital-only setting. In the U.S., an obstetrical nurse cares for the person in labor under the doctor’s supervision.
- Some Family Practice Physicians attend hospital births, providing care to all members of the family, in all phases of life. Their birthing philosophies vary, as it can with all types of care providers, so interview for your needs and desires specifically.
Affirmations are short, powerful statements that can affect your conscious thoughts. Close your eyes, breathe deeply and slowly, and repeat the following to yourself each day throughout the next week. Fill yourself with breath and feel the joy: