Pregnancy requires you to surround yourself with supportive individuals. From friends and family to a distinguished care team, everyone involved will play a monumental role in your village. Let’s explore the professionals worth looking into for prenatal care so that you can start making calls and curating your perfect team.
Primary Care Physicians
Your primary care physician may have the skill set and expertise to handle a portion of your prenatal care. Not every PCP can or wishes to, and that’s OK. But for a low-risk, overall healthy mother and baby, using your PCP is a viable option since they know you and your health the best. They may also refer you to an obstetrician they trust to enhance your prenatal care appointments with more specialized care.
Choosing the right obstetrician for your pregnancy is a lot like shopping for a good pair of jeans. It’s complex and time-consuming, but getting it right feels invaluable. These professionals specialize in maternity care and the needs of pregnant women, meaning that they can offer distinct care and guidance per your needs.
You will likely see this person regularly throughout your pregnancy, and often, they will deliver your baby. Consider choosing an obstetrician in a smaller-sized practice to ensure your care feels individualized.
Midwifery is a well-known and common form of prenatal care with a rich history in natural childbirth and reduced rates of interventions. Midwives offer a custom care plan to each mother they see and are among the professionals worth having on your prenatal care team, depending on your birth wishes.
For example, if you desire an unmedicated birth, vaginal water delivery, or a birth center delivery, a midwife can offer you specialized care and guidance to achieve these outcomes. Insurance coverage for a midwife will vary based on demographic and provider, so it’s vital to inquire about coverage and policy details beforehand.
Unlike a midwife, a trained doula does not hold the medically-needed wherewithal to offer full prenatal care and childbirth coverage. However, people in the birth community recognize trained doulas as highly-skilled professionals worth having on your prenatal care team.
These individuals specialize in providing assistance and unwavering support for expecting parents and can offer uncontested support in the postpartum phase. Hiring a trained doula during pregnancy means they can provide custom and well-deserved in-home care to parents and newborns. A few areas of doula support include:
- Emotional reassurance during and after labor and delivery
- Physical comfort measures from breathwork to massage
- In-home preparations with meals or laundry (if applicable)
Certified Lactation Consultants
A certified lactation consultant, also known as an IBCLC or International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, specializes in breastfeeding support and education for expecting parents. Hiring this individual or pinpointing your go-to IBCLC during pregnancy can reduce the chaos and frustration when you need assistance. They can lend a hand in customized breastfeeding support with the most advanced industry knowledge, ensuring your breastfeeding journey unfolds as you wish.
This well-rounded list of professionals trained and educated in pregnancy, birth, and postpartum demands should help you hire who you need and gain support when you need it most.