Who Is On Your Health Care Team During Labor and Delivery?
If this is your first baby (or even if it’s not!), you might be wondering who exactly will be present during your labor and delivery. While not every woman will have all of these professionals in the room, here’s a look at some of the folks you might expect.
Although they won’t be present for every minute that you’re in labor, most women will have an OB there during the final stages. You should know, however, that it might not be the same obstetrician that you’ve been seeing in the office—each OB/GYN practice will typically have a doctor on call at all times in the hospital.
Labor and delivery nurse
You’ll have at least one Registered Nurse coaching and taking care of you during labor and childbirth, and assisting the doctor.
Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)
In some cases, women will prefer to have a midwife deliver their babies. Sometimes, a CNM can offer a more personalized approach to labor and delivery, often focusing on more natural childbirth options with minimal medication and interference.
If you decide to have an epidural or other pain medications (or if you have a C-section), an anesthesiologist will be the one who administers the meds and monitors you while on medication.
Medical students and residents
During most births, there will be a medical student, nursing student or resident (or all three!) present to observe and assist your health care team. You’ll have to give your consent to allow them to be there, but if you do, you’ll be helping the next generation of health care providers to gain critical experience.
If you choose to have a doula by your side, they will be your advocate, coach and mentor throughout the labor and delivery process. Doulas can help you with encouragement, relaxation and labor positions, and may provide services like massage and breathing techniques.
For more information, register for our free Understanding Birth interactive course.