Early in your pregnancy is the time to choose your maternity care provider and birth setting. These major decisions can influence:
- The care you receive and the effects of that care on you and your baby.
- The quality of your relationship with your care provider(s).
- How much information you get.
- The choices and options you will have, particularly during labor and birth.
- Your involvement with decisions about your care.
If you are a healthy childbearing woman, like most pregnant women in the United States, you can choose a midwife or a doctor as your maternity care provider. This section gives you information on why your choice of care provider is so important, the types of maternity care providers and things to keep in mind as you make this decision. It also provides some decision-making tools. You will learn that this decision goes hand-in-hand with the important decision about where you will give birth. And you will learn that it is important to ask whether these continue to be the right choices for you, as time goes on.
Remember: It may take some time and energy to find the right care provider, but making the right decision is well worth the effort.
Learn about the different types of maternity care providers and how to make sure your insurance covers your choice of care provider.
Understand what the research and evidence say about the reasons to choose different types of care providers, and access tools to help you make an informed decision.