Obstetricians and labor and delivery nurses are probably the most well-known type of care providers. Low-risk women are well-suited for care provided by nurse-midwives, and high-risk women may see a maternal fetal medicine specialist (most commonly in consultation).
Doulas provide continuous labor support to women during childbirth but are not medical personnel. Continuous labor support has been linked to a decrease in C-sections and an increase in satisfaction with the birth experience. Doulas are often not covered by insurance. This article discusses how to find a doula or prepare other friends or family members to be your support person during labor.
One of the first steps to building your labor support team is to interview your care providers. Check with your insurance to see which care providers are covered by your individual plan. These checklists share questions to ask an obstetrician or nurse-midwife at your first prenatal appointment. You always have the option of changing care providers, though this can be harder late in pregnancy. When you go into labor, be sure to bring the labor support you’ll need and build a team that makes you the most comfortable. You do not necessarily need to have each of the types of care providers listed above, just the ones that are right for you and the type of birth you wish to have.