Choosing a Prenatal Healthcare Provider
To find out about the different types of health care providers and birth experiences available to you, explore these links:
AABC is an organization dedicated to pregnancy, birth, labor and delivery, and other women’s healthcare and reproductive issues. Their website provides a description of birth centers and a guide to finding one near you.
The American College of Nurse-Midwives is a professional organization for certified nurse-midwives and certified midwives. Their website provides more information about midwifery care and how to find a midwife in your area.
This professional society for obstetricians and gynecologists, which are doctors who specialize in women’s reproductive health and delivering babies, offers a listing of doctors by area.
The Birth Survey provides information about hospitals, birthing centers, home births, and providers as surveyed by real women who were asked to provide feedback about their birth experiences with a particular doctor or midwife and within a specific birth environment. It is created by The Transparency in Maternity Care Project, a project of the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS), to provide information that will help women make fully informed maternity care decisions.
Childbirth Connection is a national not-for-profit organization that uses research, education and advocacy to improve maternity care for all women and their families. Their website provides information and resources on planning for pregnancy, labor and birth, and the postpartum period.
Doulas are specialized (usually non-medical) healthcare providers who provide emotional, physical, and educational support during and after childbirth, including methods for relaxation during labor and help with breastfeeding. Doulas do not deliver babies, so you will still need to choose a provider who does, but Doulas can help make the birth experience more comfortable. Their website offers a listing of providers by area.
If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, Evidence Based Birth gives you a starting point to find evidence about your options during childbirth, and a way to start conversations with your healthcare providers about those options.
MedlinePlus provides health information from the world’s largest medical library, the National Library of Medicine. Their website on pregnancy provides links to a wealth of informative resources including reports on everything from nutrition to teen pregnancy to financial issues.
The Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) is a professional midwifery association uniquely positioned to unite and strengthen all midwives through dedication to innovative education, professional development, and recognized autonomous practice.
MANA is committed to enabling transformative research, promoting an evidence-based Midwifery Model of Care, addressing health disparities, and achieving optimal outcomes through normal physiologic birth and healthcare across the lifespan.