The Most Important Decisions You’ll Make: Careprovider

choosing and OB or midwife

It wasn’t until I became a doula ( after my third child) that I realized what were the two most important decisions I had made during my pregnancies.

 Who I chose as my care provider, and where I chose to give birth.

Your birth will affect you and your child for the rest of your lives. The way you give birth and most importantly the way you feel about it afterward will set you up for motherhood. The person who cares for you during pregnancy and delivery and the environment you give birth in will affect this, more so than anything else. The better the support, and the more comfortable you are in your environment means greater safety for you and your baby. (A Doula’s consistent support affects this as well, as evidenced by the studies in my prior post on Doula support.)

“Early in your pregnancy, it is important to make thoughtful decisions about who will be your caregiver and where you plan to give birth.” (

Childbirth Connection says these major decisions can influence the following:

  • the care that you receive and the effects of that care
  • the quality of your relationship with your main and other caregivers
  • the amount of information you receive
  • the choices and options you will have, particularly during your labor and birth
  • the degree to which you are involved with decisions about your care.

Ultimately it will also shape your entire experience in some of the following ways:

For the majority of low-risk women, you have options in and out of the hospital. There are many types of care providers: OB’s, Family Practice Doctors, Midwives, Nurse- Midwives.

It’s important to interview your care provider and see if you like their philosophy of birth, model of care , and style of practice. You may also have to take into consideration your insurance and financial situation.

Prep for Birth has an excellent article on choosing a care provider that has a list of questions to bring to an interview. She suggests taking a self-inventory after an interview; measure how the provider made you feel, how willing they were to answer your questions, and whether you and your partner liked the answers to those questions. If you don’t like the way you relate to someone during an interview or prenatal care, chances are you won’t like it during labor. Pay close attention to your intuition and honor it.

On that note, if you find late in the game that you don’t work well with your care provider, it’s never too late to hire a new one! You are your own advocate. Pursue the support you want and need.

Next month we’ll address Location! Location! Location!


More resources:

Preparing For Birth

Picking Your Care Provider – Interview Questions

Childbirth Connection

Choosing a Caregive: What you need to know.

Consider interviewing one of these experienced Grand rapids midwives:

Yolanda Visser CNM,CM

Birthsong Midwifery

Susan Wente CNM

Profile: Midwife Extrordinaire

Laura Slater, Midwife

MI Homebirth







About Stephanie

I provide Birth Doula (Professional Labor Support) services to families in the Grand Rapids Area. I hope to empower my clients to have a satisfying and safe birth experience, propelling them with confidence into motherhood by encouraging self-education, and empowering the mother through consistent emotional and physical support during the birth and beyond. Bellabirth Doula Services