Doctor Examining Pregnant Woman

Obstetrician
(OB/GYN)

delivers in a hospital or birth center

An Obstetrician is a medically and surgically trained physician who specializes in women's reproductive health more specifically, care for women during pregnancy and just after the baby is born. OB/GYN typically delivers babies in a hospital or birth center setting. They are trained to deliver babies both vaginally and by C-Section.

 

An OB/GYN should be considered when: 

  • Mother's have preexisting medical conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, or other factors that deem the mother a high-risk pregnancy

  • Mother's carrying twins, triplets, or other multiples

 

Listening to baby's lungs

Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)

catches babies in a hospital or

at a birthing center

A certified nurse midwife (CNM) is an advanced practice registered nurse who supports women during pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum. The CNM has obtained a bachelors degree in nursing, from an accredited college or university, before receiving a master's degree in midwifery. CNM births, when compared to a physician :

  • Lower rates of cesarean birth

  • Lower rates of labor induction/augmentation

  • Significant reduction in the incidence of 3rd/4th degree perineal tear

  • Lower use of regional anesthesia

  • Higher rates of breastfeeding

Mothers and their Baby

Certified Professional Midwife (CPM)

provides services for at home birth or  in a birth center

Trained and Certified childbirth specialist.

The CPM is the only midwifery credential that requires knowledge about and experience in an out-of-hospital setting. The average length of apprenticeship which includes didactic and clinical training typically lasts three to six years. The clinical experience includes prenatal, intrapartum, postpartum, and newborn care by a student midwife under supervision. The CPM certification process has two steps: educational validation and certification. Colorado is currently revising this to be a license to practice rather than deemed a certification.

  • Low-risk pregnancy (most mothers)

  • Natural, undisturbed birthing

  • Significant less tearing

  • Water birthing pools

  • Breastfeeding is primary

  • Families report excellent experiences

Newborn Baby

Register Nurse (RN)

supports hospital deliveries

Labor and Delivery Nurses are certified registered nurses who are specifically trained in caring for women who are in labor. Labor and Delivery nurses have either obtained a bachelor's degree or an associate's degree in nursing for an accredited college or university. The registered nurse's duties are

  • Monitoring mom/baby during labor

  • administering medications and IV fluids

  • Assisting OB physician during labor

  • assessing mother and baby after delivery

  • Education about caring for the newborn baby after delivery

  • Assisting new mothers with breastfeeding

Image by Christian Bowen

Trained Birth Assistants

supports midwives for birthing

at home and in birth centers

According to the World Health Organization, trained birth assistants, are those who gain training through apprenticeship to assist mothers through childbirth. Their roles during labor can vary, but traditionally they provide personal care and may assist the midwife during the birth.

Assisted Water Birth

Doula

birth coach for support anywhere

Trained and/or Certified in assisting mom's before, during, and after delivery. A doula is a welcome part to most teams, in any setting. Training workshops cover evidence-based information about the benefits of doula support, the history of birth, the significance of doula support to families, practical hands-on techniques, and how to become certified. Certification with DONA takes about 1 year to complete with a minimum of three birth experiences. Training includes participation in an approved workshop; supplementary text reading, breastfeeding training, and basic childbirth education, hands-on support with clients, relaxation techniques, and more.

Check out training specifics on our Links page