An ob-gyn is a physician specializing in obstetrics and gynecology. Obstetrics focuses on pregnancy and childbirth, and gynecology is the general care of the female reproductive system.
Your care team
Your labor and delivery care team may include:
- Certified nurse-midwives
- Obstetrics-gynecology physicians
- Maternal-fetal medicine specialists
At the hospital
Your hospital is ready for you, 24 hours a day. Whenever you arrive in labor, your care team is ready.
Some hospitals offer midwifery services in addition to the traditional ob-gyn care model, providing women with the option to get care from a team that includes certified nurse-midwives and ob-gyn physicians working together.
The midwife philosophy takes a holistic approach, recognizing that conception, pregnancy, and birth are part of a natural cycle. Ob-gyn physicians specialize in all aspects of women’s health and medical care, and are highly trained in caring for women before, during, and after childbirth.
Care team members
Depending on your preferences and needs, you may receive care from a physician, a nurse practitioner, or a certified nurse-midwife during your pregnancy. If your baby needs special care, you may also see a high-risk specialist.
These ob-gyn physicians have advanced training in caring for high-risk mothers and babies. These specialists provide care and guidance for women who have health complications or complications during pregnancy.
These physicians specialize in caring for newborns, children, and adolescents. A pediatrician will see your new baby before you are discharged from the hospital. After that, you’ll choose a pediatrician or family doctor to care for your baby.
These physicians are pediatricians with advanced training to care for babies who need specialized care. Newborns who are premature, have birth defects, or have other high-risk situations are cared for by neonatologists.
These physicians are responsible for epidurals, spinals, and general anesthesia during childbirth.
Labor and delivery nurses care for women from the time they’re admitted to the hospital, throughout childbirth, and through the first few hours of your newborn’s life.
Choosing your baby's doctor
We encourage you to select a personal pediatrician or family medicine physician for your new baby before he or she arrives. Helping your little one grow up healthy is an important job, so make time to choose a doctor you really like.