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
At Kaiser Permanente, your labor and delivery care team may include:
- Obstetrician-gynecologists (ob-gyn)
- Certified nurse midwifes
- Maternal-fetal medicine specialists
- Certified nurse anesthetists
- Labor and delivery nurses
- Postpartum or family-centered care nurses
- Lactation consultants
- Social workers
At the hospital
Our obstetrical team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at the hospital — whenever you arrive in labor, we’ll be ready.
When you’re a Kaiser Permanente member, your prenatal care team, primary care doctor, and labor and delivery team are all connected through your electronic health record. The physician on call when you’re in the hospital may not be the same one you saw during your prenatal visits, but they will have the same knowledge, expertise, and experience, so you can rest assured that you and your new baby are in very good hands.
In addition to the traditional ob-gyn care model, you’ll have 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. We’re proud to be part of a national movement toward this new collaborative care model, where new moms and new babies can benefit from the knowledge and expertise of two types of medical professionals.
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 you or your baby need special care, we’ll refer you to one of our high-risk specialists.
These are registered nurses with advanced training who have taken certification exams in midwifery. Midwives perform the majority of our uncomplicated births, in addition to providing prenatal care.
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.
These are registered nurses with advanced training who can safely administer anesthesia to patients. Our anesthetists 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.
These registered nurses will care for you and your baby in the postpartum unit, also known as the Family-Centered Postpartum Unit. They specialize in caring for newborns and new moms, and can help you and your baby get started with breastfeeding.
A licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) is trained to help families during times of challenge and change. Our LCSW's see all of our teen moms, mothers of premature infants, and other parents who may need help finding helpful resources and information. There are many other situations when a social worker can help. If you feel you need to see a social worker, let your nurse or doctor know.
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.
During your third trimester, we’ll talk with you about setting up a parent pediatric appointment and help guide you to available physicians. You can also call our Kaiser Permanente Appointment Center at 1-866-984-7483 anytime during your third trimester to schedule the appointment.