Obstetrician: also commonly called an OB/GYN, usually offers a variety of women’s health services, such as annual Pap smears. Obstetricians are also trained to help manage complications during pregnancy, birth and postpartum.
An OB-GYN might be right for you if... you have a high-risk pregnancy, an awesome relationship with your current OB-GYN, or you don’t want to give birth without an epidural.
But keep this in mind: OB-GYNs are more likely than midwives to use surgical or technological interventions during labor.
If you’re considering one but aren’t sure you want to spend your pregnancy with the OB-GYN you're already seeing, now’s a good time to start shopping around.
Certified Nurse- Midwife: Is a professional in midwifery. In addition to providing care to women during pregnancy and birth, midwives also provide primary care related to reproductive health, including annual gynecological exams, family planning, and menopausal care. Many developing countries are investing money and training for midwives and other community health workers so that they can provide well-woman primary care services that are currently lacking.
A certified nurse-midwife might be right for you if... you’re concerned about your physical and emotional wellbeing during pregnancy; having a natural childbirth is your number one priority (or you’re really opposed to cesarean delivery — CNMs tend to have much lower cesarean delivery rates and higher rates of vaginal birth after cesarean than physicians); or you’re on a tight budget (the cost of prenatal care with a CNM tends to be lower than that of an OB-GYN). Find a certified nurse-midwife.
But keep this in mind: You might need a doctor in a high-risk or complicated pregnancy (most CNMs use a physician as a backup in case of complications, because they cannot perform C-sections themselves.)
If you’re considering one, be sure to select a midwife who is both certified and licensed.
Also, make sure to always get an EZDoctor Report before choosing any healthcare provider.