Caregivers and Birth Settings
Why do I need to think about choosing a maternity caregiver and birth setting before I get pregnant?Most women will make these important decisions early in their pregnancy, but you might want to consider what care options are available to you before you get pregnant. The caregiver you choose will affect many things -- from the quality of care you receive and the amount of information that is shared with you, to your options during labor and birth and your involvement with these decisions. An established relationship with your caregiver during pregnancy planning can be an important part of your support system and a trusted source of information throughout your pregnancy.
If you have a chronic medical condition, are on certain medications, or have a disease that could cause birth complications, you will need to choose a maternity caregiver and birth setting which can accommodate these needs. In your situation, you will probably want to plan to give birth in a hospital and be in the care of a doctor who is board-certified in obstetrics. Click here for more maternity caregiver options in our Pregnancy Topics section.
If you are healthy, as most pregnant women in the U.S. are, you have decisions to make as well, including whether to have a doctor or a midwife provide your maternity care. You will want to begin reviewing the points that go into making educated decisions about a maternity caregiver and birth setting during this planning pregnancy stage. This website has detailed Pregnancy Topics covering both Caregivers and Birth Settings to help you make an informed decision.
Most recent page update: 10/26/2012
© 2013 Childbirth Connection. All rights reserved.
Childbirth Connection is a national not-for-profit organization founded in 1918 as Maternity Center Association. Our mission is to improve the quality and value of maternity care through consumer engagement and health system transformation. Childbirth Connection promotes safe, effective and satisfying evidence-based maternity care and is a voice for the needs and interests of childbearing families.
News and Features
Listening to MothersSM III is the third national survey exploring women’s experiences in pregnancy and childbirth. Commissioned by Childbirth Connection, conducted by Harris Interactive, and funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the survey polled 2,400 women who gave birth in U.S. hospitals from 2011 to 2012. Results show that medically intensive experiences are typical, and evidence-based practices are underutilized. Childbearing women need better support and knowledge to navigate their maternity care.
Access the full report and supplementary materials
New Report: Maternity Care and Liability
Go to report and supporting materials
New Report: The Cost of Having a Baby in the United States
Go to report and supporting materials
New Cesarean Resources:
Go to Best Evidence Report
Go to web pages and booklet for women
For 95 years, Childbirth Connection has been dedicated to improving the quality and value of maternity care for all women and their families. Learn more about our rich history through our interactive timeline and give $95 for 95 in honor of our 95th birthday.
Childbirth Connection works to ensure that all women and babies get the best possible maternity care. We have the collective vision and we know how to get there, but we can't do it alone. Join the transformation today.
The Transforming Maternity Care website focuses on maternity care system improvements designed to engage diverse stakeholders in quality improvement efforts. The site offers full access to the landmark reports 2020 Vision and Blueprint for Action, features a Blog, and other resources such as an Action Center, a database of quality improvement projects, an interactive data center, and many more tools for advocates and stakeholders.