Types of Care Providers

General Practicioner - Also known as a Family Doctor, these providers care for you as a whole person. They do not specialize in one particular area but are devoted to giving general care to people of all ages. Most provide prenatal care but if a problem arises in your pregnancy they will refer you to a specialist. Some attend normal, uncomplicated births but if a cesarean birth or assisted delivery is required, their backup - an obstetrician - will be called in to perform the procedure.

Certified Nurse Midwife - Certified nurse midwives, commonly referred to as CMNs, are registered nurses who offer doctor-like care to patients in their speciality - women’s health, gynecology and obstetrics. In addition to providing prenatal care and delivering babies, CNMs offer well-woman care, family planning and preconception care. CNMs are licensed to practice and prescribe in all 50 states.

Obstetrician-Gynecologist - Commonly called an ob-gyn, these are doctors who specialize in pregnancy, birth and female reproductive problems. They are doctors who have spent an additional 4 years of training in the field of gynecology and obstetrics. The majority of women choose an obstetrician to oversee their pregnancy.


Maternal-Fetal Specialist - Also known as a perinatologist, maternal-fetal specialists work with high-risk pregnancies. Think of a MFS as an ob-gyn “on steriods”. In addition to the 4 years of obstretrics that ob-gyns are required to have, MFS spend an addition 2-3 years adding to their education and clinical expertise with a focus on the un-routine of pregnancy and birth. You may need a MFS if you have experienced preterm birth before, have blood pressure, neurology, lung, digestive, endocrine or heart problems, placental or fetal complications or immune system infection.