Choosing a Doctor for Maternity Care

Maternity Care with Doctors

Family physicians and obstetricians — either medical doctors (md) or doctors of osteopathy (do) — can care for pregnant and birthing women.

Family physicians (fp) care for women, men, and babies throughout the lifetime, and about one quarter provide maternity care for primarily healthy women with healthy pregnancies as well, though some can also do cesarean section and other surgical procedures.  FPs can seamlessly attend both mother and baby in the postpartum period and beyond.

Obstetricians (ob) are surgeons trained in the pathology of pregnancy and childbirth and are the most appropriate birth attendants for women who develop serious health conditions that need careful monitoring and surgery.  OBs also attend healthy women and babies, though they generally receive very little training in healthy labor or childbirth.

Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialists (mfm) focus their practice only on women and babies with serious health problems.