Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond: Who’s Who on Your Team

Nov 10, 2022


Movies show birth as sudden and chaotic, with lots of yelling and people in scrubs dashing back and forth, pushing wheelchairs and shouting orders. Although giving birth is usually much calmer than on the big screen, there are a lot of members in your care team, each with a specific job to keep you and your baby safe.

“Our goal is to provide a calm environment, one that is centered on the laboring person, while you are coping with the intensity of labor,” says Kori Pienovi, certified nurse-midwife.

Whether you’re delivering with a midwife or OB/GYN, everyone who comes into the room will identify themselves with their name and what they are there to do. Learn who’s who in the labor, delivery and postpartum teams at the Family Birth Place.

Who makes up my labor and delivery team?

Midwife or OB/GYN: A certified nurse-midwife or doctor will be present to help you welcome your new baby into the world. This may be the provider you’ve seen at your prenatal visits or someone on call for your provider. If you are being delivered by a midwife, she will provide ongoing one-on-one care throughout your labor and delivery. Learn more about the difference between midwives and OB/GYNs.

Labor and delivery nurses: Once you check into the Family Birth Place, a nurse will be assigned to support you through labor, check on your progress, and communicate with the doctor or midwife delivering your baby.

Our nursing staff are among the most experienced labor and delivery nurses in the area. Many of our nurses have special certifications like fetal monitoring, inpatient obstetrics and lactation support. You may have one or more nurses attending to you during labor. Additional nurses care for you after your baby is born.

Anesthesiologist: If you’ve chosen to receive an epidural or other forms of pain management, an anesthesiologist will come to your room to administer the medication. They will also be present if you have a C-section, planned or not planned.

Your birth partner and/or doula: Having your own personal support partner increases a sense of safety and calm. Some women choose to have a professional doula present for birth in addition to a birth partner. A doula provides emotional and physical support to you during labor and delivery. They are specially trained in techniques to make labor easier and less painful. Many doulas provide in-home support in postpartum recovery, newborn care and breastfeeding after you and your baby are discharged.

Other support personnel: Depending on your needs, you may also see people from other service areas. Examples include team members from nutritional services, laboratory, care management, patient registration and environmental services.

Who makes up my postpartum care team?

Your midwife or OB/GYN: Even if your regular prenatal provider wasn’t present for delivery, they will come see you in the Family Birth Place after the baby is born and answer any questions you have about postpartum healing, depression, resources and more.

Pediatrician: Once your baby is born, they will be seen by a pediatrician or your midwife. If you haven’t chosen a provider yet, that’s OK — one of our pediatricians will stop by to check over the baby and answer your questions. If you’ve been delivered by one of our midwives, they will also provide well-baby care for your little one. They can provide a full-exam of your baby and even offer early discharge.

Nurses: After you give birth, nurses will continue to care for you, helping you manage pain, communicating with your providers, supporting your breastfeeding and answering your questions.

Lactation consultants: These certified health professionals help you and baby navigate the new world of breastfeeding, offering help with breastfeeding positions, pumping, milk supply, latching and more.

Spiritual care team: Giving birth can be a huge emotional rollercoaster. If you’d like to speak with a chaplain or have someone pray with you, just ask any member of your care team. Our spiritual care team will be happy to see you.

Your friends and family: Your loved ones may be very excited to see your new bundle of joy and share their support. Even if they aren’t visiting you in the hospital (learn more about our Family Birth Place visitor policy), they are still important members of your support team and often want to do anything that’s helpful: deliver meals at home, check on the family pets or other children, and send gifts. Don’t hesitate to ask them for help or let them know what you need.

Care that’s right for you

When you receive care at Adventist Health Portland, you’re connected to an entire network of care beyond those you see when you give birth. Your team can put you in touch with primary care services like wellness and ongoing care as well as with specialists when you have a particular need.

Learn more about the Family Birth Place at Adventist Health Portland and how we welcome little miracles every day.

Tags: Maternity