Who’s Who in The Birth and Postpartum World

January 10, 2019

Amanda Gaudet, YegDoula

OBGYN An obstetrician-gynecologist is a doctor who specializes in women’s health. They are the experts when it comes to unusual, complicated or high risk pregnancies and deliveries (including caesareans). Some women with low-risk pregnancies will still choose the care provided by an OBGYN.

Midwife Highly skilled, professional experts in normal, low-risk maternity care. Women who have previously experienced a caesarean section may receive midwifery care. Since April 2009, midwifery care has been funded by Alberta Health Services, but the demand exceeds the current funding. If you are interested in midwifery care it is best to apply for one as soon as you find out you’re pregnant.

For more information, check out the Alberta Association of Midwives.

Pelvic Floor Physio Simply put, they are physiotherapists who specialize in pelvic floor health. Why is this important if you’re pregnant or postpartum? Your core and pelvic floor plays a vital role during pregnancy, labour and delivery! Pelvic physiotherapists can help with many discomforts during pregnancy and help prepare your body for childbirth, but they are equally important in helping you recover after birth as well. Many clinics offer excellent childbirth preparation classes.

Child birth educator Is a professionally trained educator who provides classes on your upcoming labour and delivery. Many offer group or private classes to suit your parenting needs and philosophies.

Pediatrician a medical doctor who specializes in the health of children (including physical, mental and behaviour health)! While most newborns won’t be assigned a pediatrician at birth, it’s important to note that if you do want one need one you will need a referral from your midwife (before your care ends at 6 weeks postpartum) or from your family physician. For more information check out Canadian Pediatric Society.

Labour Doula is a non-medical birth professional who provides non-biased, non-judgemental emotional, physical, and educational support during pregnancy and delivery.

Postpartum Doula Her primary focus is on the mother’s recovery from birth and the baby’s adjustment to life outside the womb. She brings her experience, companionship and emotional support, and focuses on being attuned to the family’s needs so that she can help be that calm, relaxed person during the postpartum transition. Check out the blog post I wrote over at Heritage Birth Services on what postpartum doula shifts look like!

Lactation Consultant They are a lot of options when it comes to choosing a lactation consultant, but the highest educated is an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant). They are healthcare professionals who specializes in the clinical management of breastfeeding. An IBCLC works in a wide variety of settings, such as private practices, hospitals or clinics. They educate families and health care professionals, and are qualified to assess and assist mothers for issues that are beyond normal.

Fertility Care Instructor A trained individual who helps a couple manage their fertility without hormones or barriers. NFP works through fertility awareness. Couples learn how to identify their individual fertile days during their monthly reproductive cycles.  Numerous methods of exist, and each is a little different in how it identifies the fertile days.


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