Labor and delivery are, for most women, over in less than a day. Yet, this is a crucial moment for you and your baby. When you are choosing a healthcare provider, you mostly don't just choose prenatal care, but also the type of delivery you can expect. Your options will depend both insurance coverage and your health. Low-risk women are generally able to select prenatal care from either midwives or OBGYNs, and plan to deliver in a hospital, a birth center, or at home. Of course, you go to prenatal appointments expecting professionalism and knowledge from your provider, and they are most likely to bring this to the table.
But just like every pregnant woman has her own vision of giving birth, so do obstetricians and midwives. Some are more supportive of patients who want to play an active role in their birth than others. Some are happy for women to bring a doula and give birth without pain medications and, let's say, have a water birth, than others. And on the other side of the birth spectrum, some obstetricians feel comfortable with offering elective cesarean section and inductions while others do not.
And finally, some healthcare providers can guarantee that they will be able to attend your birth themselves, while others can't and in that case, you may have someone you never met before at your birth. That is why it is very important to discuss options, preferences and visions in advance to make sure that your wishes and your provider's possibilities and views match up. It is always easier to switch healthcare providers early during pregnancy than later on.