Obstetricians specialise in the care of women during pregnancy, labour and soon after birth. When you book into a hospital you will be assigned to an obstetrician. You will be unlikely to see them unless you have problems in your pregnancy. Most routine care is provided by junior doctors working alongside midwives. In some hospitals you will routinely be seen by an obstetrician in others your midwife or GP will refer you for an appointment if they have a particular concern such as previous complications of pregnancy or labour or chronic illness. You should ask to see your obstetrician if you wish to discuss any matter which you think is important.
A paediatrician is a doctor specialising in the care of babies and children. They will check your baby after the birth to make sure everything is OK. They may be present at the birth if you have had a difficult labour.
If you have your baby in hospital, your GP will be notified of your baby’s birth and will arrange to see you when you come home.
Specially trained nurses concerned with the health of the whole family. The health visitor will contact you to arrange a home visit when your baby is 10 days old to offer help and support.
Specially trained to help you cope with the physical changes of pregnancy, childbirth and afterwards. Some attend antenatal classes and teach antenatal exercises, relaxation and breathing Afterwards they advise on postnatal exercise
Midwives are specially trained to care for mothers and babies throughout normal pregnancy, labour and after birth. They provide all care for the majority of women in hospital or at home. In order to provide better continuity of care, midwives increasingly work both in hospital and in the community.
A hospital midwife will look after you during labour and will probably deliver your baby. If complications develop during your pregnancy or delivery, then a doctor will become involved more closely. You and your baby will be cared for by post-natal midwives in the hospital until you go home.
A community midwife may visit you at home before the baby is born and during the early weeks after your baby is born. Community midwives are sometimes attached to GP practices and may be involved in delivering babies in the community and GP/midwife units and are responsible for home deliveries. Some midwives also accompany women into the hospital maternity unit to be with them through the birth.
Domino midwives: (DOMiciliary IN and Out) These midwives work under the DOMINO SCHEME. They will come to your house when you are in labour and accompany you to the hospital. They will deliver your baby. If all goes well you are discharged within a couple of hours and the midwife takes you home.
Independent midwives: Provide continuous care in a variety of situations. They will deliver you wherever you choose, e.g. at home or in hospital.