Jeffrey H. Dover
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Atlanta Auto Accident and Medical Malpractice Attorney
Pregnancy and childbirth are truly unique experiences in a woman's life. Along with the feelings of excitement and joy come similar levels of stress and worry. Being well prepared for a pregnancy and the eventual childbirth can go a long way toward reducing the amount of stress on the mother throughout the process.

One step of preparation is deciding on who will deliver the child when the time comes. There are a few options: obstetricians, family practitioners, and nurse midwives. This decision is an important one - remember, this person will be responsible for bringing your child into the world. Though all three are equally able to deliver a newborn without problems, there are key differences between them that may sway your decision one direction or another.

  • Obstetrician. These physicians are board certified in obstetrics, which is the surgical specialty concerning women during and after their pregnancy. Most obstetricians today are also gynecologists. An obstetrician is certified to perform vaginal deliveries, caesarean sections (C-sections), and almost any other operation required for pregnancy - with or without complications.

  • Family practitioners. Some family practitioners are given clinical privileges to perform C-section deliveries. Although some can, many family doctors are only able to perform deliveries vaginally. Occasionally, these doctors will work with an obstetrician should the need for a C-section delivery or other operation become apparent.
  • Nurse midwives. These medical professionals have advanced training in obstetrical care. Usually, this training comes after 2 to 3 years of nursing training. Nurse midwives are not trained to perform C-section deliveries. In many states, a medical doctor is required in a supervising role to the nurse midwife.


Another specialized physician can also deliver babies - a perinatologist. Perinatologists specialize in high-risk pregnancies, and are rarely needed. Choosing the type of person to deliver your baby is an important decision, not only in terms of a successful childbirth but in how comfortable you, the mother, are throughout the pregnancy and labor process.
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