Part Two: The People in the Delivery Room
Can’t make head or tail of who’s who? If you have opted for a hospital birth, chances are that you’ll be meeting a colorful bunch of people who will be assisting in the birth of your child. Here’s the 101 on who you can expect, plus others that you will hopefully do without.
OB/GYN or Family Doctor
Whereas it would be ideal if you’re already familiar with the doctor who will be attending the birth, in larger practices, and in cases where your doctor is unavailable at that point in time, this is not always possible. The doctor attending the birth will oversee your partner’s care during labor and delivery but might not necessarily be present from the start.
The Midwife will be your go to person during this experience. Midwives are well-trained to care for your partner and baby, as well as to deliver your baby. What’s special about the midwife is that they give a more personalized approach to care, and are generally more approachable. Most midwives will be working with a doctor who will be ready to assist in case of any complications.
Labor and Delivery Nurse
Your Labor and Delivery Nurse will be constantly reachable and will be taking care of your partner and your newborn before, during, and after the delivery. The Labor and Delivery nurse will also assist the doctor and midwife and in case of a cesarean she might also take the role of scrub nurse. In some cases, and depending on the hospital, a personal care attendant will be there to assist your labor and delivery nurse.
If you opted for a Doula to help you out with pregnancy and birth, then she will be there to assist you when you make your way to the hospital. Regardless of the number of people already involved in the birth, having a doula on board has various benefits. Apart from being a source of calm to both you and your partner, a doula can provide you with information when not everything is communicated clearly and provides the needed physical and emotional support to you both.
This professional may very well become your partner’s hero. There to administer pain relief if requested, you will meet the anesthesiologist if you opt for an epidural. The anesthesiologist will also be there if a C-section is needed.
Specializing in high risk-pregnancies, maternal-fetal medicine physicians take care of your partner in case there are any chronic health problems or if issues such as pre-term labor, bleeding, high blood pressure, or gestational diabetes, occur during the pregnancy. In some cases, a maternal-fetal doctor will also be present if you’re expecting twins or other multiples. Basically, such a professional would have completed additional years of study and clinical experience to be able to care for both women and their babies in pregnancies with added risk.
Here’s to hoping you won’t be meeting this professional during your hospital stay. A neonatologist is an expert in handling complex and high-risk situations involving your newborn such as premature birth, serious illness, injury from birth, or a birth defect. If a condition was detected whilst your baby was still in the womb, the neonatologist may be there for the delivery.
Medical Students and Residents
Medical Students are there to observe; residents have already graduated and are there to train. Your partner will be asked if it’s ok to have these added people in the room. Whilst she has every right to refuse, allowing them to participate will help them receive the necessary training needed in the run up to starting their own career.
She’s the star of the show, the empowered one and the one who will be doing all the work. Your role is to assist her, be there for her, communicate her wishes with the rest of the team and encourage her on from start to finish. Do not expect too much in terms of please and thank you… your partner will be focused on getting the job done.
Oblivious as to the tools you’ll see in the delivery room? Then head here for some more delivery room knowledge.
All content on Dreaming of Baby is solely for informational purposes and should not be considered as a specific diagnosis, treatment plan or an alternative to professional advice.