The health professionals who will look after you during labour and birth
Find out who does what
By Sally J. Hall
In our Autumn issue, we showed you the choices for where you could give birth, whether it’s in a hospital, a birthing unit or in your own home. In this feature, we reveal the dedicated team of health professionals who will be there every step of the way to help you through one of the most important days of your life – your pregnancy and the birth of your child. Whether your birth is straightforward or becomes a little more complicated, there’s someone there who will help you and care for you in the best way possible. B shows you who does what.
The doctor who is in charge of your care during pregnancy and birth and who will lead the team caring for you. It’s usual to see an Obstetrician a couple of times during your pregnancy, though if all is going well, you may not need to see one again. They will get involved if you have a complication during pregnancy or during the birth process, or if you wish to have a Consultant-led birth. This may be a good choice for you if you have had complications during your pregnancy or if you have had a previous birth that did not all go completely to plan.
Your Midwife is a nurse who has taken additional training in the care of mothers and their babies.
In normal, uncomplicated deliveries, they are the person who will be with you all the way through from early contractions until after the birth; they will also see you during your pregnancy and are a mine of information on everything from healthy eating, pregnancy health, morning sickness and ways to ease contraction pains through to the early moments bonding with your baby, breastfeeding and baby care.
This doctor specialises in pain control during labour and birth should you need it. You may opt for gas and air, which can be administered by a midwife, as can pethidine, but should you need an epidural, the anaesthetist will give it to you. He or she will also be there for a Caesarean section or an instrumental delivery, where the team needs to use a ventouse (vacuum suction delivery device) or forceps. You’ll be able to discuss pain relief during pregnancy and get advice from the anaesthetist about options that available to you.
Your ultrasound scan is one of the most exciting points of your pregnancy, as it’s the first time you actually get to see your baby in the womb. The sonographer is trained to perform ultrasound scans including the dating scan at 12 weeks and the nuchal scan or anomaly scan at 20 weeks. You may also find one in private scanning clinics.
This doctor is a specialist in the care of babies. They will visit just after the birth to check that your baby is fine and will also give your baby some early tests to make sure all is well and that your baby does not need extra help. Of course, if everything is fine, especially if you have a home birth, this is one person you may not see at all.
More and more women are choosing to have a Doula at their side during labour and birth. Though not trained medical professionals, these birth companions and post- birth supporters offer you guidance, experience and support during pregnancy and help ensure your wishes are met during birth, especially if you choose to give birth at home.
Pregnancy is a time when you’ll want to make sure that your body is getting all the best it can from the food you eat and from supplements; A Dietitian can help you make great choices and suggest ways to limit or eliminate dietary intolerances. They are also invaluable when you’re recovering from the birth and breastfeeding your new baby.
Find your perfect birth team with B
It can be difficult starting out doing research into choosing the perfect private birth team, especially if this is your first baby – so that’s why we have done the hard work for you! On our website you will find a comprehensive list of all the private maternity hospitals and wards in the UK, as well as details of the obstetricians, midwives, anaesthetists and other health professionals who will help you make your baby’s birth a wonderful experience and a day to treasure for always. We also have details of ante-natal classes, complementary therapists and more, so have a look today.
Thinking about where to give birth – hospital, birthing unit, at home? Let us help you make your decision
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