Expecting Moms Timeline

Click on the timeline below to access resources and learn more about pregnancy and birth.

Newly Pregnant

  • Understanding Your Options

    Do you know all of your childbirth options so that you can make the decisions that are right for you and your family?

    Read more
  • Educate Yourself

    Have you signed up for a childbirth education class, read any pregnancy and birthing books, watched documentaries yet? Get a sense of what birth options are available to you.

    Read more
  • 5 Steps to a Healthy Birth

    Do you feel overwhelmed by all the birth information? Start with these 5 steps to guide you through the process of making your decisions.

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Planning Your Birth

  • Your Birth Team

    Have you decided on your birth team? Use our provider network to find the best possible match for you.

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  • Your Birth Environment

    Where will you feel best supported and safest birthing? Start here to explore to your personal philosophy and vision for your birth.

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  • Preparing for Labor and Delivery

    Have you researched different labor coping strategies and pain management techniques? Use our provider directory to explore a birth doula, learn about epidurals and learn what feels right for you.

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Postpartum Health

  • Caring for your newborn

    What are the ways you want to bond and care for your baby immediately after birth? Learn more from our professionals.

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  • Breastfeeding and Beyond

    Do you want to make sure you have support for breastfeeding? Read our stories and find providers that can help with any of your questions or challenges.

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  • Caring for Yourself

    Have you remembered to plan good care techniques for yourself? Learn more on how new moms find ways to connect with other new moms and birth professionals to get the support they need in the early weeks.

    Read more

Your Birth Team

The health care provider you select will significantly influence your birth experience. Choose wisely.

Your care provider offers insight, helps shape your birth plan, and facilitates the birth experience. He or she will be a powerful presence, and his or her methods will guide how your experience unfolds. Consider hiring professional labor support to guide you and your partner through labor and birth.

When selecting a provider, take your time and trust your instincts. Interview every candidate to ensure that you’re a good match and ask questions about his or her approach to birth. You’ll want make your own priorities clear, as well. A care provider is only a good choice if you feel confident that he or she has demonstrated skill, use interventions that match your philosophy, and will respect your birth plan and wishes. Once you’re in labor, you won’t be able to convince your provider to operate against his or her birth philosophy.

If you’re ready to create your ideal birth team, browse mother-friendly obstetricians, midwives, family physicians, and doulas on the CIC Provider Network.

Midwife – Midwives are trained professionals with expertise and skills in supporting women to maintain healthy pregnancies and have optimal births and recoveries during the postpartum period. Midwives provide women with individualized care uniquely suited to their physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and cultural needs. Midwifery is a woman-centered, empowering model of maternity care and may be practiced in hospitals, birthing centers and home settings. In the United States there are several pathways to midwifery education and training. (Visit Midwives Alliance of North America for definitions of the types of midwives practicing in the United States, and state-by-state laws.)
Source: Midwives Alliance of North America

OB/GYN – Obstetricians and Gynecologists are physicians who, by virtue of satisfactory completion of an accredited program of graduate medical education, possess special knowledge, skills and professional capability in the medical and surgical care of women related to pregnancy and disorders of the female reproductive system.  OB/GYNs provide primary and preventive care for women and serve as consultants to other health care professionals. Most OB/GYNs are generalists and see a variety of medical conditions in the office, perform surgery, and manage labor and delivery.
Source: American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Family Physician – Family physicians, through education and residency training, possess distinct attitudes, skills, and knowledge which qualify them to provide continuing and comprehensive medical care, health maintenance and preventive services to each member of the family regardless of sex, age, or type of problem, be it biological, behavioral, or social. These specialists, because of their background and interactions with the family, are best qualified to serve as each patient’s advocate in all health-related matters, including the appropriate use of consultants, health services, and community resources.  Some family practitioners care for low-risk pregnant patients, similar to midwives, and may refer pregnant patients with significant problems to an OB/GYN.
Source: American Academy of Family Physicians

Doula – The word “doula” comes from the ancient Greek meaning “a woman who serves” and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth; or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period. Studies have shown that when doulas attend birth, labors are shorter with fewer complications, babies are healthier and they breastfeed more easily.
Source: DONA International