If you haven't selected a health care provider for
your pregnancy, there are several different options
available to you. You also need to think about whether
you would like a hospital, birthing center or home
birth. These choices will play a big factor in which
type of health care provider you will choose.
Below is a description of all the different providers
you can choose between. It's wise to talk to several
before making your final decision. Many providers will
offer you a free consultation appointment to meet them.
THE BIRTH BOOK by William Sears, M.D. & Martha Sears, R.N. Little, Brown and Company. 1994.
An obstetrician is a physician who has gone through both
premed and medical school (a total of 8 years usually).
After medical school, he/she will spend at least an additional
four years training in obstectric and gynocology. Some practice
alone, or with a partner, others in group practices. Group practices
usually have 3 or more doctors that rotate seeing patients and being
on call. Some OB/GYNs also have Certified Nurse Midwives on staff.
Midwives are trained to assist mothers with normal,
uncomplicated pregnancies and labors, but she also
knows how to recognize a potential problem that needs
obstetrical consultation. To her, birth is a natural
process. The midwife is a catalyst for the mother's
body chemistry, helping the laboring woman use her
The midwife's philosophy is different from the
obstetrician's. The obstetrician makes things happen;
the midwife lets things happen. The doctor trusts
technology and is wary of nature. The midwife trusts
nature and is cautious about technology. The
obstetrician fears a birth may go wrong. The midwife
expects the birth will go right.
One option is to be under the care of a certified
midwife and an obstetrician throughout pregnancy, labor
and delivery, with the midwife as the primary birth
attendant and the physician as backup to be called upon
only in the event of complications. If you have any
current or anticipated complications, consider using
your physician as your primary caregiver, but also
employ your midwife to co-manage your labor. A third
alternative would be to have a physician as your
primary birth attendant and hire a professional labor
assistant to support you during labor.
Baby has grown a quite a bit this past week. The
average embryo is about .16 inch at this stage. This
measurement is taken from crown to rump. This is the
beginning of the embryonic period. It lasts until your
10th week. Lots of important growth takes place during
this time. There are three germ layers - the
ectodermal, which becomes the central and peripheral
nervous systems, skin, hair, nails, sweat glands and
more. The mesodermal layer, which becomes muscle,
cartilage, blood vessels, kidneys and spleen, and
lastly, the endodermal, which forms the liver,
pancreas, bladder, tonsils, thryroids gastrointestinal
tract and respiratory system. The limb buds can be
seen, eyes are forming and the heart begins to beat.
Disclaimer - Each pregnancy, expectant mother, and unborn child is different. Your pregnancy may not progress the same as the information found here. The information here is based on the average pregnancy. It's not meant to be a replacement for any advice your may receive from your doctor. If you have any concerns about your pregnancy, we advise you to contact your doctor.