OBGYNs vs. Midwives

Dare to Birth

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Choosing a provider for your birth is no easy task!

First, let's break down the different options available to you. For birth you can pick from Obstetricians (OB) or midwives. Licensed midwives are split up into two categories Certified Nurse Midwives and Certified Professional Midwives.


  • Midwives are healthcare providers who deal with pregnancy, childbirth, newborn care & postpartum health
  • You can access care with a midwife in some hospitals, in birth centers, & for home births
  • Midwives are experts in lower intervention, low risk birth

Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM)

  • CNMs go through nursing school to become a registered nurse & then a nurse-midwifery program
  • They can deliver in hospitals (in some states), birth centers or at home births
  • They typically have more privileges than CPMs as far as scope of practice & prescribing medication

Certified Professional Midwives (CPM)

  • CPMs typically get trained through apprenticeship or educational programs, & passing the NARM exam
  • They can deliver at birth centers (in some states),& at home births

Obstetricians (OB)

  • OB’s are physicians who specialize in perinatal & gynecological health
  • They exclusively deliver in the hospital
  • They are experts in high risk & complicated pregnancies
  • They also perform cesarean births

After reading through those you may have a clear idea of what type of provider you'd like at your birth. Your next steps would be doing some research into who your options are in your area, see what your insurance may cover, and then picking a few providers to interview.

If you want more guidance about how to interview providers, what questions to ask, and how to pick the right one for you check out our early pregnancy guide!

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