It might seem like everyone in the hospital has come to watch you give birth, but rest assured that everyone who is present has a job to do!
After being in labor for what may feel like (or really is…) days, when it comes time to push and deliver your baby, you may look around and wonder, Who is everyone in this room?! You should decide well before labor who you want with you for labor support: some women want only their partners, while others see it as a family affair. The choice is yours, and you should not have anyone with you who is not supportive or who you don’t want to see you at your most vulnerable.
When it comes to clinical providers, there will be nurses present for you and your baby (this can range from one to a few, especially if your pregnancy or labor has been high-risk). Your obstetric provider (doctor or midwife) may not be there the whole time while you push, but he or she will be there for delivery. They may also bring along residents and medical students who are on their obstetrics rotations. You always have the choice to not have students or residents present, but keep in mind that these are our country’s future doctors! A pediatrician or pediatric nurse practitioner may also be present; while this is routine at some hospitals, others only have pediatric providers attend deliveries if there are concerns. Lastly, if your baby has a high likelihood of going to the NICU after delivery, the NICU team may need to be present as well. This may include a neonatologist, neonatal nurse practitioner, and/or a respiratory therapist. It makes the saying “It takes a village” take on a whole new definition, doesn’t it?
Reviewed by Jennifer Lincoln, January 2019