Starting or growing a family is a very exciting time. One of the many steps to preparing for baby is to select a provider who cares for you during pregnancy, labor and delivery.
In southwest Wisconsin, women can choose from family medicine physicians and advanced care providers, family medicine residents, nurse-midwives and OB-GYNs for their maternity care. Beyond your primary provider, an entire team of experts and specialized staff work together to serve you. Brief videos are available to help you select a health care provider whose approach to labor, delivery and pain management aligns with yours.
Women who receive prenatal care in the greater La Crosse area typically deliver in La Crosse.
Family medicine providers Family medicine physicians and advanced care providers are trained to care for people of all ages. They provide preconception counseling and prenatal care. Family medicine providers transfer care to the Obstetrics and Gynecology department or Family Health Clinic at about 36 weeks of pregnancy. The OB-GYN delivery team provides delivery care. Family medicine providers care for the medical needs of infants, children and your entire family.
Family medicine physician residents
Residents are family medicine physicians in training through the Mayo Family Medicine Residency program. Residents often have faculty members participating in care so patients receive the benefit of the resident and physician. Residents provide preconception counseling, prenatal care, and labor and delivery care for low-risk pregnancies. Typically, the resident who cares for you in clinic will deliver your newborn. They care for the medical needs of infants, children and your entire family.
Nurse midwives are advanced-practice providers with specialized training, education and certification in women's gynecological health issues. Nurse midwives provide preconception counseling, prenatal care, and labor and delivery care for low-risk pregnancies. They only provide women’s health care. Nurse midwives provide 24/7 in-house coverage for the birth center. They assess all patients when they arrive for labor and delivery, and provide active labor support and delivery, as well as postpartum evaluation. They provide additional services beyond maternity care.
OB-GYNs Physicians who have completed specialty training in obstetrics and gynecology are commonly referred to as Obstetricians, OB-GYNs, or simply OBs. OB-GYNs provide preconception counseling, fertility, prenatal care for those with high-risk factors, serve as backup for all deliveries and are on-call for consultation. They focus on supporting those with high-risk women’s health care needs
Maternity counselors will be your guide and navigator through your pregnancy, and they will provide education that complements and expands on the information shared by your health care provider. They are nurses who are specially trained in pregnancy and childbirth. They will help you prepare your tailored birth plan if you wish and answer all your questions.
Perinatologists/maternal-fetal medicine specialists
Physicians who specialize in the care of your baby before he or she is born are perinatologists, or maternal-fetal specialists. They focus on managing health concerns of the mother and fetus prior to, during and shortly after pregnancy. Maternal-fetal medicine specialists are specialists within the field of obstetrics.