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How To Build Your Perfect Birth Team: An Inside Scoop

By: Shelli Villagomez

Shelli Villagomez | @shellis_holistic_chronicles

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “It takes a village” when it comes to caring for family or children. But this sentiment definitely applies to labor and birth as well! Building a birth team that makes you feel supported, heard, and safe is crucial to a positive experience. As someone who has been to many births, I can give you some inside tips on how to pick the best people for your birth “village”.

Midwife or OB?

Medical providers are the first team members we’ll talk about. A midwife is a trained, medical professional that specializes in low-risk pregnancies. They are highly trained to provide all your prenatal care and deliver babies in hospitals, birth centers, or at home. A midwife usually is more holistic; focusing on your emotional wellbeing as well as your physical wellbeing, and tends to spend more time getting to know you throughout your pregnancy.

An OB/GYN is another type of trained medical professional. An OB completes medical school and specializes in high-risk pregnancies and complications. They deliver babies in hospitals and can perform surgical Cesarean births if needed. (If you choose a midwife, but need a Cesarean section, an OB will perform that surgery with the midwife in the room with you). An OB tends to use more interventions such as epidurals, pitocin, and vacuum/forceps.

You have the option to pick which specific doctor or midwife feels right to you…and change your mind later in your pregnancy if you want. You’re in charge!

*Pro Tip: Find a midwife or OB that supports your wishes for your birth and makes you feel heard and safe. A good connection is so important, and when they are supportive of your birth plan you know they will be a great addition to your team. Listen to your gut!

Doula/Support Person

A doula is a great option for many pregnant people who would like extra support and education during their pregnancy. A doula is trained to provide physical, emotional, and educational support throughout pregnancy as well as continuous labor support. Doulas can help advocate for your birth preferences and communicate with medical professionals and family to help provide a positive birth experience.

*Tip: Check out my blog post, What To Look For In a Doula, to learn more about the numerous studied benefits of a doula and the well-being they bring to your birth team!


A birthing person’s partner/spouse is such an important member of the birth team. Not all birthing people have spouses or partners, so a family member or friend might assume this role during labor and birth. Your partner helps you produce oxytocin, or the “love hormone”, that is critical for labor to progress. They help oxytocin production by being present, comforting, or making you feel safe and loved. Your partner can also voice your needs or concerns to the medical provider or the rest of the birth team to make sure you are supported. Your partner can also be your source of comfort, grounding, and advocacy. It’s important to acknowledge that not all birthing people want their partners in the delivery room or do not wish to have their partners near while they are giving birth. Every person has different needs and forms their birth team in the way that feels right to them!

**Tip: A doula can help your partner provide you with support by teaching them massage and counterpressure techniques as well as giving your partner breaks to use the bathroom, eat, etc.…

Birth Allies

There are many professionals that can make your pregnancy and birth more comfortable, healthy, and fulfilling. These are what I call “birth allies”. They are not at your labor or birth, but help to prepare you for delivering your baby.

A Webster certified chiropractor is a beneficial member of your birth team! They provide nervous system and physical support that help you and your baby be in the ideal position and alignment for birth. Your nervous system based chiropractor also helps to calm your nervous system (parasympathetic portion of your nervous system) which allows for more productive surges/contractions during labor. They are a great resource during pregnancy as well as the 4th trimester phase to support all of the big emotional, hormonal and physical changes that occur as you enter into parenthood.

Chiropractors can provide community referrals for other needs during pregnancy and beyond.

An acupuncturist is another birth ally for you to consider for your birth team. There are acupuncturists that specialize in prenatal care and hormone support. Pelvic floor therapists are also birth allies that can provide you support during pregnancy and especially after you give birth.

Family + Friends

You may want to have family members or friends present when you are giving birth. If you are giving birth in a hospital, make sure to take note of any limitations on the number of people allowed at the birth. From experience, here are some things to think about when inviting family or friends into your birth space: How do they view birth? Are they squeamish or get alarmed easily? Do they know when to chat and when to be silent? Do they support your birth preferences? Those questions can help you determine who would be a good support person!

Your birth team is an important support system that you put together for your birth experience. You can choose who you feel will be the best fit for you and who you trust. The topics I discussed are just a few options, but you can build and choose any combination for a team that is the best match for you. It really does take a village!

By: Shelli Villagomez

Shelli Villagomez | @shellis_holistic_chronicles

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