Your care team 

team of 4 medical professionals

At Kaiser Permanente, your labor and delivery care team may include:

  •   Certified nurse-midwives
  •   Obstetrics-gynecology physicians
  •   Maternal-fetal medicine specialists
  •   Nurse practitioners
  •   Advance practice nurse practitioners
  •   Registered nurses
  •   Medical assistants
  •   Genetic counselors
  •   Kaiser Permanente lactation line
  •   Doulas
  •   Clinicians
  •   Physician’s assistants
  •   Neonatologists
  •   Anesthesiologists

At the hospital

Our obstetrical team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at the hospital — whenever you arrive in labor, we’ll be ready.

When you’re a Kaiser Permanente member, your prenatal care team, primary care doctor, and labor and delivery team are all connected through your electronic health record. The physician on call when you’re in the hospital may not be the same one you saw during your prenatal visits, but they will have the same knowledge, expertise, and experience. Kaiser Permanente delivered more than 101,000 babies in 2015, so you can rest assured that you and your new baby are in very good hands.


In addition to the traditional ob-gyn care model, you’ll have the option to get care from a team that includes certified nurse-midwives and ob-gyn physicians working together.

The midwife philosophy takes a holistic approach, recognizing that conception, pregnancy, and birth are part of a natural cycle. Ob-gyn physicians specialize in all aspects of women’s health and medical care, and are highly trained in caring for women before, during, and after childbirth. We’re proud to be part of a national movement toward this new collaborative care model, where new moms and new babies can benefit from the knowledge and expertise of two types of medical professionals.

Care team members

Depending on your preferences and needs, you may receive care from a physician, a nurse practitioner, or a certified nurse-midwife during your pregnancy. If you or your baby need special care, we’ll refer you to one of our high-risk specialists.

An ob-gyn is a physician specializing in obstetrics and gynecology. Obstetrics focuses on pregnancy and childbirth, and gynecology is the general care of the female reproductive system.

These are registered nurses with advanced training who have taken certification exams in midwifery. Our midwives perform the majority of our uncomplicated births, in addition to providing prenatal care.

These ob-gyn physicians have advanced training in caring for high-risk mothers and babies. These specialists provide care and guidance for women who have health complications or complications during pregnancy.

These physicians specialize in caring for newborns, children, and adolescents. A pediatrician will see your new baby before you are discharged from the hospital. After that, you’ll choose a pediatrician or family doctor to care for your baby.

These physicians are pediatricians with advanced training to care for babies who need specialized care. Newborns who are premature, have birth defects, or have other high-risk situations are cared for by neonatologists.

These physicians are responsible for epidurals, spinals, and general anesthesia during childbirth.

Labor and delivery nurses care for women from the time they’re admitted to the hospital, throughout childbirth, and through the first few hours of your newborn’s life.

These registered nurses will care for you and your baby in the postpartum unit, also known as the Family-Centered Postpartum Unit. They specialize in caring for newborns and new moms, and can help you and your baby get started with breastfeeding.

An internationally board-certified lactation consultant specializes in breastfeeding. They help new moms who are having difficulties with breastfeeding for various reasons; including pain, latch problems, concerns about milk supply, a premature newborn, or history of breast surgeries. A lactation consultant will be available to help you in the hospital and after you have been discharged from the hospital.
A registered nurse who has advanced training (usually a master’s degree) in women’s health and who provides care during pregnancy and the postpartum period.
A nurse who is specially trained to provide advice and counseling regarding self–management information and skills in group or individual settings in person or via telephone.
A medical assistant is responsible for assisting with the nonmedical needs of patients. Medical assistants receive their training at technical schools.
A counselor who is trained (Master’s Degree in Genetic Counseling) to evaluate a baby’s risk of having birth defects or inherited disorders and to provide information and support throughout the evaluation process.
A labor support professional who is trained to help manage the labor process and to provide constant emotional support and assistance to the mother and her family. Doulas are usually contracted by families who want additional support and are paid privately.
A general term used to reference any medical or clinical care provider on your team.
A key component of any medical care team. They examine, diagnose, and treat women throughout their pregnancy.
A maternity nurse practitioner is an active member of the care team. They carefully monitor a mother and their child before, during and after deliver.

Choosing your baby’s doctor

We encourage you to select a personal pediatrician or family medicine physician for your new baby before he or she arrives. Helping your little one grow up healthy is an important job, so make time to choose a doctor you really like.

When it comes time for delivery, you’ll see the Kaiser Permanente healthcare team on call at the hospital that’s paired with the home medical office you’ve selected for prenatal appointments. During labor, our certified nurse-midwives and physicians are there to monitor the health of you and your baby.