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© 2019 by Pregnancy Options Wisconsin: Education, Resources, Support

A Full-Spectrum Pregnancy Options Network Serving Wisconsin

Pregnancy Continuation

 

Healthcare is a community project. All pregnant people deserve support that meets them where they are. Fragmented and inequitable systems can make it challenging to discover and build your 

capacity for strong, satisfying, and sustainable pregnancy, birth, and parenting.

 

On this page you will find information about the types of physicians and midwives who offer pregnancy and birth care in Wisconsin, types of birth settings, and about adoption. On our Life Resources page you can find a list of additional health partners, including state and local resources for safe food, water, housing, transportation, and social, physical, and mental health. You can also call us for this information!

​A physician or midwife does not take the place of a doula. A doula is not a medical practitioner but is available to you as individualized one-on-one support during your pregnancy, labor, birth, and postpartum. 

 
 
Practitioners

 

Individual practitioners vary in experience and types of training, philosophy, and practice structure. Obstetrician physicians specialize in gynecological surgery, disease, and complications of pregnancy and birth. Midwives and family physicians have expertise in normal health processes and generally care for people experiencing non-acute health conditions. Research shows that best practices are ones where practitioners of various training and backgrounds collaborate together.

Many people believe that they must stay with the practitioner or practice group they know or have been assigned to, but in fact, you can research your healthcare options until you find the health partner and place that feel best for you. Most practitioners offer a brief meet-and-greet or free interview.

 

Questions that are important to some pregnant people:

  • How much time will the practitioner spend with me at appointments?

  • Is my partner/doula/friend/child/other family member welcome?

  • Who else does the practitioner work or collaborate with?

  • Will the practitioner I see in pregnancy be with me in labor? What about after birth?

  • What classes or other resources are available?

Obstetrician / Gynecologist (OBGYN)
 
Obstetricians (OBs) are specialist physicians and surgeons who care for people seeking wellness, gynecological, reproductive, pregnancy, birth, and postpartum care from adolescence onward. OBs do not care for infants. OBs
continue care beyond pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. 
 
In Wisconsin, Obstetricians:
  • most often practice in small to large groups but can practice individually;
  • care for people in clinics and hospitals;
  • prescribe medications;
  • are trained in neonatal resuscitation and CPR;
  • bill Medicaid/BadgerCare, federal, and private insurances (your insurance may determine which practitioner you work with).*
 
*check with your insurance and the website of your local clinic(s) for the most updated and complete list of covered Obstetricians
Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) or Licensed Midwife (LM)
 
Certified Professional Midwives are licensed as Licensed Midwives in Wisconsin. CPMs/LMs care for people throughout the childbearing year, including through pregnancy, birth, postpartum, lactation, and early infant cares and screens. LMs often also are experienced doulas and offer individualized care through six weeks after birth.
In Wisconsin, Licensed Midwives:
  • practice in individual or small group practices;*
  • care for people in homes, offices, and independent birth centers;
  • offer labor, birth, postpartum and newborn medications;
  • are trained and certified in neonatal resuscitation and CPR;
  • may bill Medicaid/BadgerCare and many private insurances (WI HMOs do not contract with out-of-hospital midwives);
  • offer self-pay discounts or sliding-scale arrangements.
*to find a Licensed Midwife, google midwives in your area and click below
Family Medical Doctor (MD)
 
Family MDs or Physicians are also called Family Medicine or Primary Care Physicians and care for people of all ages. They may or may not offer obstetric services, so you must ask about this. Family MDs with obstetric service care for people seeking wellness, gynecological, reproductive, pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and infant care and screens. Family MDs continue care beyond pregnancy, birth, and postpartum and can care for the whole family.
 
In Wisconsin, Family Physicians:
  • most often practice in small to large groups but can practice individually;
  • most often care for people in clinics and hospitals but can work in homes and independent birth centers;
  • prescribe medications;
  • are trained in neonatal resuscitation and CPR;
  • bill Medicaid/BadgerCare, federal, and private insurances (your insurance may determine which practitioner you work with).*
 
*check with your insurance and the website of your local clinic(s) for the most updated and complete list of covered Family Physicians
Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)
 
Certified Nurse Midwives are licensed both as registered nurses (RNs) and nurse-midwives. CNMs care for people seeking wellness, gynecological, reproductive, pregnancy, birth, and postpartum care from adolescence onward.
CNMs continue care beyond pregnancy, birth, and postpartum and may offer early infant cares and screens.
In Wisconsin, Certified Nurse Midwives:
  • most often practice in small to moderate-sized groups but can practice individually;*
  • most often care for people in clinics and hospitals but can work in homes and independent birth centers;
  • most often prescribe medications;
  • are trained and may be certified in neonatal resuscitation and CPR;
  • may bill Medicaid/BadgerCare, federal, and most private insurances (WI HMOs do not contract with out-of-hospital midwives; your insurance may determine which practitioner you work with);**
  • may offer self-pay discounts or sliding-scale arrangements.
 
*to find a Certified Nurse Midwife, google midwives in your area and click below
**check with your insurance and the website of your local clinic(s) for the most updated and complete list of covered Nurse Midwives
 
Birth Settings
Hospital
 

Hospital births are attended by physicians (MDs and OBGYNs) and nurse-midwives (CNMs) in Wisconsin, alongside

nurses and other medical staff. You may invite family members and/or a doula to be present with you.

 

When you plan a hospital birth, prenatal care takes place in the clinic, while birth and early postpartum and newborn care takes place in the hospital. After you leave the hospital, all care typically returns to the clinic, though you may qualify for home health visiting services or hire private doula and lactation home assistance.

 

Standard Wisconsin assessments, tests, screens, and procedures, such as ultrasounds and blood work, are performed during your own and your infant's course of care. You have a right to ask questions and request time for discussion and consideration of options, before accepting tests, screens, and procedures.

 

Hospital birth attendants are experienced in supporting medicated, unmedicated, and surgical birth. Lactation support

is routinely available. In hospitals where nurse-midwives practice, water birth may be an option. 

 
Home
 

Home births are attended by midwives (both LMs and CNMs) in Wisconsin, typically alongside a second midwife and family members. Homebirth midwives often are also experienced doulas. You may invite additional doula support.

 

When you plan a home birth, prenatal care takes place in the midwife's office or in your home. Labor, birth, postpartum, lactation, and newborn care takes place in your home. If a health complication is detected at any time in pregnancy, labor, or postpartum, the midwife helps you transfer care to hospital practitioners. The midwife may continue care in a supportive role, or you may resume full care with your midwife after health concerns are resolved. The final postpartum visit typically takes place in the midwife's office.

 

Standard Wisconsin assessments, tests, screens, and procedures, such as ultrasounds and blood work, are offered and discussed during your own and your infant's course of care, before they are ordered or performed. 

 

Home birth midwives are experienced in supporting unmedicated birth, water birth, lactation, and new parenting. 

 
 
Independent Birth Center

 

Independent birth centers are not affiliated with hospitals. Birth center births are attended by family physicians and midwives (both LMs and CNMs), alongside birth center staff. You may invite family members and/or a doula to be present with you. 

 

When you plan a birth center birth, prenatal care takes place in the center. At some centers, you may choose whether to birth in the center or at home. If you birth in the center, immediate postpartum and newborn care takes place there. If you birth at home, postpartum and newborn care takes place at home, while follow-up care takes place in the center.

If a health complication is detected at any time in pregnancy, labor, or postpartum, birth center staff helps you transfer care to hospital practitioners. Birth center staff may continue care in a supportive role, or you may resume full care at

the birth center after health concerns are resolved.  

 

Standard Wisconsin assessments, tests, screens and procedures, such as ultrasounds and blood work, are offered and discussed during your own and your infant's course of care, before they are ordered or performed.

 

Birth Center attendants are experienced in supporting unmedicated birth, water birth, lactation, and new parenting. 

 

 

Wisconsin's Birth Centers

Northeast

Alba Birth Center

 
Northwest
Ashland Birth Center

Central 

Footprints Midwifery

Matrifocal Midwifery

         

                                        

Southeast 

Authentic Birth Center

Stateline Midwives

Southwest

Tranquility Birth Services
Trillium Midwifery Services
Open Door Midwifery
Matrifocal Midwifery

 

Adoption

Making an adoption plan is the ultimate parenting decision.

You are not “giving up your baby” or giving up on anything, including yourself.

As an expectant parent, or birth parent, you will decide what is best for your baby.

                                                                            Adoptions of Wisconsin, Inc.

Planning an adoption does not erase your experience of pregnancy, labor, and birth.  The healthcare you access during pregnancy, labor, and birth can affect your health and well being for the rest of your life. You have a right to

person-centering and community-informed healthcare, a well supported pregnancy and birth, and a positive adoption experience.

 

As a pregnant person and birth parent, you may be able to access any of the healthcare practitioner and birth setting options that are described on this page above, including doula support, if that feels beneficial to you. Please also see our Life Resources page. If you seek Safe Haven access or to relinquish an infant, you can call us at any time of night or day for confidential information and support.

Our Adoption Resources page lists a variety of organizations that help pregnant people create an adoption plan that they feel comfortable with. Many of the organizations offer counseling and resource referral to pregnant and birth parents, as well as ongoing opportunities for education, support, and networking. These organizations are free for pregnant people exploring or planning adoption, and calling them does not obligate you to choose

adoption or to work with any specific group. 

YOU ARE WELCOME HERE
How can we support you?