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What is a Birth Team

  • Published 06 March 2024
  • Updated 16 March 2024
What is a Birth Team

Any woman needs support during childbirth, especially when it comes to risk pregnancy when a woman is physically and mentally exhausted. In birthing center

during labor and delivery you should be surrounded by professionals in your field and people close to you who are ready to share this experience with you and help you cope with difficulties. Here you can learn about the importance of Birth Team and how to select members for it.

How to choose the right Birth Team Members

Choosing the right birth team for your birthing experience takes some careful consideration as well as thought into what kind of birth you want to have. Once you know what sort of delivery you want, you may consider who should be there to support your birth. 

For instance, you may choose to use a midwife, doula, and birthing partner if you made the decision to give birth at home. On the other hand, you may select an obstetrician, midwife, nurse, and of course your birthing partner if you made the decision to give birth in a hospital.

Who is part of a birth team?

Who could it be?

  1. Husband
  2. Other relatives - mother, sister
  3. Doula
  4. Individual midwife
  5. Doctor under contract

It can be either the whole team as a whole, or someone from this list.


Role: Choosing tactics for pregnancy and childbirth, monitoring and evaluating the situation, recommendations for changing tactics, carrying out medical interventions (including cesarean section).

Important: When signing a contract at the maternity hospital, there is an opportunity to choose a specific doctor in advance. In childbirth, the birth is conducted by a doctor on duty, but even in this case you have the right to replace the doctor if for some reason he did not suit you.

During the physiological course of labor, the doctor may periodically look in and most of the time not be present directly with you, even if it is a contract birth.


Role: Fulfillment of doctor's appointments, acceptance of physiological childbirth, first application to the breast, necessary measurements of the child after childbirth, transfer of the woman to the postpartum department.

Important: If desired, in a contract birth, you can choose an individual midwife who will be with you throughout the delivery. the nurse will be on duty and accompany the women in other boxes in parallel, coming to you if necessary. However, you still have the right to change the nurse if she did not suit you for some reason .

In some maternity hospitals, not only those who constantly work in this maternity hospital can be hired as an individual nurse, but also private individual nurse. The choice of a nurse may determine the possibility of free behavior during labor /attempts and the implementation of other issues of the concept of soft labor.

Partner/Support Person

Here are some tips for building a support team from within your friends and/or family:

  • Remember that women have helped each other in birth and afterward for thousands of years. Be sure to choose people who share your view of birth, make you feel confident and safe and will follow your wishes at your birth.
  • Don’t necessarily assume that a friend or family member with medical experience will offer the best labor support. Studies have shown that continuous support from people without medical training (like a doula) may actually provide more benefits than support from people who are nurses or doctors, and only you know the personalities of your friends and family members.
  • Involve your labor support companion(s) in your birth planning. Invite them to a prenatal appointment and your childbirth classes. Take a tour together of the place you will give birth. Do a “labor rehearsal” where you practice comfort measures. If you write a birth plan, share it with your labor support companions and make sure they have a chance to talk about it with you and ask questions.
  • If there are several people providing you support (such as your partner and a family member or friend), make sure that the members of your “team” communicate well with each other and that each person is clear about what his or her role will be. Building team communication will ensure that everyone—including you—can stay focused on your labor, instead of worrying about how to work together.
  • Share your favorite books, articles or websites about birth with your labor support team.


Research says that having a doula (a trained labor support professional) as part of your labor support team provides the most benefits. But how do you find someone who is a good fit to be part of your labor support team? Here are some tips:

  • If you have a friend who has used a doula, ask her to share her story and have her introduce you to her doula. Keep in mind that each woman and her birth are unique. While this doula may have been perfect for your friend, you must decide if this doula is a good match for you.
  • Ask your midwife or doctor for recommendations. Some hospitals and birth centers provide doula services or referrals. Some providers regularly work with doulas. But remember that a doula works for you, not for your doctor or midwife. If you don’t click with the person your provider recommends, keep searching.
  • Ask your childbirth educator for a referral. They have heard many birth stories and may know the local doulas who have helped other women, or may work as a doula, too. By spending time together in your classes, you’ll get to know each other before your birth.
  • Check the websites of the organizations that train and certify doulas, such as DONA International. Most of these sites will let you search by location for a doula near you.
  • Interview several doulas if possible before choosing one. When getting ready for your interview, think about what you want your doula to do for you. How will she fit in with the rest of your labor support team? Think about the ways you deal with challenges and how you like to be treated when you need support. What helps you to relax? Do you like lots of massage or do you prefer the distraction of a conversation? How does your partner want to support you? Does he or she want to participate in the physical support or just to be there emotionally for you? Ask the doula how she sees her role at your birth.
  • If your insurance doesn’t cover doulas and you can’t afford the doula’s fees, look for a doula-in-training. She may not have as much experience with birth as someone who is certified, but she may attend your birth for little or no fee in order to earn her certification. Some communities have volunteer doula services for women in need. Some doulas will write a contract for women to pay over time or even trade for another service that you can offer to her.

Read on to find out more: How to Choose a Doula.

What kind of support do you need?

Think about what makes you feel comfortable and safe during situations that are intense or painful.

  • Do you feel better when you have several people around you?
  • Do you prefer to be alone or have just one person with you so you can focus inward?
  • Do you appreciate having someone there who has been through a similar situation?
  • Do you want to have people around you who will be very vocal?
  • Do you want people there who will keep the mood light-hearted? Or people who will be quietly supportive?

You can use these questions to choose which members of your support system will be most useful and encouraging to you throughout your labor and delivery.

What do you want to avoid?

Consideration of what you don't want to happen during labor and delivery is just as vital as consideration of what you want. For instance, there can be really dear friends or family members that you adore, yet they might have strong opinions and doubt your decisions. 

Focus on your needs

Everyone that was there at your birth need to be there to assist you and your requirements. Inform them politely but firmly that there will be other chances for them to be engaged, and that being there during the delivery isn't one of them, if there are individuals who wish to be there but won't help to make the birth experience good for you. It's OK to put your needs first. 

Other ways to include people

Some loved ones may be disappointed that they aren’t asked to attend the birth. But they might appreciate being included in other ways. For example, the outgoing friend who might have the wrong energy to be in the room for your birth, might be the perfect person to ask to organize a meal train for after you get home. Think about how you can include your loved ones in ways other than being physically present at your birth.

What Is A Birth Team


Why is Team Birth Important?

Women in labor in the United States are more likely to experience abuse, serious complications, or death than residents of any other high-income country. The risks are even higher for blacks or indigenous peoples. However, many of these cases can be prevented. Failures in communication and teamwork between clinical teams play a role in 80-90 percent of cases of harm to the patient. 

Team delivery is an industry standard process aimed at improving communication, teamwork and joint decision-making throughout the delivery process, giving everyone a chance to have a safe and dignified birth.

Who is Using Team Birth?

This is the choice of those who want to share the experience of childbirth in a couple or simply do not want to go this way alone. In such an important and difficult period in a woman's life, many would like to receive help and support.  Good support during childbirth may include reminding you to eat and drink, wiping your face, or combing your hair. This may mean helping to change positions, massage, applying a cool cloth to the forehead, or whispering words of encouragement. It can be your partner holding your hand and reminding you how beautiful and strong you are. It could be your doula giving you all the attention as you handle every fight. Good birth attendants try to meet all your physical and emotional needs during childbirth.x

Where is the Research about Team Birth?

The TeamBirth care process was tested in a clinical trial at four hospitals in Massachusetts, Oklahoma, and Washington, involving hundreds of clinicians and tens of thousands of families. 

In the trial: 

79% of patients felt their preferences made a difference in the care they received.

87% of patients felt they had the role they wanted in decisions about their labor. 

94% of patients reported that their clinical team talked with them in a way they could understand.

90% of clinicians said they would recommend TeamBirth.

TeamBirth was designed based on best practices in communication, teamwork, and clinical care in collaboration with experts from the major professional organizations in obstetrics in the United Staes, including ACOG, SMFM, ACNM, and AWHONN.

As of May 2022, TeamBirth has been implemented at 28 hospitals across the US, with a total of 120 planned for implementation before the year is over.

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