Having the right people by your side during childbirth can mean the difference between a smooth labor and delivery experience and a stressful one! When deciding who to have on your birth team, it’s important to think carefully about who’ll be physically present at the hospital, who’d you like support from, and what your priorities are. You might want someone who can act as a sounding board to address your questions and concerns or someone you’d trust to help you make the right decisions about you and your baby’s care.

Remember, you have the final say in who supports you. Here’s a breakdown of the people who might play an important role in your labor and delivery as members of your birth team roster! 

Your healthcare provider

Your healthcare provider often is a critical member of any birthing team. Depending on the type of care you receive, this provider may be an OB-GYN, a midwife, or a family doctor. They’ll have the expertise and know-how to best monitor your health throughout labor and delivery, perform procedures like administering medications, examine the baby after birth, and answer any questions you may have along the way. It’s important to research providers in your area before committing to one. You’ll want to feel comfortable with their level of support, knowledge, and care philosophy.

Birthing partner

A birthing partner is usually your life partner but can also be anyone you trust – like a close friend or family member. Your partner will be there to provide physical and emotional support before, during, and after labor. A birthing partner might help you with pain management (e.g., massage, etc.), cheer you on, and maybe supply you with much-needed comfort items such as snacks, music, or cold compresses. Having someone close by while giving birth, especially if it’s someone who you feel safe and secure with, can make navigating this life-changing experience so much easier.

Nursing staff

Though nurses may actively carry out medical directives on behalf of a physician, they also serve as an essential resource for information, reassurance, and guidance. They administer medications, monitor vital signs, and answer questions about what’s happening around you regarding your pregnancy and labor progress or potential choices for particular procedures. Nurses also typically assist laboring women through routine tasks like getting up from bed multiple times per hour to aid relaxation techniques intended to counter discomfort from contractions or manage movement limitations due to an epidural being administered earlier in labor. 

Your birthing team is essential for a smooth labor and delivery experience. Here's a look at who should be on yours before you welcome baby into the world - from healthcare providers to genetic counselors!


A doula is trained specifically to provide general physical comfort measures, like massage therapy, and moral/psychological support throughout your pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Your doula can also offer postpartum follow-ups related to your health and recovery concerns following delivery. If possible, pregnant people and couples should look into hiring a licensed doula weeks before going into labor, so they have a clearer idea of the services they want leading up to their due date. With this early insight, your doula will have essential information to best support you when delivery time comes -  day or night. 

Genetic counselors 

Genetic counselors are medical professionals who offer patients and expectant parents special insight into what a genetic testing result might mean and the potential risks associated with genetic conditions. As members of your birth team, meeting with a genetic counselor early on in your pregnancy journey is important in crafting a plan regarding your pregnancy, labor, delivery, and future. They can help you better understand what options are available for prenatal genetic testing, such as the Hazel™ Non-Invasive Prenatal Screening, (NIPS, or NIPT), and how the results of these types of tests might impact your pregnancy experience and baby’s health. At Juno, our team of board-certified genetic counselors are here to guide and support you. Whether you have a specific genetic concern, are interested in prenatal genetic testing, or have questions about genetic counseling services, we’re here to help and hopefully offer you peace of mind. 

Birth plan, final thoughts

Childbirth is one of the key milestones in pregnancy, and the experience is different for everyone. Some parents-to-be want to include several family members or friends, while others prefer a more intimate setting. Remember, you are in control of your birth plan, which means you get to pick the members you’d like to surround you and provide emotional and physical support in an atmosphere focused on safety and reassurance. 

Click here to learn more about our Juno Hazel™ Non-Invasive Prenatal Screening Test, and sign up for our newsletter to stay updated on the latest pregnancy tips and product releases from JunoDx.


Please note: JunoDx.com and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

February 09, 2023 — Stephanie McClintock