Your Maternity Journey Vol. 6

Your Maternity Journey Vol. 6

Getting the Right Care—Before and After You Get Pregnant

Having the right healthcare team for your needs is always important, but when you are planning to start a family, choosing care becomes even more personal. You need providers you trust—who will work with you through every stage of the process, from preconception to pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum.

At MarinHealth OB/GYN | A UCSF Health Clinic, you can be seen by a midwife, nurse practitioner, or OB/GYN, or a combination of all three! It’s a good idea to meet with a provider as part of your pregnancy planning to discuss stopping birth control and other lifestyle changes, complete any necessary screenings, and raise any potential fertility concerns. When it comes time to deliver, MarinHealth Medical Center has both Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs) and OB/GYN hospitalists available 24/7. Our Maternity Care providers function as a team to provide compassionate, individualized care during labor and delivery.


Midwives are the experts in normal pregnancies and childbirth. Midwives provide personalized, empathic, evidenced-based care. Midwives support choice—whether you desire natural childbirth or are planning an epidural, our midwives are there to guide you in your choices through shared decision making.

Midwives attend the majority of births at MarinHealth Medical Center. Midwifery care is widely shown to provide best outcomes including low C-section and episiotomy rates, increased breastfeeding support and success, and better birth satisfaction overall.

At MarinHealth, all of our midwives are Certified Nurse Midwives, or CNMs. This means they are registered nurses with a masters or doctorate in Nursing and a certification from the American Midwifery Certification Board certification. MarinHealth’s midwives can provide a broad range of services, including annual checkups, birth control, as well as pregnancy, birth, and postpartum care.


Chances are you already have a gynecologist who you visit for birth control, pelvic exams, and other routine screenings. Most gynecologists are also obstetricians, and the specialty is known as OB/GYN. An OB/GYN is a medical doctor who specializes in reproductive health, pregnancy care, labor, and delivery. OB/GYNs have completed four years of medical school, plus a four-year residency program. They are high risk specialists that collaborate and consult with our CNMs during more complex deliveries as needed, and are surgically trained to perform cesarean sections (C-sections) when necessary. At MarinHealth, our OB/GYNs are board-certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG). This means they have passed a qualifying exam, demonstrated expertise in multiple aspects of their specialty, and earned a certification.

Don’t Skip Your Primary Care

Regular visits with your primary care physician can help ensure that you get the routine and preventive care you need to stay healthy. It’s vital to discuss your family plans with your primary care doctor early on, and get any screenings, tests, or immunizations you may need to be as healthy as possible before you conceive.

Pre-Baby Bucket List: Things to Do Before You Get Pregnant

Becoming a parent changes your life forever. Yes, it’s a cliché, and yes, it’s true. Welcoming a child changes your life in many wonderful, meaningful ways. But there’s no denying that the awesome responsibility of caring for and raising a little human will impact your budget and your lifestyle. Here’s some fun stuff you just might want to get out of your system, ASAP:

  • Travel
    Travel is a lot easier and cheaper—not to mention spontaneous—without kiddos. Your dream international vacation may not be possible quite yet, but increasing vaccination rates and declining COVID case rates mean it’s ok to start planning domestic trips—as long as you’re fully vaccinated. Just be sure to follow the CDC’s latest travel guidelines.
  • Strengthen your bond
    If you’re part of a couple, spend a little time cementing your relationship and enjoying each other’s company. Build a strong foundation as a team so you can parent as a team.
  • Eat at fancy restaurants
    If you’re a foodie, pick a place you’d never bring a baby to and enjoy a romantic evening or a fun night out with friends.
  • Adopt a dog
    “Fur babies” are like a dry run for the real thing. Get the puppy while you aren’t too busy with a baby to train it properly.
  • Learn to do something you’ve always wanted to master
    Wish you could play the banjo? Want to take up pottery or learn Italian? Get going!
  • Be spontaneous
    Drive out to the middle of nowhere to see a meteor shower. Take off on an impromptu weekend road trip. Go out to dinner in the middle of the week. Plans will be much more mandatory post-baby.
  • Pamper yourself
    Splurge on a massage. Schedule a mani-pedi. Do something different with your hair. Enjoy that me-time while you have it.
  • Sleep in
    Just for the heck of it. Because you can.

And now for the serious stuff…
Now that you’ve thought of some fun activities to engage in while you’re still footloose and baby free, here are some more serious things to check off your before-a-baby to-do list:

  • Save money
    See what you can squirrel away while still indulging yourself from time to time.
  • Finish school
    If this is something you know you want to do, do it now, while you have more time and are not financially responsible for a child.
  • Declutter
    Babies are stuff magnets. You’ll need to make room for toys and baby gear soon, so get a head start by getting rid of unwanted items now. Your local donation center will appreciate anything that’s still in good condition!
  • Learn about parenting
    Read books about parenting—and not just how-to manuals for the baby’s first year. Have an open conversation with your parents about what it was like raising you , or ask friends who have kids to share their candid thoughts.
  • Get comfortable with yourself
    If you’re dealing with insecurity or are carrying around unresolved issues from your past, talk to a psychologist, counselor, or spiritual advisor. Becoming your best self will help you be a better parent.
  • Feather your nest
    If something needs fixing around the house, get cracking. Workers, dust, and paint fumes are not ideal with an infant in the house.