Before We Begin:

These are recommendations based upon my own experience, those of my clients, and my research on the World Wide Web. A reminder that each pregnancy and birth is unique and there is no one size fits all approach to anything.

First Trimester

Healthcare Provider

You've discovered that you're pregnant, yay! It's time to decide whether you'll be seeking the care of an OBGYN or a midwife. Both are medical professionals trained in practicing evidence-based care. You might begin by asking yourself these questions to determine the best option:

  • Do I have a health issue that make this a high risk pregnancy or birth?
  • Do I desire an epidural or to labor unmedicated?
  • Would I like my provider to be a skilled surgeon?
  • Will I be birthing in the hospital, birth center, or home?

South Sound Recommendation:

First Light Midwifery

Laoch Midwifery

St. Joes Midwifery Birth Center


Hiring a doula early can be so beneficial because they can help you navigate the birth planning process. Together you can discuss your preferences, create a birth plan, and find resources for child birth education, positioning, tinctures, and beyond. Doulas also offer incredible support during labor and the postpartum period.

South Sound Recommendation:

Mama Earth Birth & Baby Services - Katie Pumphrey

Puget Sound Birth - Christina Mensa (Bonus: rents birth pools)

Revolutionary Intentions Doula at True North Birth Center in Poulsbo, WA

Second Trimester

Birth Photographer

I would suggest booking your birth photographer right around your 4th month of pregnancy. This secures your date on our busy calendars, and gives us plenty of time to get to know each other during an in-person meeting, possible home visit, and maternity photos! Each member of my team only takes 2 births per month; don't wait until your third trimester and run the risk of your photographer being unavailable. Booking your photographer well in advance also gives you more time to make payments!

South Sound Recommendation:

Kyle Kaz - Matriarch Birth Photography (Hi, it's me!)

Kyle, Tiarra, & Sydelle - The Wildflower Birth Photographers

Childbirth Educator

If you're a first-time parent I cannot emphasize a childbirth education course more. These courses are designed to teach you everything from the physiology of birth, to pain management and coping techniques, optimal positioning in labor, tips for your birth partner, lactation support, etc! They are an actual treasure trove of knowledge that you will absolutely need. Your course can span several weeks (short, 1-2 classes after work each week) or a one-time class that lasts for several hours.

South Sound Recommendation:

Esther Darms - CBE

The Birthing Inn

Emily Coates LM, CPM of First Light Midwifery

Throughout Pregnancy & Postpartum

Massage Therapist & Chiropractor

Massage and chiropractic care are an ongoing necessity in pregnancy and the postpartum period. Your muscles, joints and ligaments are going through the wringer! Certain chiropractors can even use a special maneuver called the Webster Maneuver to create enough space in the pelvis for a breech baby to turn. Consider this permission to treat yourself!

South Sound Recommendation:

Birth and Body by Mari

Mitchell Family Chiropractic - Dr. Jess Mitchell

Pelvic Floor Therapist

Look, crossing your legs when you sneeze because you're terrified to leak is not normal, and it doesn't just happen to people who have already had children. Pregnancy can wreak havoc on your pelvic floor. You can actually see a pelvic floor therapist during your pregnancy to strengthen and/or relax your pelvic floor and prepare for childbirth.

South Sound Recommendation:

Dr. Mandi Murtaugh

Mari Allday LM of Birth & Body by Mari

A Closing Note:

It is never too late to change providers if you do not feel safe, heard or supported. Every birthing person deserves to be informed about and empowered by their birth decisions. This is not an exhaustive list of birth workers and perinatal health specialists, but they are by far some of the most sought after professionals.