There is a spectrum of safe and reasonable approaches to giving birth. You might be very sure you want an epidural or that you want a natural childbirth, or maybe you’re happy to play it either way. You might be someone who feels most comfortable supported by a highly trained OB who can take care of you no matter what complications you develop. Or perhaps you prefer a midwife who has the skills to help you labor naturally and minimize interventions. Hospital technology might be reassuring for you, or you might feel safest in the comfort and familiarity of a homelike setting with your family and friends to support you.

The best providers for you will be the ones who share your approach to birth. The BirthGuide Questionnaire,  Birth Stories and Birth Settings features are designed to help you discover where you belong on that spectrum. BirthGuide offers you the tools to understand your options, weigh the pros and cons of each choice, and clarify what feels right to you. And then, once you know how you want to give birth, BirthGuide’s Find Local Providers feature can help you decide where to give birth and who will care for you. 

The information you find on BirthGuide is as trustworthy, complete and unbiased as we can make it. Our Medical Advisory Board is a group of generous, highly trained doctors and midwives who help us keep track of the medical research and present it accurately and fairly. We talk to mothers about their experiences, we talk to providers about their special interests and expertise. Our goal is collect in one place all the information you need to make choices you will feel good about, no matter how your pregnancy and birth unfold.



Jessica Illuzzi, MD, MS, FACOG, is the Section Chief of the Obstetric Specialties and Midwifery section at Yale School of Medicine, as well as the Medical Director of the Vidone Center at Yale-New Haven Hospital, the home of a collaborative faculty practice of obstetricians and certified nurse midwives who provide individualized care, supporting physiologic birth, vaginal birth after cesarean and family-centered cesarean. She completed a Master of Science degree in Epidemiology at the Yale School of Graduate Studies. Dr. Illuzzi’s research examines the use of obstetric interventions and their impact on maternal and neonatal outcomes, especially among low risk women.
Diana R. Jolles, PhD, CNM, is recognized as a national leader, largely for her development of the Denver Health Medical Center inpatient midwifery service and her directorship of the Family Health and Birth Center in Washington, DC. As faculty for Frontier Nursing University, she teaches innovation, quality improvement and healthcare finance. Her research includes evaluation of unwarranted variation in NQF endorsed quality measures within populations of Medicaid beneficiaries. Jolles works at El Rio Community Health Center in Tucson Arizona where she attends families at El Rio’s Birth and Women’s Health Center and Tucson Medical Center.
Martha Nicholson, MD, is a pediatric hospitalist with The Permanente Medical Group in the Bay Area where she works on both the pediatric ward and in the well baby nursery.  She is in charge of the pediatric and family medicine resident rotations in the Walnut Creek hospital, and is Associate Chief of the inpatient pediatric hospitalist service.  Previous jobs include Senior Program Officer at The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation working to improve quality outcomes in Bay Area hospitals, Director of Medical Affairs for BioMarin Pharmaceutical, and Director, Clinical Affairs for Scios, Johnson & Johnson.


Anne Nicholson Weber, JD, is the mother of three, grandmother of three, and a former childbirth educator and doula. She left her job helping young professionals learn their craft at a global law firm so she could start BirthGuide. She has also been a litigator, teacher, author and journalist.


If families are to make informed decisions about the maternity care that is best for them, they must have accurate and complete information. BirthGuide is an excellent resource that provides balanced, up-to-date information in an easy to use website.”

Susan Stapleton, CNM, DNP, FACNM, founder and former director of Reading Birth & Women’s Center, attending birth center, hospital and home births for 25-years; Chair of the American Association of Birth Centers’ Research Committee.

“BirthGuide is easy to navigate, informative and accurate. I find it an excellent resource for my patients in helping them understand and navigate the many decisions surrounding birth.”  

Gayle Riedmann, CNM, President, West Suburban Midwife Associates, Oak Park, IL

BirthGuide provides a balanced view of the evidence on the safety of home birth — pointing out the uncertainties in the evidence base, highlighting the more important studies and reviews, and putting the results into perspective (including describing absolute and relative risks). The description of some of the errors in the research base (eg. not differentiating planned births from where the birth occurred) is commendable and will educate even some of the providers.” [response to the home birth research section of BirthGuideChicago.com]

Michael Bracken, PhD, MPH, FACE, Susan Dwight Bliss Professor Emeritus and Senior Research Scientist, Yale University; Co-Director, Yale Center for Perinatal, Pediatric and Environmental Epidemiology, Co-Founder and Co-Editor, Cochrane Neonatal Review Group, Cochrane Collaboration.

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