Doctor, doctor…picking the right provider and hospital

No doubt you have seen your doctor several times during this pregnancy.  And I would suppose that you like him or her fairly well, or you wouldn’t go back. At least, that is what I would hope. Do you know who will be delivering your baby? It’s important to at least partially get to know the staff at your doctor’s office as well as their roles.  Could you, and do you want to be delivered by a midwife, an obstetrician, or a primary care/family doctor? Do you even know what yours is?  It’s important to ask these questions and find out the answers before it’s time to say “push!”.  
If you haven’t had an opportunity to visit the hospital or birthing center where you will be delivering, make sure to do so.  Consider what your goals are for labor and try to find a facility that can help you meet those goals.  If you don’t want continuous monitoring during labor, or choose to eat, drink or walk, find a birthing center that allows those practices. You will also need to make sure your doctor/midwife has privileges to deliver in that facility–while you may be able to stroll in and have a baby, they may not be allowed to deliver you there. Most doctors or midwives only work in one–maybe two places at one time.

If you read my previous post about birth plans--and how they usually equate to a c-section in a hospital setting, you will see that my view of less invasive care is a bit skewed.  While I am absolutely not against a home birth or minimally invasive labor, I just don’t think you should come to a hospital and expect to labor as if you were doing it at home.  We just don’t work that way.  Many hospitals do look at childbirth as an emergency waiting to happen–I know that.

I also know that childbirth is a miraculous, wonderful event and every effort should be made to meet the families’ expectations as much as possible.  Above all, make sure that you trust, and feel comfortable with your health care team. When seconds count and you aren’t thinking as clear as you should, it means a lot to know you have a team of health care providers on your side that will do what’s best for you and your baby.