Finding the RIGHT provider for your pregnancy journey is crucial. It is also a personal decision. Your best friend's provider may be perfect for her but that does not necessarily mean that they will be perfect for you.
THINGS TO ASK YOURSELF & RESEARCH:
Come on, who REALLY wants to think about the money side of pregnancy? But just like you would prepare your finances for a car, a house, gifts, and so on you need to financially prepare for a baby. I’m here to tell you, BABIES ARE EXPENSIVE!
Check your insurance coverage when it comes to prenatal, labor & delivery, and postnatal care. Will it cover genetic testing, emergency c-section, and/or premature birth? Make yourself familiar with in-network providers and hospitals. Check to see what your insurance covers and how much would you have to pay out of pocket. The goal is to spend as little as possible out-of-pocket. Now, if you absolutely DO NOT like any of the in-network providers then just make sure that you are financially prepared to have a baby.
2. HEALTH HISTORY
Are you a healthy individual or do you have a history of diabetes, high blood pressure, miscarriages, endometriosis, HIV-positive, or any other existing health conditions? If so, you are considered high-risk. Being high-risk means that your life or the baby’s life could be in danger. Some pregnancies become a high risk as they progress. Even if you are a healthy individual, still consider every aspect.
Finding the PERFECT provider who will be patient and consider your health is very important.
[Each provider delivers at a specific hospital]
It’s like a package deal. If you LOVE the provider but don’t really care about the hospital or vice versa, then that is something to think about. Do they offer classes or a tour? Are they a baby factory (in the sense of making you feel like a number ($$) and not a patient)? Do they have a high c-section rate? Do they offer water laboring? What level of NICU care does the hospital provide, if needed? What type of care and lactation support is offered after birth? How many people are allowed in the room? Do you even want a hospital birth or an at-home birth?
Get to know their team. Most likely the OB/GYN that saw you during your prenatal visits will not be the one that delivers your baby. (It will be whoever is on call that night unless you and your provider have an agreement.)
DON’T BE AFRAID TO INTERVIEW YOUR PROVIDER-make sure that you feel safe with them. Everything may not go as plan, so you have to be able to have trust in them. Research their track record and credentials. Are they listening to your concerns or do you feel as though they are brushing you off? How do they handle pain management? Do they offer elective induction? Fetal heartbeat monitoring? What about doula services or do you have to find your own? Would they be willing to do a vaginal delivery if you’ve had a C-section in the past (VBAC)? Are they available for questions and/or concerns during/after office hours? Ask yourself: “WHAT ARE MY DEAL BREAKERS”?
[AT THE END OF THE DAY GO WITH YOUR GUT FEELING. YOU ARE NOT A SICK PATIENT]
TYPES OF PROVIDERS
You have physicians (MD/DO), physician assistants, and certified midwives who are all qualified medical providers. They specialize in women’s healthcare, including pregnancies, childbirth, and postpartum. DO NOT look at titles but more so QUALITY. As stated earlier, look at their track records and make sure that you feel like a patient and not a number.
Best of luck to you and yours and WELCOME to #motherhood (: