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Finding a healthcare provider
It's best to start looking for a healthcare provider as soon as possible. This can be a daunting task, if you don’t already have a doctor or midwife that you trust, and enjoy working with. It’s important to find a healthcare provider that shares your ideas and values about childbirth, because he or she will be the one that guides you through your pregnancy and birth. You may want to interview several people before deciding on one. If you ultimately choose a doctor or midwife from a large practice, be sure to find out if who will be available during your birth. Sometimes, many providers can’t guarantee who will be with you during your birth, so you’ll want to be prepared for that possibility ahead of time. Also, check with your insurance provider to find out what your limitations are in your selection, if you have any. If you have no idea where to begin in choosing a provider, ask your local labor and delivery nurses for recommendations.
Below you will find some helpful interviewing questions for prospective providers.
- Does the healthcare provider listen to your concerns, provide you with helpful answers, and allow you time for follow-up questions?
- Can this healthcare provider deliver your baby where you would like to (home, hospital, birthing tub, etc)?
- What is this provider’s C-section and episiotomy rate?
- How can you contact this provider after-hours?
- If there is an emergency delivery, and your healthcare provider is not available, who will be able to provide care for you?
- Does your healthcare provider respect your views on pregnancy and delivery?
- How long has this healthcare provider been in practice?
- Is this healthcare provider board certified?
- Does he/she have references that they can provide you with?
- Are you allowed to write a personal birth plan, and will it be followed to the best of his/her ability?
- Ultimately, it’s most important to select a healthcare provider that you and your partner trust, and feel comfortable working with.