So, you just found out you're expecting, and suddenly, choosing a medical provider feels like a massive puzzle. We get it – it’s a big deal! Quick disclaimer: we’re not doctors, just your virtual big sisters sharing our nuggets of wisdom.But, we've got some thoughts on picking the perfect partner for your pregnancy journey – let's dive in!
To start, let’s take a moment to recognize that this is a choice not everyone gets to make. According to the March of Dimes, more than 2.2 million women of childbearing age live in maternity care deserts that have no hospital offering obstetric care, no birth center and no obstetric provider. Yes, sidebar: the US healthcare system is in dire need of a fix, but we're hopeful for innovative solutions like telesupport and mobile maternity units working to address this challenge.
But if you do happen to be in the driver’s seat of making this decision, where to begin?
Remember, you're a consumer with power. Reflect on your vibe, your wishes, and your non-negotiables. Dream up your birth experience and stance on interventions. You have the right to ask questions. If you've already chosen a doula, tap into their wisdom on providers to lean towards or steer clear of.
Ready for the provider speed-date? Find out if your top choices will offer initial consults before you actually book your first appointment.
1. What is your philosophy on childbirth, and how do you approach prenatal care and labor and delivery?
2. How do you feel about interventions during childbirth, such as epidurals, inductions, and episiotomies? How do you support those who want to minimize medical interventions?
3. What is your standard schedule for prenatal visits, and how often will I see you during my pregnancy?
4. How do you handle communication between appointments, especially if I have questions or concerns?
5. Can you discuss your views on cesarean sections and under what circumstances you might recommend one?
6. Where do you have delivery privileges, and which hospitals do you work with?
7. What is your preferred hospital’s approach to birth plans? C-section rate? Approach to the involvement of a support team, such as a doula?
8. What kind of postpartum support and follow-up care do you provide?
9. How do you handle communication between visits? How about after-hours calls or emergencies?
10. Why did you get into this career? What’s your favorite part about it?
Lastly, feel out that personal connection. Trust your instincts–and those of your partner if applicable–because feeling comfortable and supported by your healthcare crew is key. After all the research, make a choice that aligns with your vibe. And with your medical provider roots laid, you get to move on to the decisions of supporting yourself with holistic care providers!
Nessle has a podcast where we talk all things parenting with our experts, bringing useful insights into how you can find your parenting mojo.