The person you choose for your obstetrical care can have a major influence on how satisfied you are with your pregnancy experience. You may have a doctor or midwife in mind before you become pregnant, and your friends undoubtedly will pass along recommendations. But your needs and expectation may not be the same as those of your friends. And your needs may change during pregnancy.
Before choosing your caregiver, consider all of your options – family physicians, obstetricians, certified nurse-midwives and perinatologists. And remember, no matter what type of obstetrical caregiver you choose, the goal is the same – healthy mothers having a healthy babies.
When choosing an obstetrical care provider, keep in mind that you will be seeing this person regularly in the coming months and will depend on him/her for vital information and care. It is important to have an open and trusting relationship with the person you choose. You will want to find an obstetrical provider who suits your needs and personality. Take some time to educate yourself about pregnancy and childbirth to help you form a clear idea of your needs. Some women are most concerned with specifics of practice (such as wanting a particular method of childbirth) while others will base their decision on environment, personality, etc. It is helpful to talk with other women about their experiences.
The selection of an obstetrical care provider/midwife for prenatal care and the delivery of your baby needs to be made hand-in-hand with the decision of where to deliver. Because obstetrical care providers are affiliated with particular hospitals, a strong preference for a doctor or facility may determine the other. Choosing both are personal decisions and having as much information as possible will make these decisions easier. The choice of an obstetrical care provider and hospital for the birth of your baby may be influenced by your insurance plan.