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Finding A Doctor or Midwife Checklist


Before you choose a doctor or midwife for your pregnancy and labor, there are lots of things to consider. Since your MD or midwife will be with you during the months of your pregnancy, as well as beside you in the delivery room, you want to find someone you're comfortable with. Here are some questions you need to ask before you decide on a health care practitioner:

First, look at recommendations and credentials. You may find a great midwife or doctor by word of mouth from friends, online forums or by calling the hospital or birthing center where you would like to have your baby. Credentials are important what kind of educational background does your potential doctor have? Does your midwife have any special training such as pregnancy massage that could benefit you in the delivery room? Keep in mind, however, that diplomas and degrees only get you so far, and that a good bedside manner will be just as important. Ask for referrals, and find out if there have been any complaints against the doctor or midwife in the past.

The midwife or doctor's personality is essential you don't want to be stuck in the delivery room for hours with a midwife you don't get along with, or feel that your questions aren't being answered by your doctor. If your gut tells you no, listen to it. Ask the person how they feel about breastfeeding, epidurals, and testing procedures. If you're trying to find a doctor, inquire about his or her policy on being present for the delivery: you'd be surprised how many physicians today will send another doctor for the actual delivery.

Many midwives attend home births, so if you are planning on having your baby at home, ask about emergency procedures, what type of first aid and medical training the midwife has, and what preparations they take to ensure a safe, sterile environment for birth. Home births are only recommended for low risk, healthy pregnancies. You'll need to pick a physician as well if you're planning a home birth, just in case you do need medical intervention at some point during labor. He or she can meet you at the nearest hospital and make sure that you deliver your baby safely.

The cost is also a serious consideration before you go ahead with a professional to help you through your pregnancy. While many doctors will be covered by your health care plan, some services such as additional testing won't. Get all of the costs up front to avoid nasty surprises. You'll most likely be paying for a midwife out of pocket, unless your health insurance also covers alternate care during pregnancy. The cost of regular visits, testing, and your hospital stay can add up to a large amount of money, so do your research.

 


 
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