When you are selecting a prenatal care provider, the first thing you need to do is decide who you want to deliver your baby. The options are an OBGYN, family doctor, or a certified midwife.
A midwife is good for uncomplicated pregnancies, women under 35 years of age, those that want a home delivery or birth center, first time mothers or those that have had successful vaginal deliveries before. Family doctors can see any of the above, but they only deliver in hospitals and they cannot see women that need a cesarean section or have had one before. An OBGYN can see all types of women, perform cesareans if needed, refer to maternal fetal medicine for high-risk pregnancies but only deliver in hospitals.
Secondly, you need to talk to family, friends and neighbors and see who they recommend. Find out why they liked that person and see if it fits your birth plan and personality. Once you have some possibilities, contact your insurance, and make sure that the doctor and the hospital is covered unless you are paying out of pocket.
Thirdly, with the providers that have made the cut so far, do some research. Look online, watch videos, and see if they practice the way you want. Look for things like: Do you only see your doctor? NP? How long until I can be seen? Is there someone who covers them in the office while they are at deliveries?
Next since you have narrowed your list down, it is time to have a consult with them. This is your time to ask questions, a chance to get to see who they really are. Does their personality fit with yours? Are you comfortable around them? Ask who covers on-call, since many providers have multiple people in their practice. Will you get to meet them prior to delivery?
Fifth and final, decide on the best fit for you and your baby. Remember though, if you do not mesh well with a provider you can switch, just try to do it earlier rather than later. Do not be afraid to switch! This is your delivery, and you want to be comfortable during the pregnancy as well as “go time”.
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