One of the most important things you can do for pregnancy is to find a certified and supportive prenatal care team.
Your birth will likely last for less than 24 hours but your pregnancy is months longs. Choosing a qualified team of professionals for your prenatal care is a big decision.
When I first learned I was pregnant a fellow pregnant mom shared that she went to a prenatal appointment and it wasn’t just for her (gasp). She arrived to find a group of pregnant women and it was a class format/setting to provide information to all of the women at one time.
During her time in the establishment:
- She felt the staff were cold and rushed.
- She didn’t believe she would get the personalized attention she wanted from this atmosphere.
- The experience made her cry. (Admittedly, she was already emotional)
She had to make a choice to stay with this team or to make a change. You have a choice too.
Your birth will likely last for less than 24 hours but your pregnancy is months longs.
I want to let you know that under most circumstances you DO have a choice, when it comes to your prenatal support team.
FINDING YOUR RIGHT PRENATAL MEDICAL TEAM IS IMPORTANT
Now that you are pregnant, the responsible next step is to find a registered & certified medical team that can help you monitor the growth and development of your baby.
You could just call around and find an available doctor that will accept you. BUT, unless you live in a very small rural area, you probably have options to explore:
1. Most common option in the USA: A team of doctors at an OBGYN establishment that monitors you throughout your pregnancy and assists with your birth in a hospital.
2. A team of midwives and nurses in a birth center setting *often monitored by a board-certified physician.
3. A midwife to assist with a home birth. Note that in some States this option is not available and is illegal.
Yep, you read that right. Some U.S. States have outlawed homebirths. (I live in NC and a homebirth with a licensed midwife was not an option for me.)
RESOURCES TO READ MORE ABOUT HOME BIRTHS
- Is Home Birth Legal In All States? The Right To Choose Applies Here, Too
- 15 Midwife Practices You Didn’t Know Are Illegal In Your State
HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR MEDICAL TEAM
Think about your personal beliefs and wants.
- Do you want to have certain pain medications available?
- Are you hoping for an intervention free birth?
- Do you feel uncomfortable with a male medical provider?
Think about what you already know about your health risks.
- Some health complications require a specialized team of providers.
Ask questions to friends and family who have had children.
- Did they love their experience?
- Would they recommend the provider they used?
Early in your pregnancy, interview your prenatal care provider.
That’s right, you should be empowered by your ability to choose.
- At your first appointment, take time to observe and ask lots of questions.
- Share your thoughts, fears, and concerns honestly. Then, listen to how the medical provider responds.
- Is the response educational?
- Is there a desire to ease your concerns?
- Is there an atmosphere of professionalism and mutual respect?
Finally, trust yourself to make the best decision for your baby.
The mom from the story above could have stayed with the establishment and hoped it got better, but she didn’t.
- She found a different medical team and she was much happier.
- It was a small center, that offered one-on-one dedicated time for meeting and talking prior to an examination.
- The team helped her create a birth plan, offered a facility tour, and provided a list of classes that she could attend to get more information and meet other pregnant moms.
It was a much better fit for her. She even recommended their services to me. (That’s what happy people do).
I WANT YOU TO FIND A TEAM OF PRENATAL CARE PROFESSIONALS YOU LOVE EARLY AS POSSIBLE.
(Many providers will not accept patients who are too far along in their pregnancy.)
Check out this due date calculator.
Do you feel ready to choose a prenatal care team that is certified, respectful, caring, and have a philosophy that aligns with your goals? I hope so! Get your pregnancy started on a path you can trust.
I wish you the very best on this special journey!