How to Choose Your Pregnancy Health Care Provider

 

  • Whether you choose a physician or a midwife, you'll have a lot of questions to ask. Make appointments with several potential care providers for a "talk and tour" before you make a decision. Don't worry about hurting anyone's feelings. Many practitioners may be qualified, but not all will be the right fit for your wants, needs and pregnancy care philosophy.
  • You'll learn a lot about the care provider if you ask some of these questions during your first visit:
  • When should I make my first prenatal appointment? If a care provider doesn't want to see you until 12 weeks into your pregnancy, this may be a sign that he or she doesn't value early prenatal education and testing. However, if the provider offers an initial class that covers information on nutrition, reproductive hazards, chemical exposure, warning signs and lifestyle alterations related to pregnancy, exercise and sexual activity, a first exam conducted at 11 to 12 weeks may be appropriate. Watch out for providers who don't want to see a patient until "the risk of miscarriage has passed."
  • Will I get to meet the person who'll be with me during labor? If this is important to you, then a smaller practice may be better. In a solo practice, or one with only a few partners, you're more likely to be familiar with all of the health care providers. In a larger practice, you may never meet all of the doctors or midwives, unless they sponsor events where you can meet them all at once.

 

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