If you’re expecting, you might be knee deep in decisions already—baby names, budgeting, nursery ideas. But one of the most important decisions you need to make in your pregnancy is where to go for your prenatal care.
It’s important to surround yourself with a team of people you trust to guide you through the incredible changes your body undergoes, answer all the questions you’ll have at each visit, and help create the childbirth experience you and your husband want. This guide is designed to help you make this important decision.
What matters most?
Finding the right care will depend on what you need and what matters most to you. If where you give birth is important to you, you’ll need to find a doctor or midwife who can deliver your baby in your selected birthing location. If you work during the week, it may be especially important to you to have an office with convenient hours or options for weekend appointments. For some couples, having a healthcare provider who shares your cultural background or beliefs is essential.
Once you zero in on the factors that are most important, you can narrow your options and find the right care for you and your baby.
What do you need?
Women have a wide range of needs for a healthy pregnancy and birth. These needs range from basic education and prenatal visits to high-risk specialty care and management of complications.
Choose a doctor or midwife that will not only provide great care for you and your baby but also can connect you to a team that includes the people and services that fit your needs. You’ll likely have a team of people who are experts in different areas, including providers, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and medical assistants.
Different communities have various types of providers available: You may have a midwife, a family physician, an obstetrician (OB/GYNs), and/or a maternal fetal medicine specialist involved in your care.
To learn more about these different types of providers and their training and focus, visit:
- American College of Nurse-Midwives
- National Association of Certified Professional Midwives
- American Academy of Family Physicians
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
- Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine
Ask for help
Once you know the types of providers available, it’s time to make a choice.
This is your decision, but you may have people you want to be part of that decision. It’s also important to involve your husband in exploring the options and finding a practice in which he feels involved, respected, and able to get answers to his questions.
Ask your primary care doctor, friends, and family members for provider recommendations. If you have a medical condition that will need to be managed along with your pregnancy, you should consult a trusted medical care professional for recommendations.
It’s important to surround yourself with a team of people you trust to guide you through the incredible changes your body undergoes.
Contact your CHM nurse navigator for help
Do you know CHM provides a nurse navigator who can be part of your healthcare support team? Your nurse navigator has over a decade of experience as an obstetrics nurse, and she also knows how the healthcare system works and how to make it work for you. She can support your effort to make informed choices and use her expertise to help you:
• Explore your options for healthcare providers and birth settings.
• Find a quality provider for your pregnancy and birth.
• Find a quality doctor for your baby’s care after he/she is born.
• Find a quality specialist, if needed.
Call CHM’s Maternity Support Team at 1-800-791-6225 for more information.