Thursday, February 4, 2010

Guest Post: Choosing a Birth Care Provider

~Choosing a Birth Care Provider~

Now that it is 2010 many of us want to concentrate on new beginnings. That may mean getting prepared for a baby. There are many different places to have a baby and a plethora of caregivers to choose from. How do you choose what is right for you? First, know your own personal style. Second, research as much as you can. Third, know your options..because there are a lot of them out there!

Find someone that is a good fit to your personality. For example, do you feel more comfortable around doctors in white suits over more casually dressed but equally knowledgeable and trained midwives? Do you trust yourself before all others or like to hand over all responsibility to someone else? Are you a laid back earthy type or do you prefer going strictly by the book?

Take the time to see what hospitals and/or birthing centers are near. Find out what services they offer in the maternity unit, what their C-Section rate is, what the staff/patient ratio is, and what procedures/policies do they go by.

Connect with your care provider and ask questions. Your care provider may be an MD (medical doctor), a CNM (certified nurse midwife), a CPM (Certified Professional Midwife), a LM (licensed midwife-usually only for a particular state or area), or a DEM (Direct Entry Midwife-through apprenticeship program..though may not be licensed)

A doula or HypnoBirthing practitioner may also be part of your arsenal. A doula in Greek means "woman who serves". HypnoBirthing instructors teach hypnosis for childbirth. Keep in mind neither one is permitted/and or trained to deliver. They are there strictly to be of service to the mom's comfort and to assist w/dad's participation.

See if your care provider is open to you having a birth plan. This is a plan that tells the provider what your wishes are and what procedures you are in favor of or not (keeping in mind, above all else, safety first!) .

It is a good idea to create a birth plan that is adaptable if need be. One big factor is it depends on how healthy your pregnancy has been along the way. A healthy pregnancy tends to lean towards a normal, uncomplicated birth with little to no interventions needed. This allows for more choice and flexibility for all involved. A high risk pregnancy may need extra attention and may call for specific interventions.

So in a nutshell, no matter how or where you choose to birth, the most important thing to remember is be a conscious consumer. Interview those that you desire to assist you during pregnancy and birth.

Your baby will be the most special thing you have--so take the time now and know your options. Research, ask questions and enjoy the process!

Amanda Vermilion
HypnoBirthing Childbirth Educator
Birthing Mothers Budding Babies

I want to thank Amanda for taking the time to send me a blog post!

Here are some additional questions that you may want to ask a provider you are considering....

1. What is your (or the practice's) cesarean section rate?
2. Do you routinely cut episotomies?
3. When do you feel induction of labor is necessary?
4. If applicable - do you support VBACs (vaginal birth after cesarean)?
5. How do you feel about natural childbirth?
6. How do you feel about doulas?
7. Do you provide labor support?

Don't be afraid to ask for a consult with any provider you are considering for care during this special time of your life! We (BWHC) offer free consults where we can answer questions, discuss our practice, and philosophy of care.

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