By now you may have thought a lot about finding a health care provider for your pregnancy and the birth of your child. Perhaps you've already made an appointment or seen someone. Whatever the case, you want to be in good hands.
This is the person with whom, for the next several months, you will be making some of the most important decisions of your (and your baby's) life. How do you go about finding someone you trust and feel comfortable with?
First, think about the type of delivery you'd like to have:
- Do you want to give birth at home or in a hospital?
- Do you want your provider to speed your labour with drugs or let it progress naturally?
- Do you want pain relief available to you?
The answers to these questions can help you determine which of the types of prenatal provider you'd like to work with:
Community and hospital based specially trained to care for mothers and babies throughout pregnancy, labour and birth. Community midwives continue to care for you and your baby for between 10 and 28 days after the birth.
This is your family doctor who will provide medical care for you before, during and after pregnancyand will also provide medical care for your baby.
Your health visitor takes over the care of both you and your baby from the midwife. She is a qualified nurse whose role is to help families, especially those with young children, to keep healthy.
This is a doctor who specialises in pregnancy, labour and birth. An obstetrician is part of the hospital team you will be referred to if complications arise in any of these areas.
Also part of the hospital team, a paediatrician is a doctor who cares for babies and children. If you have a hospital birth they will be on hand to check your baby before you both leave hospital You can find information about all your local hospitals onThe NCT. The National Childbirth Trust (NCT) charity runs antenatal classes based on smaller groups of six to eight couples, all with babies due around the same time. You can find out more on Questions and Answers. Once your pregnancy has been confirmed you will need to find out about the type of antenatal care that is available to you and decide where to give birth. Recommendations from people you trustare a wonderful starting point. Your choice will also depend on whether your pregnancy is considering to be high or low risk and the type of care that is available in your area