Deciding On Prenatal Care | Jewel Images | Photography & Education By Julia Kelleher

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Being such baby lovers, and mommies ourselves here at Jewel Images, we decided that it would be fun to share some research with you in one convenient place. The first thing we think is important is trying to figure out what kind of care to get for your pregnancy and through delivery and post-birth? Who knew there were different options!? Before diving into the worlds of doulas, midwives, and OB/GYNs, there are things you can consider to narrow down the prospects.

  1. Possibly the most important thing is to take a look at your insurance’s preferred provider list. If you really like a provider that is not on their list, you can consider paying the difference or you will have to choose one that is covered – don’t be afraid to try out different providers!
  2. Second, ask family and friends in the area about their experiences and whom they would recommend; their personal testimonies will give you valuable insight to the personalities of the different providers.
  3. You can also call the local hospital and ask to speak with the labor/delivery nurse for advice and/or guidance. They know all the docs in town and probably have some opinions!

Ask yourself if you would feel more comfortable working with a male or female and if you prefer a single provider versus a co-op group. If you don’t mind a group setting, you can always ask to meet the other providers so you have a level of familiarity with them all. I went to Bend OB/GYN and Dr. James Carlson is my doc, and I can’t speak enough about every provider there! While he has since moved offices, all the doctors around town have had good things said about them.

On a more personal level, consider your own health history and preferences regarding labor and delivery. You can often find out a lot about a provider’s philosophy by visiting their website or by calling the office and talking with a nurse. Make sure the provider has experience handling your situation and is on the same page as far as your wants and needs are concerned. Do not be afraid to ask questions regarding interventions, alternate support, breastfeeding, and anything else you may have in your mind. We’ve given some questions prompts below, so read on….

Another avenue to research is the actual hospital or birth center. Again, do not be afraid to ask questions! Lots of hospitals have websites with FAQs that you can read through as well. Anne Carlson with Bend Birthing and Beyond runs some hospital tours here at St. Charles. LOVE her! She also has great birthing classes, but that’s for another post! Some things you could ask on the tour are:

• Where does labor and delivery take place?

•Will the baby stay in the same room with you all the time?

•Do they have round the clock, on-site support (anesthesiologist, anesthetist, lactation consultants)?

•What are official visitation hours? Can people come at other times if we say it is okay?

•What kind of interventions are available through the facility?

•Are there any needs or situations that you are not equipped for? etc., etc.

Hope this helps get you started,

Julia

Sources: www.babycenter.com, voices.yahoo.com, www.babyzone.com, www.obgyn.net

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