Are you pregnant and wondering which doctor and hospital to have your baby with?
One of the most important decisions when you will make when you are pregnant will be where and with who you have your baby. Doctors and hospitals vary a great deal when it comes to their approach to labour and birth and what might be a good choice for one woman may not be the best for another.
So as well as searching for others advice it's a good idea to do your own research. Don't just stick with a Dr just because they are nice or your friend said they were 'good'. Their idea of 'good' might be very different to yours.
If you are going to ask others advice its helpful to be very clear about the kind of birth that you would like. If you are looking for a natural low intervention birth with minimum drugs then you are looking for a doctor and hospital that supports this type of birth.
Here are some questions that might help you gain more information about a doctor and hospital. We suggest that you shop around and look at a few options - that way you will have something to compare.
1. How would you feel attending a birth with no interventions (no IV, no vaginal exams, no drugs to start or speed labor, no pain medications, no breaking of waters, no cutting)?
2. What routine procedures do you typically follow during labor and birth?
3. For what reasons would you suggest an induction?
4. How do you feel about intermittent fetal monitoring?
5. What birthing positions do you support?
6. How long are you willing to wait before clamping the umbilical cord?
7. For what reasons would you suggest a C-Section
8. How many natural births have you attended or what percentage of the births you attend are natural? (clarify what your idea of natural birth is - i.e no drugs or interventions)?
9. What are your C-Section, induction and episiotomy rates?
10. What is your philosophy when it comes to birth?
If you are having a VBAC or have other special circumstances you will also want to ask them about their experience with your specific issues aand what procedures they normally follow.
When listening to their answers you are trying to gain a sense of their beliefs about birth. Do they believe that women are designed to birth and do they empower you with facts and information - or do they not even entertain your questions, telling you that it's too early to worry about such things. They might even be patronizing in their responses or even criticize openly or through their body language and facial expressions. As well as listening to their answers, notice what they are not saying and what their body language tells you.
After the visit you will usually get a gut feeling about them and it's this that you should follow. If you are still unsure - go and visit a few other Drs so you have something to compare.
Be sure to take the time to choose your Dr and Hospital well as they are part of your support team and you need to be able to trust them and their medcial advise throughout the rest of your pregnancy and during your labour.
Good luck and Take Care!