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How to Choose a Health Care Provider for Your Pregnancy

Choosing the right health care provider is one of the most important decisions to make for an expecting mother. There are several factors to be considered while selecting a pregnancy care giver, which have been enlisted for you in the following HerHaleness article.
HerHaleness Staff
Important!
Both care givers and birth settings have equal importance when it comes to pregnancy. Hence, while choosing a health care provider, ensure that you are choosing a birth setting (whether a hospital or birth center) that is right for you.
Every expecting mother wants to complete her pregnancy term safely and with some ease. For that, early and regular prenatal care is a must. Along with the prenatal care offered at home, having a good professional health care provider is extremely important, as it can make a big difference in your entire experience of pregnancy and childbirth. It is true that the nature of your pregnancy is the most crucial factor in choosing a care giver, but personal preferences also matter a lot in this context. Given below are basic points to consider while choosing the right health care provider, take a look:

♦ Learn about the personality and basic manners of the person.
♦ Feel free to ask your acquaintances about the reputation of the person.
♦ Consider the office location and working hours of the person.
♦ See whether the care giver's style is compatible with your needs and concerns.

These were some basic pointers while choosing a maternity care giver. Furthermore, depending on the nature of your pregnancy, you may choose an obstetrician, a family physician, a certified nurse midwife, or a doula. Each one of these health care providers has different skills and approach towards pregnancy and childbirth. Given below is the description about each one of these specialists, which will help you choose the perfect health care provider for your pregnancy.

Obstetrician/Gynecologist

An obstetrician or a gynecologist is a trained doctor who specializes in the management of pregnancy, labor, and childbirth. The obstetrician is also called OB/GYN, who receives qualified training in detecting and managing complications in a pregnancy.

There are two main reasons why women choose an obstetrician or gynecologist for their pregnancy. Firstly, because most women are comfortable with their current family OB/GYN, and secondly, because some of them are experiencing a high-risk pregnancy, which their family practitioner cannot handle. If you choose an obstetrician, remember that you decide the birth setting beforehand, because there are limited options like a hospital or a birth center.

Certified Nurse Midwife

A certified nurse midwife (CNM) is a specially trained medical professional capable of providing maternity care to pregnant women. These care givers are licensed professionals who have a master's degree in nursing. Unlike a doula, CNMs are knowledgeable about the complications and risks in a pregnancy, and know how to tackle such a pregnancy. With a midwife, you have several birth setting options like a hospital, birth center, or you can even plan your delivery at home.

Family Physician

A family practitioner or FP is a primary health care provider of a family, who is aware about the medical history of each family member, and what care should be given to them. FPs are trained to perform surgical procedures for pregnant women in an emergency, but they usually refer to a specialist OB/GYN, and assists him/her in case of a high-risk pregnancy. The main characteristic of a family practitioner is that he/she primarily addresses the needs and concerns of the bodily system than dealing with the emotional and psychological needs of the patient. Here also, the scope for birth location is usually confined to a hospital.

Doula

Doula is a non-medical person who works as an assistant to the family during the entire childbearing period. He/she is a trained professional in the field of pregnancy and childbirth, who provides physical, emotional, and informational support to the would-be mother, and helps her through the entire phase of childbirth. The doula comes to your house on a regular basis to provide early labor support. She also follows the would-be mother to the hospital to help her have a safe and memorable birthing experience. However, it is important to note that, since a doula is not a medically trained person, she cannot be hired as a replacement for your obstetrician or the family physician. She can only be selected as a part-time care giver in addition to professional doctors.

In most pregnancy cases, the selection of any of the above-mentioned care providers (except duola), can yield good results. However, in case of a high-risk pregnancy, involvement of an obstetrician as a consultant to the physician or midwife may be a better idea.

A good health care provider is one who can make his patient feel comfortable during the checkup session, listens to her, and has answers to all her queries. In simple terms, a maternity health care provider should be able to offer emotional and psychological support along with physical care.