Those two pink lines quickly appeared on that little white stick and you are now faced with the decision on where to receive prenatal, labor, birth, and postpartum care.
There are many factors to consider when making this decision and we are here to guide you through this process whether as your doula, your friend, or just a fellow milspo that has walked in your shoes. We know it is important to choose a provider that is right for you!
- Type of Care: If you are military affiliated you have options ranging from care in a military treatment facility to care in a civilian hospital, and even home birth with an eligible provider. You might want to roll the dice and let the hospital assign a physician or you may narrow it down to a certain speciality and have a little more say. This is the first step in narrowing down your care options.
- Type of Provider: Obstetrician, Family Medicine, Midwife? The choice is yours! A little research into the best fit for you and your family is important. High risk pregnancies may be better supported by an obstetrician and maternal fetal medicine specialty while a lower risk pregnancy may be better supported at home by a Certified Nurse Midwife.
- Hospital Tours: If you are thinking of birthing in a hospital or birth center you can tour early! Most websites state that the best time for a tour is near your 7th – 8th month of pregnancy but this is geared toward pre-registration and familiarity. Sign up for the tour early to ensure your comfort and fit with the center you choose.
- Interview: You are a consumer. Often times we feel powerless or intimidated by medical care providers due to their knowledge or education but the truth is, they put their pants on in the morning just the same as you and me! They are human beings and you can feel safe and comfortable asking to meet with them before hiring them as your care provider. You are trusting your life and the life of your baby in this provider’s hands and your comfort is important! Interview your top three candidates and choose based on your connection, it’s okay!
- Ask Around: Your friends, fellow milspos, family members, and community are a great resource! Find out the most popular providers in your area. Ask specifics about the things that are important to you — cesarean rates, bedside manner, VBAC-friendly, breech delivery options, doula friendly — only you know what is important!
- Hire A Doula: Your doula will have valuable information for you in order to help you make a decision or narrow down your options. Stars and Stripes Doulas are proud to have worked with clients in many military and civilian hospitals and pride ourselves on our research and familiarity with each.
Written by: Melissa Nauss, Owner