Having a great health care provider can be an essential part of a satisfying pregnancy and birthing experience. In the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, we are fortunate to have so many wonderful obstetricians and midwives. Finding the best health care provider for you before or during pregnancy may seem daunting, but these simple steps can make the process a little easier.
Evaluate your priorities. Are you seeking a provider who is known for working with special circumstances, such as VBAC or twin births? Would you prefer to birth in the comfort of your home or a mbirth center, or would you feel more at ease in a hospital setting? Are you interested in delaying umbilical cord clamping at birth and want a provider who will support that decision? These are just a few factors to consider, and at times it all may seem overwhelming. Everyone has different needs in pregnancy and birth, so make a list of what is most important to you and what might be a deal breaker to help you narrow down your search.
Consult an expert. If you are still unsure of where to start in deciding what your priorities are, a birth doula can help. When you hire a Bravo Birth DFW doula, you receive two private prenatal visits with us. Part of the visit is spent exploring all of the options available to you and getting to know your preferences. We support you and provide information as needed to help you narrow down your primary goals for birth. We also have the privilege of working with many different care providers in the metroplex and can often make recommendations on who may meet your needs.
Shop around. You may fall in love with the first OBGYN or midwife you meet. If that’s the case, great! Your intuition is a powerful thing and you should trust it. It is entirely possible to find the right fit on your first attempt, but if you’re unsure for any reason, don’t make the mistake of feeling like you’re locked into a permanent relationship with a provider. You can interview several people before making a decision, and keep in mind it’s never too late in your pregnancy to change to somebody who fits your needs. When considering a provider, be sure to evaluate your feelings on the other physicians who share a practice with your own provider. There’s always a chance your primary doctor will not be on call when you are in labor, and one of their partners may be there to assist in your delivery. It’s important you are comfortable with them, as well.
Seek out recommendations. In the age of technology, almost anything can be found on the internet. While you can’t always trust everything you read, it can be helpful to hear from others who have first hand experience. Google and Facebook reviews are a good place to start. Reaching out to a local pregnancy and parenting group can be another good source of information, and most people are more than happy to share their experiences with others. Having inside information on anything from the provider’s communication style and bedside manner to the length of the wait time for prenatal visits may be extremely helpful.
Consider your budget. Birth is an investment and it may not be the time to scrimp on a cheap experience; however, spending beyond your means or going into debt with a baby on the way may not be a feasible option. Find out if your ideal provider accepts your health insurance, what the out of pocket cost is, whether you can set up a payment plan, and what the timeline is for paying it off. Finances don’t always have to be the primary dictator of our decisions, but starting out on the right foot when having a baby is wise.
Finding a pregnancy health care provider who aligns with your needs doesn’t have to be stressful when you know what you want and what to expect. With the variety of options available in DFW, combined with your intuition and the knowledge you gain while deciding what your preferences are, you will be confident and fully equipped to find the right provider for you.