Labor and Delivery – Where Should I Give Birth?
As you sit down to plan your childbirth, what do you consider to be the most important decision you can make for a healthy, normal pregnancy? Is it the choice of hiring an OBGYN or deciding whether you’ll use the services of a midwife?
Granted these are all important decisions. None of these should be made in haste. But I’ve found that far too many women take time for all of these selections, but usually neglect another vital decision when making childbirth preparations. The institution in which they’ll have their baby. Yes, the hospital or birthing center.
Choice of Hospital May be Limited By Your Selection of OBGYN
You should be aware from the beginning of your pregnancy that your choice of hospital or birthing center may be limited by your choice of a health-care provider. It’s not unusual for an OBGYN to have access to only one or two medical facilities.
A trained midwife may offer you a home birth option. If you accept this, the two of you also need to agree specifically on what problems would prompt you being taken to a medical facility should complications arise, and which one you would choose.
If you are fortunate enough to have choices, there are a few factors you need to consider before making a decision, as well as one factor that you should not even consider.
The one that should never play into your decision is the location of the hospital. Far too many women make a choice based on what’s closest to their home or workplace. Perhaps this choice is fueled by all the television programs showing women racing to the hospital and arriving just in the nick of time. Labor and birth rarely occur as they do in TV sitcoms! You have plenty of time in most cases. The quality of care you receive once you get there is far more vital than proximity.
Instead, invest your time in examining the quality and the policies of the medical institution. It’s essential to have a tour before you make your final decision. You’ll want support for the birth to be as healthy and safe as possible, especially if you’re like the vast majority of women and you’re healthy while you’re pregnant. You’ll want to choose a facility that agrees with you on this point.
You’ll also want to inquire about the quality of staff. Not only should it be committed to providing you with support and comfort, it should also be able to give you individualize care.
It may be that after you’ve made what you consider to be the best decision at the time, you want to change your mind. This is not uncommon and definitely not impossible to do. You shouldn’t believe you’re locked into your initial decision – especially if your circumstances have changed. It might take a little work, but it’s worth it.
Just make sure you’ve given yourself time enough to investigate your alternatives. Consult with your OBGYN or midwife before switching. Make sure the change in plans is feasible for them as well or you may have to seek out another caregiver. Of course, don’t overlook checking with your insurance company. You want to make sure that payment is covered at this location.
Your childbirth plan really does involve more than the choice of a doctor or midwife. The facility in which you give birth is an often overlooked consideration. But it’s especially important if you’re considering a natural birth. After all, you’ve used as many natural means and products as possible during your pregnancy, you’ll undoubtedly want your choice of birth place to reflect and support that option as well.
Interested in learning more about healthy childbirth? Then, go to the website listed below for your free “Healthy Birth Booklet-6 Steps to a Safer Birth.” The six simple steps presented will support and guide you both before and during labor to ensure a safe and healthy experience-for both you and your baby.