It is overwhelming trying to figure out all the choices that need to be once you find out that you are pregnant. Especially with the first pregnancy, most women do not know exactly what steps to take. Two of the biggest factors in your birth experience will be: where you birth and who your provider is. Yet both of these weighty choices must be made early in your pregnancy.
Do you want a hospital, home birth, or birth center birth? Or do you want a doctor, certified nurse midwife, certified direct entry midwife, or a lay midwife? It is a good idea to find out which direction you are leaning towards, and then start to set up interviews. Whoever you pick as your provider should support your goals for birth. You can also ask friends that you trust for good recommendations or do on-line research such as visiting www.thebirthsurvey.com
to find out how locals rate providers and facilities.
Understand the pros and cons of each type of facility and provider. So many decisions must be made. Does the OB have an on-call team, or are they the primary Dr. for your birth? Does the midwife do deliveries in the hospital? What kind of midwife is willing to come to your home? Does a birth center allow for a water birth? What does the hospital charge?
So many people make decisions based on their insurance company’s preferences. However, I suggest that you tour each hospital and birth center to gain awareness of your options and don’t rush the decisions.
The questions of the newly pregnant mom may seem endless. It may be a good idea to take an Early Pregnancy class, just to gain more information. Or simply head to library or near by bookstore to start doing your own research. Whatever you do, do it because you are educated about that choice, not because you feel pressured. This is your birth and your body, you make the choices and find the support you need for that birth journey.
What were the biggest decisions you had to make during your pregnancy?