No matter where you give birth – be it at home or a hospital maternity unit – all the information should be made available to make an informed choice, including facilities in your area and what can be expected during labor.
Discuss your birth preferences with both your midwife and obstetrician, and consider which pain relief you desire, and if assistance will be required during delivery.
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Choosing a doctor
Pregnancy requires many decisions, with one of the most important being where and when to give birth. Selecting the ideal hospital can have an enormous effect on your labor and delivery experience and the health of both mother and baby; many women have specific plans in mind when selecting their birthing hospital based on these preferences.
If you have a low-risk pregnancy, home or unit run by midwives birthing may be an option for you. Be sure to be aware of all of its risks, as well as discuss it early with your midwife. According to Nursing and Midwifery Council code guidelines, midwives must put the interests of their clients first – regardless if their choice conflicts with theirs or not!
Reputation should also be an important consideration when choosing a hospital. You can learn more about its performance on the NHS website as well as through reviews on social media or websites such as Which? Birth Choice which provide tours.
When selecting an obstetrician, ensure they have privileges at the hospital of your choice and inquire about their childbirth philosophy and policies. If you want a natural birth experience, make sure the hospital can support that option as well.
Many hospitals are equipped with the resources and experience needed to treat high-risk pregnancies, so if your pregnancy poses risks that require hospital delivery, choosing one would ensure both mother and baby’s wellbeing. If a complex birth is likely, hospital birth should be chosen in order to protect both parties involved.
As well as finding an excellent obstetrician, it is also wise to choose a hospital within reasonable driving distance of your home or workplace – this will save both time and stress should labor begin unexpectedly.
Choosing a hospital
Selecting a hospital can be an important decision, so it is crucial that you find one that provides optimal care for both you and your baby. Experience, privileges, and specific birthing needs should all be considered when making this choice.
If you are a high-risk patient, you will require a hospital that can respond swiftly and appropriately in cases of emergencies or complications during delivery. Your OB may recommend one based on your age and health status – you can learn more by visiting their websites and reviewing online ratings for each hospital.
Some factors to keep in mind when selecting a hospital for labor and delivery include how many people will be permitted in the room at once, available pain management options, and whether or not your partner can stay overnight postpartum. It’s also wise to choose one within your insurance network that accepts it as well.
While conducting your search, make sure to speak to other women who have recently given birth in your area and ask which hospitals they used and their experiences with each. Also take into consideration online reviews and ratings of each maternity hospital as you browse for options.
Visit various maternity hospitals to assess the facilities and amenities they offer, take tours, ask staff questions about how the hospital runs itself as well as talk with your GP, midwife or NCT teacher about which are their top picks in terms of local hospitals.
Once you’ve identified a hospital that meets your preferences, it’s time to book an appointment. Make sure your preferred doctor is on their roster so you’ll know they will be taking care of you during labor and delivery. Beginning this process early is highly advised since switching doctors in late gestation may prove challenging and birth centers may limit which doctors you have available.
Choosing a midwife
Selecting a midwife when pregnant can be one of the most essential decisions you’ll ever make. Finding one who meets both your expectations and philosophy regarding birth will be essential, which is why it is vital that you ask questions and perform research prior to making any definitive decisions.
Before choosing a midwife, carefully review her credentials and experience. Furthermore, consider whether home or hospital birthing options are available as well as whether she possesses admitting privileges at your preferred hospital – this will give you peace of mind knowing she has access to medical help in case it’s needed during labor.
Many hospitals employ midwives as part of their low risk pregnancies care team. Midwives will offer personalized attention during and postpartum, answering all of your questions along the way and offering any necessary medical attention should an issue arise during labor or delivery. Although midwives typically take an uncomplicated approach to childbirth, they’re always available if something unexpected comes up that needs attending to.
Midwives may be covered by insurance and cost less than OB-GYNs; however, they should only be seen if your pregnancy poses high risks or requires C-section delivery. It would be prudent to see an OB-GYN with active admitting privileges at your chosen hospital for optimal care.
Prior to choosing a hospital, you should carefully consider what type of birth you’d prefer. For a natural, low-intervention birth experience, consider visiting hospitals that offer facilities like water pools. Also speak with friends and family members who have given birth at hospitals about their experiences if any; ask which hospital they chose and why.
Read reviews online of hospitals to assess their reputation in your community, or discuss it with your midwife or GP who may provide more insight and provide recommendations of where best to give birth in your region.
Choosing a birth plan
Create a birth plan is an excellent way to express your preferences about labor and childbirth, whether informal or formal. Discuss it with your practitioner to gain more information about options and differences among hospitals or birthing centers; taking antenatal classes and touring them are also highly recommended!
Some individuals use a birth plan to communicate their choices during labor while others prefer simply sharing them verbally with their birthing partner or practitioner. A birth plan can include any number of preferences such as who will accompany you into the delivery room and your preferred methods for pain relief, postpartum wishes such as whether breastfeed or bottle feed your newborn, religious/cultural preferences and any other important details.
Birth plans do not need to be written down, although some practitioners recommend writing or drawing their plan down for reference during labor. A birth plan does not bind legally and can be altered at any time during its existence.
As part of your birth plan, be sure to consider any medical or personal factors which could prevent certain aspects of your birth preferences from coming true. For instance, if you are at high risk for complications during gestation, certain decisions might be advised against by doctors. Inquire with other women who have given birth at the hospital or birthing center where you plan to deliver.
Determine whether you want someone in the delivery room with you, such as your partner or close family member. If this is the case, check with your maternity service to determine their maximum capacity; additionally if you want your birthing partner to cut the umbilical cord they must also contact their provider about that possibility.