Questions to Ask Yourself
Not all ob/gyns or midwives are created equally. A title, degree, hospital affiliation, fancy office and website with great reviews and rankings don’t necessarily mean that the person is a competent, compassionate care provider whose the right fit for you. Here are some questions you can ask yourself in the process of choosing a care provider:
- Do I feel safe and comfortable working with this person?
It’s hard to know what to expect, but the role of your care provider is to provide care. What’s the quality and safety of the care they are currently providing you? If you’re not comfortable now, you’re not likely to be comfortable later…
- Does this provider offer the type and level of care I need? What confirms whether they do or not?
If you want good sushi, you would go to an authentic Japanese restaurant, right? The same applies to where you give birth – if you are expecting a home birth experience at a hospital that has a high epidural and intervention rate, there’s a very good change that’s not going to be the best place for you to have that experience.
- Do the logistics make sense (time, location, insurance, fees, etc.)?
If you need to be able to book appointments in the evening, or go to an office that’s accessible by public transportation, near your home or office, etc – weigh out these factors along with the above. If fees are an issue, ask for sliding scale if you’re in financial need – you may be surprised by what’s possible when you ask.
There has been some research that suggests that the choice of hospital is the most predictive of birth outcome. You can search for providers at Baby Friendly Hospitals in your area or you can see provider is affiliated with any of the baby friendly hospitals. These hospitals are most supportive of both breastfeeding and safe birthing practices to support a healthier postpartum recovery. You can also look up Hospital’s Stats in NY state to see what their actual reported outcomes are.
Regardless of location, it does matter who cares for you in that location. Anecdotally, the choice of care provider can make more of a difference than the choice of hospital in NYC. So, it really depends on the situation and how the dynamics unfold. Do your research, ask questions & follow your gut!
Lastly, remember that wherever you receive medical care, you have the right to give informed consent. Read more about that here.