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You have confirmed that you are pregnant and you’re ready to make sure you and your baby are as healthy as possible throughout these next 9 months. How do you find a doctor to for your pregnancy? Getting yourself set up with an obstetrician (OB-GYN) is an important step to take early in your pregnancy, ideally in your first trimester. An OB-GYN has expertise in female reproductive health, childbirth and pregnancy. If your pregnancy is healthy and not high-risk, here is the recommended schedule of prenatal visits:
Weeks 4 to 28: 1 prenatal visit a month
Weeks 28 to 36: 1 prenatal visit every 2 weeks
Weeks 36 to 40: 1 prenatal visit every week
Here are some simple steps to help you work through finding the right doctor for your pregnancy:
Step 1 - Decide what kind of practitioner you want.
There are several different practitioners you can choose from to stay with you during your pregnancy and your labor & delivery. Generally, your choices are an OB-GYN, a family practitioner, or a certified midwife. Check out this article to help familiarize yourself with your options.
Step 2 - Pick a practice.
Once you have decided which practitioner best fits you and your baby, you’ll want to select the style of medical practice. Your options are:
1. Solo Medical Practice: you will have the same OB-GYN each time you visit.
2. Partnership or Group Medical Practice: you will see several OB-GYNs and/or family doctors because they will rotate as a team throughout your pregnancy.
3. Combination practice: a team of usually one OB-GYN and one midwife
4. Maternity Center or Birthing Center: you will primarily be taken care of by a midwife and if something goes wrong, there is an OB-GYN or other kind of physician on call for you.
5. Independent Certified Nurse-Midwife Practice: If you are interested in low-tech care and ultimately want a home-birth, this option provides your care by a mid-wife.
For the pros and cons on each of these options, take a look at this article!
Step 3 - Choose and meet with your finalists.
There are a lot of resources at your disposal to help you narrow down your list. The American Medical Association, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Physicians Directory, and American College of Nurse-Midwives can be helpful. You can also look up hospitals or birthing centers in your area, or ask family and friends for personal referrals.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by this decision, Birth Choice is here to help you navigate this process. Call 214-631-2402 or click here to schedule an appointment. One of our advocate will sit with you to help find what doctor or pregnancy provider best suits your needs and the needs of your baby.
This is your pregnancy, this is your choice, but you don’t have to choose alone.