How to Choose the Best Health Care Provider for Pregnancy Care

gynecologist and pregnant women
Get prenatal care for your pregnancy

Health Care Provider for Pregnancy Care

It’s no secret that pregnancy is a life-changing experience. It can be overwhelming and stressful, even for those used to dealing with stress daily. That’s why it’s essential to find the best healthcare provider for pregnancy care as early as possible. You’ll have time to get comfortable with your provider and can figure out how they will work with you during this time.

However, finding the right midwife or OB-GYN isn’t always easy. In fact, it can take several tries before you find someone who feels like a good fit.

 To help you choose who will take care of you during your pregnancy, here are several factors to consider.

1. Research Is a Must

There’s no shortage of options when choosing the best healthcare provider for pregnancy care. You can choose from various doctors, hospitals, and facilities that offer everything from prenatal care to delivery services.

When making your choices, make sure to do your homework and consider these factors:

  • What kind of experience does this doctor or facility have? The more experienced they are, the higher likelihood they will be able to provide the quality of care you need for your pregnancy to go smoothly.
  • How much do they charge? You want to ensure you’ll be able to afford the fees associated with this service so that unexpected bills don’t compromise your finances.
  • What kind of experience have other patients had with this doctor or facility? You can find out by asking around or doing some research online — and if enough people complain about poor service quality, it might not be worth taking a chance on them.
An obstetrician and woman in the doctors office
Do you want a midwife or OB-GYN?

2. Midwife or OB-GYN: What’s the Difference?

When choosing a health care provider for your pregnancy care, you might consider choosing between a midwife or OB-GYN — depending on what you want from the experience.

An obstetrician is a physician who specializes in the care of pregnant women. They provide prenatal care, such as optimal nutritional habits to start. They also deliver babies, perform surgeries, and diagnose complications that arise during pregnancy.

For example, insomnia during pregnancy can cause health problems like preterm birth, worsen labor pain and increase your chances of depression. An OB-GYN can diagnose you and offer relief options while pregnant.

If you choose an OB-GYN, you will see them throughout your pregnancy and birth.

In comparison, a midwife is specially trained to provide comprehensive care for pregnant women, including prenatal care and delivery services. Midwives are licensed professionals who have completed an accredited educational program — a crucial aspect you should look for to receive better care throughout pregnancy. Midwives are registered nurses (RNs) in most states but can hold other certifications.

As you can see, the biggest difference between a midwife and an OB-GYN is their scope of practice. An obstetrician is trained to handle high-risk cases, while a midwife can only assist during complications. Consider the pros and cons of each type of healthcare provider before carefully making your decision.

A midwife and a pregnant woman
A midwife may be more involved in the pregnancy

3. What Are the Pros and Cons of a Midwife?

When choosing a healthcare provider for your pregnancy, finding someone who fits your needs and preferences is important.

The benefits of working with a midwife include:

  • Being more involved in the process of your pregnancy and birth. Many women feel more comfortable having an active role in their own care and enjoy being able to ask questions about what they're experiencing.
  • Having more time to process what's happening during each appointment. Since midwives tend to see fewer patients at once than doctors or nurse practitioners, they can spend more time individually with each person.

Since midwives are experts in normal pregnancies, they may not have as much experience with situations where interventions are necessary. However, if you have a healthy pregnancy, this may be less of an issue for you.

4. What Are the Pros and Cons of an OB-GYN?

OB-GYNs are among the most trusted and highly regarded medical professionals. They are trained to treat women's reproductive health, including pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum care. They specialize in preventing, diagnosing, and treating problems related to the female reproductive system.

The pros of an OB-GYN include the following:

  • OB-GYNs are well-versed in women's health issues and can help you get the best care possible during pregnancy. They will also be able to provide you with information on pregnancy care and overall health maintenance.
  • An OB-GYN will likely be more familiar with the latest treatments and medications, especially if you have an uncommon condition or a complicated medical history. This means they can provide you with more advanced care than midwives offer—and may even know new treatments before they hit the market.

The potential cons of an OB-GYN include the following:

  • An OB-GYN may not detect certain problems as quickly as a midwife because they don’t see patients as often as midwives do. They tend to have more patients than others and may not be able to see everyone right away.

5. Consider Your Preferred Method of Birth to Help You Decide

Another factor to consider when choosing a healthcare provider is your preferred method of birth. While there are many ways to give birth, some obstetricians and midwives specialize in specific methods. For example, some are certified to practice the Bradley Method of natural childbirth.

The Bradley Method focuses on teaching women to control their pain during labor and delivery through breathing techniques and relaxation exercises. It also encourages couples to attend classes together to learn how to work as a team during labor.

Obstetricians and midwives will also specialize in a variation of the standard medical model for childbirth — obstetric medicine. This is sometimes called “high-risk obstetric” because it involves procedures such as cesarean section — a method becoming more common among pregnant women as one-third of births will occur by cesarean section by 2030.

6. Find a Healthcare Provider That Makes You Feel Comfortable

Pregnancy is a time of change, and while it can be exciting, it can also be scary. You might feel overwhelmed with all the changes your body is going through — and wonder how to navigate them with the right care.

One of the best ways to get good care is to find a healthcare provider who makes you feel comfortable. They’ll have the right combination of experience, education, and personality for your needs. It should also be someone you can talk to about your pregnancy and any complications or concerns that arise.

While some providers are highly knowledgeable, they can also be great at communicating with patients. That way, they understand what’s happening every step of the way. In contrast, some providers have a more relaxed style of communication — which makes some patients more comfortable than those with a more formal approach.

If you’re looking for someone who will guide you through this important time in your life, make sure their personality matches yours so you’re on the same page.

Your Health Care Provider Team Is an Important Part of Your Pregnancy Journey

Finding the best midwife or OB-GYN is an important part of your pregnancy journey. Be sure to open up about what kind of birth experience you want and ask the right questions.

Once you find potential healthcare providers who fit your needs, schedule a consultation so you can hear their stories. In the end, if it doesn’t feel right after meeting with them, keep moving on and try again.

Related: Ovulation Calculator | Are You Trying To Have A Baby

Author: Beth Rush is the content manager and Managing Editor at Body+Mind. She is a well-respected writer in the personal wellness space and shares knowledge on various topics related to nutrition, fitness, holistic health, mental health, and disease prevention. In her spare time, Beth enjoys going for runs and trying out new fitness trends.

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