CHOOSING A PROVIDER

You’ve found the courage to look at the pregnancy test.  There it is.  The BIG FAT POSITIVE. The plus that you’ve been hoping for. The smiley face that you’ve waited weeks, months, or even years to see. The word PREGNANT is the first sign of proof – you’re having a baby!

It’s time to call the doctor. Or maybe the midwife? With so many providers and options, how do you know which to choose? It’s important to find the right provider for you.  This is your birth. This is your baby. This is your body. And you should find a provider that aligns with your birth philosophy and individual needs.

Keep reading as we discuss a few of the big ideas to consider

Does your Birth Philosophy align with that of your provider?

I’m not going to lie. This is a big one. Really figure out what birth is to you before selecting a provider.

Some women believe birth should be managed and monitored to ensure safety of baby and mom. Others believe birth is a natural process and should be treated as such, rather than a medical emergency. Some people want to make their own decisions regarding their pregnancy, labor, and delivery.  Other women just want someone to tell them what they need to do.

Most of the complaints about a provider or an experience boils down to this question.  Having a birth philosophy that aligns with that of your provider can help ensure a positive experience and outcome for you.

How secure does the hospital culture make you feel?

Some people find comfort delivering in a hospital, regardless of pain medications used. They like knowing that should anything happen to them or their baby, doctors and nurses are ready and waiting to do everything they can to remedy the situation.  Other women become anxious or intimidated when in a hospital setting, maybe because of a previous experience, or even because of their birth philosophy.

If being in a hospital is stressful for you, look into midwives who do homebirths or deliver at birth centers. 

Have you had a previous Cesarean Section?

If you’ve had a Cesarean Section, some doctors may require you to have another Cesarean. If you would like to try for a Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC), find a doctor that is comfortable with this.

What (if any) Pain Management options are you interested in?

  • Nitrous Oxide – some providers are uncomfortable with the use of Nitrous Oxide. It is not available at all hospitals
  • Hydrotherapy – not all hospitals have laboring tubs; no Green Bay hospitals the have capabilities of water birth.

The provider I choose will deliver my baby, right?

Unfortunately, the only way to guarantee that the provider you choose will actually be there to deliver your baby is to schedule a Cesarean Section or induction. If your provider is on call – Great! If not, however, the doctor on call may say and allow different things (some may not be comfortable with the use of Nitrous Oxide, for example).  It is a good idea to get to know the other providers in the practice to help you pick a provider AND a PRACTICE.

You should also consider your insurance and location (are you willing to drive 45 minutes or more to the hospital?)

So when you set up appointments to meet with doctors and midwives, ask these questions. If you want to ask the Facebook Hive for suggestions, explain your birth philosophy and needs first to get better suggestions, rather than a slew of names that might not be the right fit for you.

Better yet, ask someone who knows all of the providers and who can give you a few tailored options to choose from.  The Green Bay Doulas are knowledgeable about the birth culture in Green Bay and have worked with many of the areas providers. You can also join the “Green Bay Birth and Postpartum Options” Facebook group for more information and a safe place to ask questions about providers and options available to you.

 

-Melissa is originally from Buffalo, NY and came to Green Bay in 2013. She holds both her bachelors and masters degrees in Viola Performance from the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, OH, and an Artist Diploma from Ball State University in Muncie, IN. In her spare time you can find Melissa running around with her pup Louie, taking road trips with her husband and daughter, cooking, and playing board games.

 

Winter Safety Tips 

It’s that time of year… time to become bears and hibernate until it is warm again. No? Okay so maybe we cannot hibernate but we can stay warm. We of course know what it takes to keep us toasty and comfortable but a baby may be a little bit more difficult. No worries, check out these tips!

IN THE CAR:
Coats in carseats are dangerous, it greatly increases the babies risk of injury in an accident, but there are other ways to keep your little one warm. Dress you baby in thin layers and tuck a blanket around them once they are correctly secured into their seats. On cold days a fleece sleeper can be used for extra warmth. For more information on winter and car seat safety guidelines from the AAP 
OUTDOORS:
If out and about in the frosty a good rule of thumb is to add an extra layer to what makes you comfortable (reasonably, maybe more if you are a polar bear.) If playing in the snow, ensure you add a waterproof snowsuit with attached feet.
Also, stay aware and watch for signs of discomfort and cold, such as tear filled eyes ( not necessarily crying), shivering, or cold skin. It’s okay if you need to cut your outdoor time short in order to warm up!HOME:
The extra layer rule is also good here. Even though you maybe tempted to bundle baby up, remember the “ideal” temperature is 68-72* F. You can always check by placing your hand on babies tummy or back, they should be warm but not sweaty. Keeping your baby from overheating and using a zip style sleeping sack or a footed sleeper, rather than blankets which can cover baby’s face, are a few of the suggestions made by American Pediatric Associations for the prevention of SIDS.Hopefully these tips will help you and baby enjoy the upcoming winter and holiday season.
-Guest Blog by labor doula Heather Phillips, affiliated doula with Green Bay Doulas and owner of About A Baby Doula & Birth Services