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Questions to ask

Questions to ask when selecting a maternity health care provider

Five steps to identifying a maternity care provider:

  1. Ask your friends and family for recommendations.
  2. Interview several providers so you have choices.
  3. Ask questions that will help you compare and learn about the care you’ll receive during and after pregnancy (based on the criteria that’s important to you).
  4. Check the qualifications (education, certification) of the providers after you’ve narrowed down your selection to a few options.
  5. Pick a qualified doctor or certified nurse midwife whose opinions and philosophy about pregnancy and birthing options match yours. Remember, if you are not happy with your choice of provider, changing to another one is an option.

Questions to ask or research

  • How long has the provider been practicing medicine?
  • What are the providers general thoughts, feelings, and philosophies about pregnancy, labor and delivery, and how do they compare to my beliefs?
  • How many babies does the provider deliver each week?
  • How frequently does the provider perform episiotomy, cesarean, vaginal birth after cesarean, and inducing labor?
  • Is the provider’s office located a convenient distance from work or home?
  • At which hospitals can the provider deliver babies?
  • Will the provider be with me during delivery? If not, will I have an opportunity to meet with the person who will deliver my baby?
  • Does the provider work in a solo or group practice? If solo, will I usually see the provider I’ve chosen, or will I see all members of the group?
  • If my provider is a doctor, will I see him/her at every visit, or will I see a nurse during my prenatal visits?
  • Who will I see if my provider isn’t available in an emergency?
  • If I have a question, who do I call? Will my provider take my calls, or will I usually talk with a nurse? Can I submit questions via email?
  • If I go beyond my due date, what is the provider’s philosophy on inducing labor?
  • Which costs are covered by my insurance?
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