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Choosing an OB or Midwife

(page 4 of 4)

The partnership or group medical practice is made up of two or more doctors in the same specialty. They care for patients jointly and see patients on a rotating basis. With this arrangement, the advantage is that by seeing a different doctor each time, you will get to know them all, and when labor is coming hard and fast there will be a familiar face in the delivery room. The disadvantage is that you may not like all the partners and you won't have any control over who you will see at the delivery.

A combination practice is a group practice that includes one or more OBs and one or more nurse-midwives. The advantages and disadvantages are similar to those of a group practice. One advantage of having a nurse-midwife on staff is that they can usually spend extra time with you at your prenatal appointments.

A maternity or birth center- based practice is the type of practice where nurse-midwives provide the bulk of care to the patients and OBs are on call as needed. Birth centers provide care for low risk pregnancies only. This is favorable to women who choose midwives as their primary practictioners. The main disadvantage in this type of practice is that if a pregnancy becomes a high risk situation, you'll have to switch to a physician in a more traditional setting and start new with them.

Finding the perfect doctor or midwife can be quite a journey but once you have settled in with a caregiver and a practice that's on the same "pregnancy wavelength" as you, you'll be well on your way to delivery.

You can make the job of caring for you and your baby easier by being prepared for each visit by having a list of questions ready. Don't withhold information. It's crucial to tell your caregiver everything he or she needs to know.

Get the expectant father or partner involved; ideally the father or partner and caregiver should meet and be familiar with each other long before the first pang of labor hits. Finally, speak up and don't hesitate to tell your caregiver if you're dissatisfied and give him or her the opportunity to correct the problem.

 

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