Pregnant women often ask me for recommendations on local obstetricians, midwives and hospitals. Who is the best midwife? Who is the best obstetrician? Which hospital should I choose?
I love getting asked these questions because it shows that the person is putting thought into their decision.
Of all the choices you will make during your pregnancy and birth, your choice of care provider and birth location will be the single most significant factor in your birth experience.
This decision will often be the difference between a positive and negative experience, so you want to get it right. But how to choose?
I know its tempting to rely solely on reviews from friends, family or Google. The problem with this approach is that you don’t know if their priorities are the same as yours.
It is not about choosing the most popular care provider but the one that will best suit you and your plan.
This means that you first have to decide what sort of birth and care you want.
What does your ideal birth look like? What do you want out of a care provider? Are you wanting someone that you emotionally connect with? Is your pregnancy high risk and you want someone who has experience with your particular condition? Are there interventions or tests that you would like to decline? Would you like a long or short hospital stay? The list of possible questions is endless but basically you need to have an idea of what is important to you. What do you value and prioritise?
The reason to start with you is because once you have an idea of what you want then you can more effectively find a provider who best matches your goals.
If your ideal birth is one with little intervention and as natural as possible then an obstetrician who has a high induction, episiotomy or caesarean rate is probably not a good match. Likewise if your ideal birth is to get an epidural as soon as labour has started then the midwife who primarily attends low intervention or home births is not a great match for you.
Each care provider is great at delivering what they are comfortable and experienced in; the key is to match their preferred skill set with your wishes.
When someone raves how great their obstetrician or midwife was, it doesn’t make that provider the best.
It means that person was a good match with their care provider.
We are so fortunate here in Wollongong and Shellharbour that we have an array of options for you to choose from.
If you would like to see the current birth statistics at our local hospitals click here.
No matter what type of birth you desire there is a care provider here who will be a great fit for you.
Whether you want a natural birth, elective caesarean, home birth, hospital birth with shared GP antenatal care, midwifery continuity of care, a high risk specialist or a water birth, there is a provider and hospital that will suit you.
The benefits of this thoughtful decision making process will be worth it when you realise you have a care provider who you trust and who fully supports your wishes.
If all of this has got your head spinning and you are not sure of your birth goals or options, get in touch and we can have a no obligation chat about your local options.