Post # 1
DH and I recently moved from a rural area to a major city. We live at the extreme north side of the city so the major medical centers are still a 30-45min drive. Along with moving comes selecting new doctors. I’m going to select a primary doctor this week as well as set up my first appt with an OBGYN. I’m wanting minimal birth interventions.
Is there a good site to look at reviews or compare hospitals? What are the essential questions to ask at the first visit?
Post # 3
Oh I have this EXACT same question… same situation, I have no idea even where to begin! I hope others can be more helpful!
ETA: Oh, I searched for and joined a mommy group that I randomly found on facebook that is specific to my city. They have been able to give some advice, or at least opinions.
Post # 4
My health plan has an online tool to compare hospitals. Once I narrowed it down, I asked for feedback on the local boards of baby forums at babycenter.com and whattoexpect.com. Also check out http://www.leapfroggroup.org/cp to compare hospitals.
id start by choosing the hospital then you can narrow doctors down by where they deliver. Good luck!
Post # 5
@red_rose: That’s a great idea to look on Facebook!
Post # 6
I honestly just stumbled into it by calling our insurance. It turns out we’re delivering at the best hospital for children in our area.
Post # 7
- Wedding: November 2011 - Florida Aquarium
I’ve been with my OB office for three years (for GYN services). It just made since to stay with them. They also only deliver at one hospital, so that was my choice! It is a pretty nice hospital, but mostly my concern was that I would know the doctor delivering my baby– and they guarantee I will.
Post # 8
@GardenRose: do you know anyone in your new city? Personal recommendations are always helpful. I’d also suggest looking for birthing centers if you’re looking for minimal interventions.
@Cory_loves_this_girl: I misread that and thought you were delivering at a vet as in veterinary hospital. I was like, maybe she lives in the country somewhere and that’s how they do it??? Horses and kids! Omg.
Post # 9
@mamadingdong: Hahaha darn autocorrect!
Post # 10
@GardenRose: We checked out a bunch of OBGYNs online (ratemds.com is great) and called around as well. We absolutely loved the OB we chose-she made having our DS such a great experience. Hopefully we get her again as we are pregnant with #2! Definitely put in the time and research- the right OB can make the whole process enjoyable and exciting!
Post # 11
For the hospitals, you will be able to find out their Cesarean rates by looking on line. For OB/GYNs, if you want to go that route and are looking for low(er)-intervention, ask about the individual’s C-section rate, including how many they do on low-risk women, and their episiotomy rate. Their reaction to the question will tell you as much as (if not more than!) the actual number: any doctor who gets defensive about his/her rate or dodges the question is probably not a great choice if you really want a low-intervention birth. An OB/GYN who will truly go along with a low-intervention approach will be frank about his/her rate and why it is where it is; hopefully it’s low!
You might also want to ask things like what routine policies the hospitals have in the labor ward, and whether this OB/GYN is comfortable with authorizing deviations (i.e. making sure you are able to eat/drink at will, move around during labor, not have an IV, not have continuous monitoring, etc.) You will also want to ask under what circumstances they induce patients (will they let you go all the way to 42 weeks or will they want to do it earlier?) and how long they are comfortable letting labor go on (if they follow the Friedman curve, the “averages” for length of each stage of labor, you are likely to end up with more interventions than if they are comfortable allowing labor to take its own course.) All of these are good questions to ask a midwife as well if she works in a hospital-based practice. For a midwife who works primarily in a birthing center, you will want to ask what their statistics are like for transfers, eventual interventions, etc., what kinds of things they do to encourage stalled labor, what types of things would cause a mother to be “risked out” prior to the onset of labor, how many of their prospective mothers get risked out and what they do then (i.e. does the midwife continue to work with them but birth takes place in their cooperating hospital? Does the cooperating physician take over? When would you get to meet that person? etc.)
For *both* OB/GYNs and midwives, the most important thing is to try to get a sense of how they view labor and birth: do they see it as a natural function of a healthy pregnant woman’s body, that goes right most of the time when allowed to take its natural course and only rarely requires human intervention? Or do they approach birth as inherently dangerous, with the view that anything could go wrong at any moment, every pregnant woman is a ticking time bomb and every birth an impending disaster, and so they take the approach that any birth that deviates from the textbook averages requires intervention to “help” it along, because birth should be gotten done with as quickly as possible? You also need to assess your own feelings on this question. Your provider’s view of birth should ideally match your own, as much as possible.