Childbirth Care Provider Selection Guide
Choosing the best care provider for your birth is an individual choice. Having a friend or family member that liked a care provider won't tell you what that care provider can do for you. The best way to choose the best care provider for your birth is to interview at least one home birth provider and one facility provider. If you can get to know multiple providers to really understand the way they practice, this is your ideal. Trusting your provider for their skills and experience and feeling comfortable communicating with them as you would a friend will enable the highest levels of oxytocin flowing in your birth space, rather than nervous adrenaline suppressing your labor progression.
Why are You Hiring a Care Provider?
If your answer to this is, "Because I'm pregnant," or, "Because I need myself and my baby checked regularly to make sure nothing is wrong," then there is a chance you haven't dug deep into the understanding of birth physiology nor sought a provider that works for YOU. These two types of answers illustrate a belief that birth is risky and that any provider with a midwifery or obstetric related title provides quality care for YOU and for support of biological birth. Not all providers practice the same. They shouldn't, either. We're not looking for cookie cutter providers any more than we're looking for cookie cutter births. But we are at a time in history where we have access to a LOT of traditional and modern knowledge that can be (and IS being) blended to provide families with holistic support of the entire perinatal period.
Use the table below as a guide to help you find the best care provider, doula, birth team, birth location and birth environment for your #happyhealthybirth.
|Thoughts and questions to ask yourself and to research about your chosen birth environment||Biological Birth Supportive||May want to seek other support|
|I am excited to see my provider at my prenatals||YES||NO|
|My provider listens to my questions and thoughts and engages in respectful conversation with me and is willing to provide me with the birth I desire, or kindly recommend I seek the care of someone else should our views not align||YES||NO|
|My provider encourages me to research recommendations and make informed decisions about my pregnancy, birth, and postpartum and does not push any recommendations as required||YES||NO|
|Many mothers birth in upright, forward leaning, all fours, or squatting positions with this provider||YES||NO|
|My provider knows how to use physical and emotional support including quiet, calm, and dark environments, water therapy, a peanut and birth ball and this is a standard part of their birth support||YES||NO|
|My provider doesn't use induction or cesarean as a treatment for "big babies"||YES||NO|
|Many baby's have their cord clamped and cut after the placenta birth with this provider||YES||NO|
|My baby will be skin to skin with me as a standard practice through postpartum||YES||NO|
|My provider takes all the time I need to answer all the questions I have, or schedules time for this specific purpose, and suggest holistic therapies to remedy any fears||YES||NO|
|My provider works with fetal positioning guidance during pregnancy to reduce labor and birth complications||YES||NO|
|My provider encourages balanced meals and provides information on eating balanced rather than prescribing a standard Rx prenatal to cover nutrition. If prenatal vitamins are recommended, they are whole foods (with folate, not folic acid) and test to determine specific areas of deficiency are encouraged to know what supplements would be beneficial for you.||YES||NO|
|My provider believes the body is capable of laboring, birthing, and healing during postpartum and doesn't use medical technology as a standard means of practice for normal pregnancy and birth during any part of the perinatal stages||YES||NO|
|My provider actively refers to other providers and specialists for areas they feel would benefit from another perspective or for care they are unable to provide||YES||NO|
|My provider does not get aggressive or sarcastic at the mention of home birth||YES||NO|
|My provider understands the influence of birth practices on breastfeeding||YES||NO|
|My provider uses emotional and physical guidance during labor to increase oxytocin, decrease fear, and naturally support the physical movement of the baby through the pelvis during labor||YES||NO|
|My provider ensures I am provided with (and know resources for) breastfeeding support immediately after birth and the first days and weeks after birth||YES||NO|
|My provider doesn't use "at least you have a healthy baby" as a justification for birth experiences||YES||NO|
|My provider checks on me, or has someone on their team that checks on me, multiple times throughout the first six weeks postpartum||YES||NO|
|My provider's backup, and any staff working with or for my provider, practices in the same way as my provider||YES||NO|
Of course, the ideal is a YES to all of these, right? At least much more than the majority. Are these the only priorities? No, of course not... and there are many other factors that will play into the quality and care of a provider. These may not even be a priority to YOU for THIS birth. However, this is a general overview of how to get to the deep down of how a provider practices.