5 steps to choosing the right birth center for you
Expecting a baby or planning to conceive can be an exciting, magical time in a woman’s life. It can also be a somewhat frightening time, especially for first-time moms. One thing moms can do to ease any worry or anxiety prior to getting pregnant or delivering a baby is simple: choose the winning combination of the right physician and right birth center for you.
At the Mission Hospital Birth Center, our team of highly skilled caregivers empowers women by giving them a full suite of birthing options because we know that no two moms and no two deliveries are the same. Our aim is to ensure every mom’s birth experience is tailored to meet her unique needs.
As you prepare to make this important choice, consider this good rule of thumb – choose one that gives you the options to have the birth experience you want.
To help guide you in this decision, here are few tips to keep in mind:
1. Decide what’s important to you
If you’re expecting or planning on expecting anytime soon, think carefully about what you want your pregnancy and birth experience to be like. Ask yourself:
- Do I want a natural delivery?
- Do I want the assistance of a doula?
- Am I ok with a medicated delivery?
- What happens if something goes wrong? Do I want to be within the safety of the hospital?
- What level of care of neonatal care is available?
- Do I want the option of delivering with a midwife or do I want an OB/GYN to delivery my baby?
- Do I want pictures during the childbirth?
- Are childbirth classes something I want to consider?
- Do I want a private room?
- Do I want to breastfeed and if so, will there be someone available who can help me learn to nurse?
- Do I want family and friends to visit?
- Do I want the option to labor in a tub?
- Is proximity a priority for me?
Getting clear on these answers will help you narrow down your choices and better inform your decision.
2. Research, research, research
Once you’ve determined what’s important to you, it’s time to do your research and learn what your options are based on your insurance plan. If you love your obstetrician (OB), find out where he or she has hospital/birth center privileges and determine if that birth center has the attributes that are important to you. If your OB doesn’t, perhaps it’s worth your time to meet with other physicians. Alternatively, if you love a particular birth center but aren’t happy with your OB, determine what other doctors have privileges there and consult with a few until you’ve found the right fit.
Ask for recommendations from family and friends. Do your research online and scan local mom groups on Facebook to learn what moms have to say about their experiences.
Don’t be discouraged by the amount of research that goes into making this decision. It’s a bit like putting a puzzle together; it might take a while to find the right pieces that fit together but once you do, it’s incredibly satisfying.
3. Take several tours
Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, it’s time to take a few tours. When touring birth centers, consider:
- Safety – is this birth center able to accommodate any medical emergencies for me or my baby should the need arise?
- Is this birth center baby friendly? Will I be supported in breastfeeding my baby?
- Will my baby be in the room with me following delivery?
- Are the caregiver’s kind, warm and friendly?
- What is the parking situation and visiting policy?
- What is the neonatal level of care available?
- Does the birth center offer maternal and postpartum support groups and classes?
At the Mission Hospital Birth Center, our vast array of birthing options offer moms the opportunity to have the birth experience they desire. For moms seeking a natural birth within a cozy, home-like environment, delivering with a midwife may be an option. For high-risk pregnancies, we offer the most-up-to-date standard of care to ensure a safe and healthy delivery.
All of our beautiful and comfortable birthing suites, including our midwifery suites, labor and delivery suites, surgical recovery suites and mother-baby suites, are private and offer families the comforts of home such as aromatherapy, spacious bathrooms, music speakers and sleeping space for your support person. If the need arises and your baby needs specialized care, the CHOC Children’s at Mission Hospital neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is located on the fifth floor inside Mission Hospital.
4. Meet with several OBs (if you don’t have one already)
Having a baby is one of the most cherished, beautiful experiences of a woman’s life, so it’s important that you’re comfortable with the physician who will be alongside you during such a monumental event.
Dr. Craig Salcido, and OB/GYN at Mission Hospital recommends women consider the following when choosing their provider:
- Does this doctor have a good reputation?
- What is this doctor’s training? Is he or she board certified?
- Will this doctor support the type of delivery you want (natural, no medical intervention, etc.)?
- What percentage of this doctor’s patients have C-sections or episiotomies?
- Will the doctor work alongside a doula?
- What percentage of patients does the doctor deliver?
“At Mission Hospital, our providers build a true partnership with you based on trust and respect to gain a deep understanding of your unique needs, all while prioritizing the safety of you and your baby,” said Salcido.
5. Make an informed decision
Congratulations! You’ve done your homework and it’s time to make your decision. If your birth center allows you to do so, register online so you can avoid that later when it’s time to deliver. Sign up for any apps designed to assist you throughout your pregnancy and parenting journey. Mission Hospital utilizes Circle app, designed to answer any questions about raising healthy kids, and provides helpful tracking tools and to-do checklists to guide you through every stage of womanhood.
Additionally, schedule your maternal checkups with the OB you’ve decided on, and consider signing up for a childbirth preparation class at the birth center you’ve chosen.
Best wishes to you and your growing family during this exciting time!
To learn more about our birth center, visit our website or call (949) 365-2229.