|

Prenatal Care Options

In This Article:

Who to choose for your prenatal care

Your care during pregnancy

Early in pregnancy, you will need to think about who you would like to care for you during pregnancy, labor, and the postpartum period. You will also need to consider where you want to give birth since this will have an influence on your choice of care provider. The main options are set out below, although these may vary depending on where you live. When you attend your first prenatal appointment at 8-12 weeks (see Your First Prenatal Visit), you will be given information about the prenatal services you can access in your area. The medical checkups that are done during this appointment will also help establish the best choice for your prenatal care.

Types of prenatal care

The majority of your care will usually be provided by an ob/gyn. At your first appointment, she will outline the prenatal services you will receive.

Group medical practice

With this type of care, you will see two or more doctors (typically ob/gyns and/or family practitioners) throughout your pregnancy on a rotating basis. One of these doctors will be present at the hospital when you deliver.

Solo medical practice

You'll only have one doctor, and you will see her at every prenatal visit. She will attend your birth at the hospital, unless she's unavailable and arranges for another doctor who covers for her to be present for your delivery.

Combination practice

With this type of care, you'll get to see both doctors and midwives. At least one ob/gyn and one nurse-midwife sees patients on a rotating basis. Depending on the practice, a midwife may or may not be able to assist in delivery at the hospital. Expect a doctor to be present.

Maternity center-based practice

If your pregnancy is low-risk, you can see certified nurse-midwives for most of your appointments throughout pregnancy. Ob/gyns are available for consultations as required. If you choose this option, you'll deliver your baby at the maternity or birthing center that is associated with the practice, unless complications arise, in which case your care would be transferred to the affiliated hospital.

Independent certified nurse-midwife practice

Some states permit midwives to practice without a doctor in the office. If this type of care is available in your area and you have a low-risk pregnancy, you can see midwives for all of your appointments, and a midwife would be present at your delivery in a hospital, birthing center, or at home. The midwives generally have arrangements with doctors, who are available for consultations as needed.

Woman touching pregnant belly

Midwives provide care at doctors' offices, maternity centers, or their own practices.



 Previous   1   2   Next 

excerpted from:

Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
Buy this book now!

Pregnancy Day by Day

Tell us your due date to receive our daily newsletter and find out what is happening in this day of your pregnancy!

Already a member? Log-in here

Name of the Day

stay connected

highlights

Join BIC on our mission to save handwriting and Fight For Your Write! Writing helps kids become better readers, boosts their confidence and sparks their creativity. Visit BICFightForYourWrite.com to sign our petition to save handwriting!

7 Fun Driveway and Sidewalk Games for Kids
Looking for classic outdoor games kids can play in the driveway or on the sidewalk, just like the good ol' days? From hopscotch to bubble-blowing contests, there's something for all ages!

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Best Sun Safety Practices for Babies
Follow these sun safety practices for babies to ensure your little one stays safe on the beach and on sunny days all year long.

© 2000-2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.