When deciding to start a family or beginning a new pregnancy, you want only the best care for yourself and your baby. This is why most women turn to an obstetrician-gynecologist (OB/GYN), certified nurse midwife, or nurse practitioner to meettheir needs throughout their pregnancy and delivery. After all, prenatal care involves more than just undergoing screenings and receiving support during the nine months in which you are expecting.
Before you become pregnant, it also includes preconception counseling that helps prepare your body to have a baby, as well as discussing fertility and possible genetic testing. Once you become pregnant, your care consists of visits and screenings designed to ensure that you and your baby are healthy, and that the fetus is developing as it should.
As such, your choice of a prenatal care provider who can guide you through the different stages of your pregnancy is an important decision. Here are several tips for choosing the right practitioner:
- Determine what kind of prenatal care provider you want. Do you prefer an OB/GYN, a family medicine provider, or a midwife? While a family medicine doctor can care for your overall health during pregnancy, delivery, and post-partum, an OB/GYN is a specialist in women’s reproductive health, pregnancy, and childbirth.
Similarly, midwives partner with patients and educate them during pregnancy to create a continuity of care within a group practice. Midwives are specialists in low-risk, normal pregnancies, but may not be your best option if you have a chronic medical condition (such as diabetes or high blood pressure) or have had previous pregnancy complications, in which case yours would be considered a high-risk pregnancy.
- Review your insurance coverage. To receive prenatal care at the lowest out-of-pocket cost to you, find out which area hospitals and providers are part of your insurance plan’s network. While you’re at it, check which services related to prenatal care, labor and delivery, and post-partum care your insurance company covers, including anesthesia, lactation services, and other options.
- Ask for recommendations. Check with your primary care provider, friends, or anyone you know who has experienced pregnancy and find out whether their recommended providers are in-network. You should also visit each doctor’s website to learn about their credentials, services, and treatment philosophy, as well as peruse reviews and comments from their patients.
- Arrange an interview with the prospective prenatal care provider.Call each practice and ask whether they are accepting new patients. If so, set up an appointment for a consult. During the interview, ask about the practice’s on-call coverage, their philosophies on issues such as pain management, honoring birth plans, after-hours availability, and any other questions you may have related to pregnancy, labor and delivery, and post-partum care. You want to choose a prenatal care provider with whom you feel comfortable and confident in their ability to guide you through your pregnancy and birthing experience.
Prenatal Care Near You in Lithonia, Decatur, and Stone Mountain, Georgia
In choosing the best quality prenatal care for you and your baby, consider the outstanding amenities provided by our team of board-certified and experienced physicians at Dekalb Women’s Specialists.
- Regular checkups
- Nutritional support
- Screening tests for you and your baby
- Treatment for common pregnancy ailments
- Support for pregnancy problems and complications
- Labor and delivery counseling and support
Generally, prenatal visits are scheduled once a month for the first 28 weeks, once every two weeks for weeks 28-36, and once a week from week 36 through delivery. However, your prenatal visit schedule may vary, depending on your particular pregnancy and needs.
So, if you are looking for the highest quality obstetrical healthcare available in the greater Lithonia, Decatur, and Stone Mountain areas, call DeKalb Women’s Specialists today to set up a consultation at our nearest location to you or use our convenient online tool to schedule your appointment.