One of the most important elements in giving birth is feeling safe, no matter where it is that you are planning to give birth. Once you establish which setting this is for you, the next step would be to look for the right care provider.
Questions to ask yourself are:
- How do you define bedside manners? Are they important to you?
- Do you want to learn about your body and the changes you are experiencing during pregnancy? Do you imagine your provider being hands on or hands off?
- How important is it for your provider to listen to your needs and wishes?
- Do you want your provider to explain to you what he/she is doing while examining you or do you prefer less communication?
- Is being emotionally empathetic important to you in a health care provider?
- Do you want a provider that shares his/her personal opinions?
- Is it important for your birth to be covered by health insurance?
- Is it important for your provider to be intuitive?
- Do you value evidence based practices?
Some other ways to help guide you in your decision would be to contact a birth doula or childbirth educator who is knowledgeable in the hospitals and birthing centers in your area. You can ask them specific questions like, “Have you worked with Dr. _____ before? What was your experience like?”
Another thing to note is that while homebirth midwives and birthing centers do not accept insurance, they might be able to give you a superbill to submit to your insurance company for partial reimbursement. It never hurts to ask!