Chances you went to your GP for confirmation and one of the first questions you were asked is whether you have private health cover. If you do, you were provided with a recommendation for a private obstetrician, if not you have a referral to the local public hospital.
We have some wonderful maternity services in our region and making a decision based on whether you have private health cover or not, may not actually suit your individual pregnancy and birth.
- What do you want for your birth experience?
- Where do you feel most comfortable to give birth?
- What risk factors do you have during pregnancy?
- What sort of care do you want from your health professional? During pregnancy? During birth? After birth?
- What level of participation would you like with your care? A HP to make decisions? You would like the final decision? A partnership between yourself and the HP’s?
- Does the HP “style” of working suit you and your needs?
- What is the HP’s philosophy and model of care?
- What birth settings will your HP attend?
- What does your health insurance cover in relation to your chosen health professional?
Once you have an idea of what Model of Care will suit you, then it’s worth taking the time to meet with potential health professionals to discuss their services. We have a very high standard of birth professionals and hospitals in our region. But of course each individual or organisation has their own personality, style and policies. A friend may rave about how perfect a certain provider was for her birth, yet that person may not suit you. It’s no reflection on their level of skill (or your friend’s choice), but rather of the very normal experience of being human. Each person brings their own energy into your birth space and a labouring woman is extremely sensitive to everyone around her. You certainly don’t want someone who makes you grate your teeth whenever you see them!
But if you feel comfortable around them; there is mutual respect and perhaps they even make you laugh, you may be on track to finding a HP to be part of your perfect birth team.
Matching the model of care that suits you with the right healthcare provider goes a long way to achieving the most ideal experience and outcomes for you. With a little thought and planning, the right birth setting and birth team can make all the difference in your outcomes – not just medically but also for the experience of you, your partner and your baby.
If you are still unsure that you have chosen the right model of care for you? It’s never too late to change. This article may be helpful: Care Provider Red Flags: Signs You May Not Be Getting the Best Care.