Choosing the best maternity care for your family




Choosing the best maternity care for your family

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You and your partner have a variety of health care options to consider for pregnancy care. Not all of these services are available in all communities and a first step might be to take some time to investigate what is on offer locally and further afield. The earlier you start in the pregnancy the more time you will have to evaluate the services available. Don’t hurry these decisions. Weighing up the options and speaking to the relevant people will ultimately help you feel more comfortable about the decisions you’ve made. You always have the right to a second opinion and to change caregivers at any time.

Professional Caregivers

Many parents give little thought to choosing a midwife or doctor and rely on recommendations from friends or their family doctor. However, choosing a caregiver is the most important decision that you will make.

There is clear research evidence that the major influences on the outcome of the birth (that is, the health of mother and baby) are the attitudes, practices and philosophy of the primary caregiver. The way this person views birth, their management style and their level of commitment to the normal birth process will determine how they care for you and the services they perform.

It is worthwhile discussing your goals for the birth and then working together to seek the caregiver who will best assist you achieve this outcome. It is quite acceptable to “shop around” for appropriate health care and interviewing potential caregivers can be rewarding.

These pages are copyrighted and have been reproduced here with the expressed permission of Birth International and the author Andrea Robertson. For more information on these topics and other related issues about pregnancy and birth, please see