This article is about things you can prepare for that will make the birthing experiance a bit easier including choosing an OB, a doula and the hospital.
Choosing an OB/GYN
For my first baby, I knew what hospital I wanted because I did a maternity tour for each hospital very early (I did it when I was only 2-3 months along at all of the local area hospitals but most people don’t do it until 6-7 months and only at the facility of their choice). Unless you have a personal relationship with your OB/GYN you might want to do the same. Your OB/GYN won’t be present at the birth unless you happen to go into labor on the day they’re on call, so why pick your hospital based on them?
I then had to find a physician who was covered by my insurance and also had privileges at the hospital I wanted (I had an HMO, but you might have to do the same for a PPO to take advantage of the in network discounts). My insurance companies website made it easy to find a doctor, but I just picked one out of the bunch. He was okay, but luckily when I went into labor, Dr. Diane Rosenberg was on duty. She was wonderful! When I got pregnant again, I changed to her office (although in 2007 she retired from medicine after an accident where she was badly injured).
Tour the hospital
I found it useful to take the expectant mother’s tour of the hospital really early to make sure I liked the hospital. You can never count on your doctor being there so you should at least like the facility. If you tour early you still have time to find a new doctor/hospital combo that suits you better. I ended up going to Scripps La Jolla. It is beautiful and very comfortable and the food was great!!!
You might consider having a doula. I think Eve (from Milkmade at Home) does it, but I didn’t know that until after I hired a wonderful doula named Gerri Ryan. She was fabulous but books up early so if you even think you might want to do this, call now to get more info and an appointment 619-472-0583. It was wonderful to have her there. Since I had a scheduled c-section the second time I didn’t schedule her, but I wish I had. I went into labor a few days in advance (of course at midnight) and I couldn’t find anyone to baby-sit my 17 month old while I gave birth, so my husband had to stay with him and he missed Winnie’s birth. I would’ve paid anything to have him there (even full price for a doula). Of course you don’t have to worry about that the first time! For general doula info check out Birth Resource Network. I think Gerri is the VP of that organization.
The labor part scared me too! Everyone kept saying how “natural” it was and how beautiful the whole thing was. I’m sorry, but I personally liked having the c-section better than the natural birth. The natural birth messes with you in places you’d rather not be messed with. Of course I had a difficult labor the first time which is why the doctor recommended the c-section the second time. I wish I had done it the first time, but you never know if you’ll have a hard or easy time until you do it. There are more complications with a c-section so make sure you discuss everything with your doctor.
I’ve known other people who had both and preferred the natural birth. Ce’ la vie!
In the Delivery Room
Don’t feel pressured to have anyone in the delivery room that you don’t want. The hospital will take your side and remove anyone you don’t want present. Some will even tell white lies to get them out although once it gets going you probably won’t even notice. You are just concentrating on not being in pain!!! And remember, your mother (and his) had to go through it and they know what they’re getting into when asking if they can be in the room.
Click HERE for information on Preparing for a First Baby.
Click HERE for information on After the Baby is Born.