BEFORE YOUR BABY’S ARRIVAL
This Chapter tells you some of the things you can do before your baby is born, to
make life easier for you and your family later.
Giving birth. Your prenatal care doctor or clinic staff should be able to
explain the choices you have of where to give birth. Although most women
have their babies in hospitals, some may choose other settings, such as a
birthing center. Your doctor will tell you if there are medical reasons why
you should have your baby in a hospital. Also, talk with your doctor about
options for early hospital discharge, having your baby spend more time with
you in the hospital (called rooming-in), and how your partner may
participate in labor and delivery. Most hospitals have tours to explain their
procedures. Many hospitals also will offer childbirth classes, including
information about breastfeeding.
Selecting a doctor or clinic. Before your baby is born is a good time to
select your baby’s doctor (such as a pediatrician or family physician). You
may also choose a doctor or nurse practitioner team, or a pediatric nurse
practitioner to take care of your baby. It is better to make this decision while
you have the time to carefully choose who will advise you about your baby’s
health over the years. You may ask your own doctor or a nurse at the clinic
for a recommendation; your friends or family members who have children of
their own are good sources, too. If you have other children, you will
probably find it easier to use the same care provider for all of your children.
Once you have located a potential care provider, make an appointment to
meet him or her if you can. Think about these questions as you decide
whether this person is the one for you:
• What have been the experiences of friends (or family) with this care
• Do you feel comfortable with and trust him or her?
• Do you feel that he or she will take the time to answer your
questions or help you deal with new situations?
• How does he or she feel about issues of importance to you (such as