Your healthcare provider - doctor or midwife - can help you have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.
Choose someone who makes you feel comfortable and supported, and don't be afraid to see more than one provider before you decide what’s best for you.
Here’s a list of questions to ask, to help you make a choice:
- Do you routinely care for pregnant women in your practice?
- What are your policies regarding phone calls, home visits and on-call coverage?
- What is the length and frequency of office visits?
- Will you be available when I'm ready to give birth?
- What are my choices for place of birth?
- Are you open to working with me regarding my birth wishes, such as support people, birth positions and pain-control options?
- Do you have any routine procedures?
- Will you support me with breastfeeding?
Once you have chosen your healthcare provider, record their contact information and keep it in a safe, easily accessible place. Remember to write down any questions or concerns before each visit. Provide important information such as your family medical history or changes in your condition. Have your partner or support person join you so they can ask questions, hear the same information and share in the excitement of your growing baby.
At the beginning of your pregnancy you should visit your healthcare provider every four to six weeks. After about 30 weeks, your appointments will be every two to three weeks. During the last month, your healthcare provider will want to see you every one to two weeks or more.
Finding a Healthcare Provider
- Ask other healthcare providers for recommendations
- Contact the College of Physicians and Surgeons, College of Family Physicians, or College of Midwives
- Ask friends, family or co-workers for recommendations
- Call your hospital for a list of healthcare providers accepting new patients
Tests usually performed during prenatal visits include:
- blood pressure and pulse
- urine test, fetal heart rate
- measuring your abdomen to check the growth of your baby