3 Tips to Choosing a Care Provider

July 13 2012 by Kelly O'Brien Pahman

Alright Ladies (and their gents)... this may be one of the tougher questions for me to answer right now. Several times a week I get asked who I would recommend as a care provider... and with hospital midwives recently down to TWO (count ‘em TWO) for the greater Grand Rapids area I am at a loss.

There are fantastic care providers out there that believe in you and trust birth so here are a few tips on finding one that fits for you.

  1. First and foremost go with your gut! If at any point you don’t have peace about what you are doing, take a moment to evaluate and see what does give you peace. If this means changing care providers at 39.5 weeks… *shrugs* well that may mean you change care providers…. Labor is all about listening and trusting your body. Start now. How do you feel when you visit your provider, how do you feel when you leave?  You’re a mom now and trusting your gut is going to come in handy even more now than it ever has.
  2. Ask questions:
    How does your office handle postdates?
    (When do you begin encouraging induction?)
    What are the chances that I will deliver with you and who else is on the rotation? How do they feel about natural birth?
    What percentage of your clients have natural births compared to medicated and/or Cesarean?

What part do you see the parents playing in decision making?

Look at what isn't said as well—how comfortable/able is she to take the time for your concerns.


In labor you are literally going to be opening up to this person (10 very achievable centimeters), do you feel comfortable saying anything to this person?

  1. Keep your options open. This may even mean just interviewing a midwife who only does homebirths when you don’t think it’s what you’re looking for (you may be pleasantly surprised). It may also mean going with your family doctor when your naive best friend is encouraging you to do otherwise (A. you proved me wrong and I am so glad you went with Dr. VW he was perfect for you!).

With all of these suggestions, remember YOU are the parent here and you live with the decisions you make. So take charge, be strong and of good courage; there is a perfect provider out there for you... you just might have to be willing to dig a bit to find them.

Best wishes on your journey!


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