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Choosing a Maternity Center

Whether you're already pregnant or planning to be, you have many decisions to make. Choosing where to give birth, as well as where to receive pre- and neonatal care, are among the most important.

Choosing a Maternity Center

Which comes first: the obstetrician or the hospital?

Many women deliver at the hospital with which their obstetrician or gynecologist (Ob/Gyn) is affiliated. It's completely natural to trust and follow your physician's lead. But remember, you have the ultimate say.

When discussing the options with your doctor, be sure to speak up and ask questions about the kind of care you can expect to receive. And don't be afraid to do a little exploring on your own. After all, your choice will largely determine the kind of birth experience you will have. If you feel strongly about delivering at a maternity center with which your Ob/Gyn is not affiliated, you may want to consider working with a physician who is.

Explore your options and visit your favorites

When you visit a hospital, ask your tour guide:

  • What healthcare providers belong to the maternity team, and what is each member's role?
  • What are the center's credentials and experience?
  • Does the center accept your insurance?
  • What is the center's philosophy of childbirth?
  • What is the center's cesarean section rate?
  • Does the center encourage VBACs (vaginal birth after cesarean)?
  • Does the center support breastfeeding?
  • Does the center offer childbirth classes? Any other resources?
  • Just in case, what specialized services are offered for moms? For babies?

Also ask yourself:

  • How does this center look and feel to me?
  • Is it clean and cozy?
  • Do I feel comfortable and safe here?
  • Is the staff friendly and professional?
  • Do the families seem happy and satisfied?
  • Does this center seem to support my own philosophy of childbirth?

The answers to these questions will help you determine whether a center can provide the care and comfort you need-both of which are key to a good birth experience.

Get recommendations from other moms

The experiences of other moms can tell you a lot about the kind of care you can expect to receive at any hospital or birth center. Ask friends and family about their childbirth experiences at maternity centers in the region. Then, ask the hospitals and centers you are considering for references or testimonials from other women who have delivered there.

Look to their stories for insight into the qualities of a center that matter most to you.

Extra help, if you need it

Most women have normal pregnancies and give birth to healthy babies. But some women and babies need extra help getting through pregnancy and birth. When weighing the options, knowing the center you choose is fully equipped and trained to help you, your baby and family handle emergencies or unexpected complications can make all the difference.

Make sure the center is conveniently located

When choosing maternity center, be sure to consider how convenient it is for you and your loved ones to visit. You won't want it to be a hassle to get there when the big day arrives. Proximity to major highways and cities, distance to affiliate hospitals and organizations, convenience of parking, and area accommodations can be important factors when making your decision.

Why Yale-New Haven Hospital for maternity care

More women choose to have their babies at Yale-New Haven Hospital than anywhere else in Connecticut. Why? Because our physicians, nurses and nurse-midwives offer unparalleled excellence and expertise in care, and respect each patient's unique beliefs about childbirth. Learn more.

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