If you are very pregnant you are going to want to choose where to have your baby delivered. What kind of environment do you want your baby born in? You will also need to contact your health insurance to find out what options are available.
Options for Delivery
• A hospital
• A Birth Center
• At home
If you have health problems, pregnancy complications or are at risk for problems during labor and delivery you should plan on giving birth in a hospital. Hospitals offer the most advanced medical equipment and highly trained doctors for pregnant women and their babies. In a hospital, your doctor can do a cesarean section if you or your baby is in danger during labor. You can also have an epidural or other pain relief options if you want them.
When choosing a hospital you should consider:
• Is it close to your home?
• Is an anesthesiologist at the hospital 24-hours a day?
• Do you like the feel of the labor and delivery rooms?
• Are private rooms available?
• How many support people can you invite into the room with you?
• Does it have a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in case of serious problems with the baby?
• Can the baby stay in the room with you?
• Does it have an on-site birth center?
More and more hospitals are adding on-site birth centers. At these hospitals you can choose to deliver your baby in the comfortable, intimate setting of a birth center. If something goes wrong, you and your baby have the added security of already being in a hospital.
If you are at low-risk for problems during pregnancy, labor and delivery may choose to deliver at a birth or birthing center. A birth centers will give you a "homey" environment for your labor and the birth of your baby. Your labor and delivery is made to feel special, warm, and a family-focused process. Usually certified nurse-midwives and not an obstetrician will deliver your baby at a birth center. There are minimal pain medications or emergency services offered at birth centers.
If you are healthy and have no risk factors for complications during pregnancy, labor or delivery then you can consider a planned home-birth. Some certified nurse midwives and physicians will deliver babies at home. If you are considering this choice you should ask your insurance company about their policy on home-births. Some health insurance companies cover the cost of care for home births and others don't. And like a birth center there are minimal pain medications available and if there are complications you will have to wait to be transported to a hospital for emergency care.