Can I Change Providers?
Transferring providers during pregnancy should always be an option if you do not feel safe, comfortable or secure with your provider. Pregnancy is a very vulnerable time and can be exciting but scary too. Having a provider that allows you to ask questions, voice concerns and feel supported is important for the health and well being of you and your baby. Ideally, you should feel like your provider is on the same page as you when it comes to your care. If you're not comfortable with a test, a policy or anything else then you should be able to discuss this and not feel judged or bad for doing so. Your birth team should understand your birth plan and should be open to your wishes. Our method as Midwives is to encourage women centered & women based care. We base our care on the Midwifery Model Of Care which is just that. The Midwives Model of Care™ is a fundamentally different approach to pregnancy and childbirth than contemporary obstetrics. Midwifery care is uniquely nurturing, hands-on care before, during, and afterbirth.
Many parents, especially first timers, may not know this style of care exists and for that matter is available to them. I wish I could say traditionally expectant mothers would reach out to a Midwife when they first find out they're pregnant. Unfortunately in today's society, most people think they must immediately schedule to see an OB (Obstetrician). Although in some cases such as high risks pregnancy, yes they should. However, In many countries of the world, midwives attend approximately 70% of all births. The countries with the lowest mortality and morbidity rates for mothers and infants are those in which midwifery is a valued and integral pillar of the maternity care system. The midwifery model is a low-tech, high-caring model that produces excellent outcomes for low risk clients. For many expectant parents, they may think the OB/hospital method is for them but then realize after being seen and cared for that it wasn't what they expected or wanted. Some clients have expectations of having an unmedicated and undisturbed natural birth in the hospital but their provider might not be on board with their wishes. They may not approve of their birth plan and the client may feel worried or uncomfortable.
This can lead to a stressful experience & possibly an unpleasant birth outcome. It's important to know the differences in providers before choosing one to establish care. You definitely want to know their background, know their style of care and be able to ask questions to help you decide. This way you as the parent will know that your provider will be open to your wishes and be an advocate for your birth plan when the time comes. If you don't feel this is the case, then you should find another provider. It's best to establish care early on to get to know your provider and their team. This is also important for your provider to get to know you. If however, you realize or decide late in pregnancy that this is just not the right fit you can always transfer care. For us we prefer to take clients no later than 30-32 weeks. This gives us time to request records and ensure that we can take you on as a client and it gives us time to catch up. We're able to still establish a bond and ensure you have taken our childbirth education classes. If you decide to transfer late in care to a birth center, then this is a list of what will be needed to ensure you're a good candidate ;
You must have been receiving prenatal care if you are passed 22 weeks. (prior to that you would be able to begin without an issue)
You must have a copy of your records so that we can ensure your a good candidate for an out of hospital birth
You must be considered low risk and have no serious healthy issues
You should definitely hire a Doula for support during labor
You should ensure your partner and or support system is onboard with your choice and will support your decision
Remember it's never too late to transfer care but what's important is that you are aware and educated on all of your options before making the decision to establish care with a provider during pregnancy.