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Switching Medical Care Providers Midway Through the Game

In my last entry, I blogged about a dream in which the hospital ‘lost’ my new baby, after I delivered by means of an emergency c-section. This dream reflected my fears and misgivings about our original hospital.

After several situations have caused me to lose faith in my current hospital and, not so much my doctor, but her support staff, we made the decision to switch hospitals.

The hospital where we had planned to deliver the baby once ‘misplaced’ my father, a heart patient. My sister entered his hospital room to find the bed made and no one there; always a bad sign if the patient hasn’t checked out yet. If a hospital can ‘lose’ a grown man (granted, he knew where he was the whole time – in a room on a different floor!), I don’t want to think about what can happen with a defenseless baby.

Another warning signal about my doctor and hospital was the fact that she had never heard of the Bradley childbirth method. I can understand preferring one childbirth method over another – and even recommending one over another – but I feel a doctor should be well-versed in (or at least familiar with!) all methods in order to provide the best care for their patients. After all, doctor may know best, but the patient is still the customer. Or, as the midwives said many times at last night’s introductory seminar, ‘Your birth, your way.’

Another red light, for me, is that my doctor’s advice sometimes conflicts with what I read from several different sources online. In fact, my doctor has warned me, ‘Don’t spend too much time on those Web sites!’

As a writer, I know enough to check my sources and not blindly believe everything I read. But when four different reputable Web sites offer the same information and common sense and gut instincts tell me the same thing?I will trust it over one woman’s opinion, no matter how many degrees hang from her office walls.

Last night, we attended a Meet the Mid-wives seminar at our new hospital/birthing center, one of the best in the country. I consider myself so fortunate that this facility takes our insurance, so I am going to take advantage of it. After all, why not receive the best care we can ‘afford?’

Besides, from day one of my pregnancy, I have wanted to deliver naturally with the help of a midwife. An obstetrician and surgeon will, of course, be available if needed.

At the seminar, we met all nine midwives, who answered everyone’s questions, and toured the facility, including the Labor & Deliver and recovery rooms. The hospital permits the baby and the father to ‘room in’ with the new mom. Showers and food are available to patients in the Labor & Deliver room.

While most of the women on the tour were already patients of the midwives – and some were quite far along in their pregnancies–this service is open to any prospective and current patients at any stage of pregnancy.

When I inquired about a hospital tour with my former OB/Gyn in my fourth month of pregnancy, she said it was too early, and I ‘had plenty of time to worry about that.’ It makes me wonder what they are hiding. Perhaps they don’t want to provide tours until it is ‘too late’ for a patient to consider switching!

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