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Choosing a Health Care Provider for Your Pregnancy and Childbirth

(continued)

Choosing Where Baby Will Be Born continued...

You should consider taking a tour of the hospital where your baby will be born well in advance of your due date. Taking a tour will help answer some of these questions.

Birthing Centers: Although most births take place in hospitals, more women are choosing to have their babies in other locations, such as a birthing center. Birthing centers, usually located near a hospital, allow women with uncomplicated pregnancies to deliver there. Most centers are run by certified nurse midwives or doctors. Be sure to research the staff's credentials when selecting a birthing center. Although rare, problems during labor and delivery can arise, so you'll want the best opportunity to get the best care. Be sure to ask what the procedure is for complications and emergencies, not only for your baby, but for yourself.

Home Births: Home deliveries, although common in most of the world, are relatively rare in the U.S. Most doctors will not agree to do a home delivery, nor will most nurse midwives. The reason is simple: Life threatening complications can happen fast during labor and delivery, and most homes are too far away from a hospital where emergency care can be provided.

If you have any questions about your birthing options, talk to the providers you are considering for your pregnancy care. They should help clear up any concerns you are having.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Mikio A. Nihira, MD on July 08, 2012
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