Choosing an OBGYN and Hospital

While you’ve probably already asked close friends or family members which obstetricians and hospitals they recommend, this is ultimately a very personal choice. Here are some tips for choosing the right doctor and hospital for you so you may have confidence in where you plan to deliver.

Check your insurance coverage

It’s no use finding the “perfect” physician or hospital, only to learn that they aren’t covered by your insurance provider. Be sure to contact your human resources department for help navigating your health insurance plan.

Decide which is more important: doctor or hospital?

If finding a health care provider is your top priority, you can choose to deliver at one of the hospitals your physician practices. However, if the hospital is your main concern, select a hospital first and find one of their staff doctors to be your obstetrician.

Choosing a hospital

If you’ve already chosen your doctor, then you have a list of hospitals in hand to narrow down. Do your homework and research the following for each hospital:

  • Reputation
  • Location (if you don’t want to travel over a set distance from home)
  • Amenities - for example, rocking chairs or bathtubs in the labor and delivery rooms, a pull-out sofa for dad in the post-delivery hospital room
  • Policies such as who can be in the delivery room, visiting hours, if/when the baby will be taken out of the room, etc.
  • Technology and birthing techniques
  • Availability of specialty services and emergency services, including a NICU

Then, once you have a shortlist, watch virtual tours of each hospital or, if available, schedule one in person to determine where you feel most comfortable.

Choosing your OB/GYN

Start with the list of in-network providers who accept your health insurance. Then, research the following about each doctor:

  • Reputation, training and experience
  • Office location
  • Policies regarding scheduled inductions and C-sections, fetal monitoring, pain management and birthing techniques
  • How after-hours calls and emergencies are handled
  • If you can meet him or her before making a decision