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Baby Care - Options For Prenatal Care


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Prenatal classes are helpful and supportive for you both.

What classes do

They will help explain a lot of the choices available before, during, and after the birth and will tell you about labor, birth, and baby care. You'll also meet other expectant parents with due dates near yours.

Where to find classes

If you're planning a hospital delivery, hospital based classes can be useful, they'll help familiarize you with procedures and will include a tour of the labor ward. Child birth educators generally offer classes in hospitals as well as birthing centers, but some communities offer other local venues as well. Ask friends who have young babies to recommend a good class that's easy to get to. Most child birth classes include guidance on preparing your self for an active birth, in which your partner or birth coach is also involved.

There's now a huge choice in maternity care, although how wide the choice is will depend on what's available in your area. Look into your prenatal options also means looking at your birth options.

Who Can Deliver Care?

Once you know you're pregnant, your first call will probably be to your family doctor or gynecologist. He or she may confirm the pregnancy with another test, take your blood pressure, and ask when your last period was to work out the due date. Your doctor will tell you the different options for prenatal care available in your area, and you can also talk through where the baby will be born, since these are often linked. Don't feel you have to make your mind up on any of these issues immediately go away and think about the possibilities before finalizing details.

Hospital care

You'll be cared for by hospital based doctors, your obstetrician and or midwife. The prenatal care may lack the informality of other options, but if you have any complications, have an existing medical condition, or are having twins, it's probably the wisest choice to have your pregnancy monitored by professionals in this setting.


In many places, prenatal care is given almost entirely by midwives who are based either in a free standing site dedicated to prenatal care labor and delivery or in a hospital. The comfortable, home like feeling of midwife centers is a comfort to many women who would like to have a natural birth out side of a hospital setting. Many women benefit from building a relationship with the midwives who will also deliver their babies.

Your doctor or obstetrician's office

You'll have consultations, checkups, and tests through out your pregnancy to make sure you and your baby are doing fine. Most pregnancies are perfectly normal, but its vital to have these check up to make sure all is well and to spot possible problems early, before any harm is done. Here, too, you will have many opportunities to get to know and bond with the professional who will be on hand to deliver your baby when the time comes.

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