Congratulations on your pregnancy! Surely, you are over the moon and cannot wait to meet your little bundle of joy. But as exciting the news of having a baby maybe, this may also be one of the most challenging moments of your life. This is why having the right healthcare provider during the next nine months of your pregnancy journey plays a vital role in keeping you and your baby safe and healthy from prenatal appointments, to labor and up until delivery.
After learning that you are pregnant, of course the next best thing you can do is visit the doctor for your first antenatal appointment. But for a first time mom-to-be, the question of whether visiting a gynae clinic or hospital when pregnant is predominantly common, especially if they are not connected to a primary care doctor or a general practitioner (GP) who can give proper referrals.
Gynae Clinic vs Hospital for Prenatal Care
The quick answer is that while you are pregnant, there really is not much of a difference between going to a hospital or a gynae clinic for prenatal checkups and services. Hospitals and gynae clinics are both equipped with staff and equipment to provide adequate maternity care to pregnant women, such as specialists, nurses, and ultrasound machines.
Gynae Clinic vs Hospital for Delivery
Whether or not you went to a hospital or a gynae clinic for your prenatal care, you will most likely be delivering your baby in a hospital delivery room. If the hospital for delivery is a concern to you, you must determine first from your OB-GYN in which hospital/s he/she can deliver your baby.
Besides these, there are also other factors you need to consider when you’re pregnant, such as:
Choosing your OB-GYN (obstetrician and gynaecologist) who will guide you through your pregnancy
These are medical doctors that specialize in women’s health and reproduction, which encompasses medical care, surgical procedures, education, and guidance. They are trained to handle overall women’s health and pregnancies, including the complications that may arise. To become an OB-GYN, one must have completed the specialization training and must be board-certified to practice on the field.
Prenatal checkups and services
After the elation of finding out about the good news, and when reality starts to set in, you will find yourself spending the next nine months going to either a gynae clinic or a hospital for prenatal care and checkups. These regular checkups are done to ensure that you and your baby are fully healthy and are progressing well during the pregnancy.
Things you can expect during these checkups may include a full physical exam (including a breast and pelvic exam), as well as some blood and urine tests. During the consultation, you can talk to your gynaecologist and ask about what to expect during your pregnancy.
Choosing a hospital for delivery
It is most likely that you will give birth in a delivery room in a hospital. While home birth is also an option, many women feel more comfortable giving birth in a hospital setting as it is fully-equipped with the right people and machines to address medical issues. Hospitals also have labor and delivery suites and operating rooms for C-sections. They also have comfortable rooms and suites where you can stay to allow recovery after delivery. It is also the safest option in case of emergencies or complications during childbirth.
If you chose to go to a gynae clinic for your prenatal visits, you and your doctor can determine the appropriate hospital for your delivery, and this is most likely at the hospital where your gynae is affiliated or practices regularly. If you go this route, it is important to note that you may not have your specific gynae present at the delivery. You’ll likely see your gynae through prenatal care appointments and deliver with the doctor on hospital duty when you go into labor. If you want your own gynae to deliver your baby, you will have to find out their call coverage arrangements in advance.
Your hospital choice is also an important consideration. There are various deciding factors that you should consider fitting your needs and preferences. This may include private or public hospitals, the gynae packages offered at individual hospitals, and where the hospital is located. If you have a specific hospital in mind and you are seriously considering giving birth there, check if your potential gynae is affiliated with your choice of hospital first.
Budget and Insurance Plan
If you have an insurance policy that covers maternity services, then you look for doctors, hospitals, and maternity care providers that are on your plan. Try to narrow down your options to doctors and hospitals that are nearby, but also consider recommendations of your family and friends. Read reviews and talk to your primary care doctor if he/she can recommend someone in your list. Once you’ve done all of that, try to outline a budget and stick to it as much as you can, making sure that you set aside an amount for emergencies.
Many of your decisions will depend on your budget. Will you be able to afford a private gynae, or a single bedroom in a private hospital for your accommodation after delivery? Or is it better if you go for cheaper options instead? Be smart and don’t make any rash decisions. A few hundred dollars saved can go a long way for your baby’s other needs.