Important to Choose the Right Doctor when Preparing to Have a Baby

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Important to Choose the Right Doctor when Preparing to Have a Baby

Ask questions to select the right obstetrician for your pregnancy journey

Major life decisions deserve thorough research and evaluation, and selecting the right obstetrician as you start a family is no different. If you're getting ready to become pregnant or suspect that you might be pregnant, you should make sure you choose a doctor that you are comfortable with for the long journey ahead.

Your obstetrician will be by your side for the next nine months, so take the time to meet with and select the person you think will be best for the job. Talk to friends and family for recommendations, consult with your family physician for referrals, and even research doctors in your area using online databases.

Josephine Filardo, M.D., chairperson of the department of Obstetrics/Gynecology at Ocean Medical Center, recommends, "Prior to meeting with a doctor, consider what is important to you during your pregnancy and delivery. Be sure that your ideas fit with the physician's practice." She notes that you should ask questions that can help you understand a physician's qualifications, philosophies, and birth practices, and then make the best decision for you and your family.

First, decide what type of practice will be right for you. Some physicians practice alone, while others are part of a small group, and some are part of a large group. Dr. Filardo suggests doing your research, and then asking the following questions:

  • What is your general philosophy concerning pregnancy and birth?
  • Who is responsible for me if you're not available?
  • How do I get emergency care after office hours?
  • Who will see me for my checkups?
  • At which hospitals do you deliver?
  • What is your philosophy on pain relief during labor?

Once you've selected the right doctor, check out the hospitals where she/he can deliver your baby. Call to see if the hospital will provide a tour and ask questions.

  • What types of classes do they offer for childbirth? Breastfeeding? Siblings? Grandparents?
  • Are the rooms private or semi-private?
  • Who can be in the room during the delivery, and what is the visitation policy?
  • Where can your partner stay/sleep if you are in labor for a long time?

At Ocean Medical Center, prospective moms are welcome to schedulehave a consultation and tour of the maternity unit, which features private rooms, an experienced and caring nursing staff, a secure and safe unit, and visiting hours that accommodate the entire family. The medical center offers childbirth preparation classes and education such as breastfeeding, CPR awareness and newborn care to prepare for bringing a new baby home.

Ocean Medical Center offers a free physician referral service and can help individuals find an obstetrician, fertility specialist or pediatrician for any special need that might arise. For more information or to schedule a tour of the maternity unit, call 1-800-DOCTORS. Additionally, expecting moms are encouraged to visit for great resources as you navigate your pregnancy, as well as getting through the years ahead as your child grows.

Ocean Medical Center, a member of the Meridian Health family, is a 281-bed non-profit community hospital located in Brick New Jersey, providing health care programs and services in all major medical disciplines, including maternity; oncology; orthopedics and rehabilitation; general, neurological, thoracic, and vascular surgery; cardiology; dialysis; and emergency and critical care services. The Medical Center features Magnet award winning nurses and is a proud affiliate of University of Pennsylvania Cancer Network. Ocean Medical Center also operates the state's first Satellite Emergency Department in Point Pleasant, called the Ocean Care Center. For more information, call the Meridian Health Line at 1-800-DOCTORS or log on to our web site at