All About You
You've just finished the last period you'll have for quite some time (we expect) and, in your desire to get pregnant, you probably notice pregnant women and small babies everywhere: on the bus, in the supermarket, at the park. With any luck, this time next year you'll be the proud mama with the baby in her arms and the spit-up on her shoulder.
In the meantime, your vaginal discharge is still quite thick and acidic (an inhospitable locale for runaway sperm), and your body temperature is normal as an egg ripens in your ovaries to be released next week. We know it's weird that week two of your pregnancy actually begins at the end of your menstrual period, before the egg ripens and is released (ovulation) and before fertilization. But soon, about 14 days after the first day of your last period, your body will ovulate. The ovary will release one ripened egg, and the egg will move down into the fallopian tube to wait for her one true mate, a handsome, hearty sperm. That lucky little sperm will have to beat out another million or so in a highly contested race to begin a new life!
This Week: Finding a Healthcare Provider
Months of check-ups, countless pregnancy complaints, and labor and delivery are going to make you and your healthcare provider BFFs. Right? We hope so! Take your time finding a provider who you can connect with and who meets your needs, not just the first one on the list from your HMO or insurance provider profiles.
Step #1: Evaluate Your Preferences
- Man or a woman? For some women gender plays a deciding factor.
- OB-GYN, family practitioner, or a midwife (CNM)?
- What type of care do you want? Do you want to be part of group prenatal care? Or would you prefer a practice with several healthcare providers (meaning that you'll never know which one will show up on delivery day), a smaller practice, or would you like to be under the care of just one physician?
Step #2: Get Referrals from Friends Once you've considered your own preferences, ask friends for recommendations. Ask why they like their provider, what they don't like, and what they wish they could change. Listen carefully—what works for someone else might not be a good fit for you.
Step #3: Shop around! Visit at least two potential providers before you commit. Ask them hard questions in the initial interview and see if they take time to answer you thoroughly, and if their answers feel right. If you want a natural childbirth but your provider feels women who don't opt for an epidural are deluding themselves, she's not for you. If you don't want a C-section but the practice has high C-section rates, that's a red flag. The more comfortable you feel with your provider, the better you'll communicate your needs throughout your pregnancy—and at that all-important moment when it's time to birth your baby.