Choosing an obstetrician-gynecologist (OB-GYN) and care team for your pregnancy is important, and there are many factors to consider. Obstetrician Amanda Flicker, MD, Chair, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN), offers advice on what you need to know when you are selecting a new OB-GYN.
What to Keep in Mind Before Choosing Your Obstetrician
From insurance to the types of care you want for you and your baby, obstetrician Amanda Flicker, MD, shares it all
Check your insurance
Make sure the doctor or midwife and services you want are covered by your plan, which will help avoid any surprise expenses down the road.
Convenience is key
“While each pregnancy is different, you can generally expect to see your OB-GYN every four to six weeks with more frequent visits toward the end of your pregnancy,” Flicker says. With more than 25 convenient locations, LVHN makes it easy to receive care close to where you live and work.
Whether you are expecting a routine pregnancy or are considered a high-risk pregnancy, it’s important to choose a practice that offers medically appropriate care for you and your baby.
At LVHN, your care team may include certified nurse-midwives, family medicine physicians, obstetricians and maternal fetal medicine specialists to provide the care you and your baby need. The team also includes physician assistants, nurse practitioners and dedicated nursing care in many locations.
“Your practice should offer a full spectrum of care and offer you access to specialized high-risk care,” Flicker says. “Our maternal fetal medicine clinicians provide the highest level of care for complicated pregnancies.”
Think about what type of pregnancy and childbirth experience you would like before choosing a network. Not all practices offer the same experience.
Care for your newborn
You also will want to consider your baby’s health after delivery. “Most babies receive newborn care from pediatricians or family medicine physicians. However, if your baby has more complicated health concerns, you will want the reassurance of having a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU),” Flicker says.
Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH)–Hazleton and LVH–Schuylkill have newborn nurseries for newborn care. Level II NICU care is offered at LVH–Muhlenberg, and Level III NICU care is available at LVH–Pocono.
LVH–Cedar Crest has the only Level IV NICU in the region to deliver lifesaving care for prematurity and other newborn complications. You also will have access to the region’s only children’s hospital through Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital for routine newborn care and specialists if needed.
Top grades for maternity care
Do your research. Look into the obstetric practice you are considering to see how it ranks nationally. Several LVHN hospitals have been named among the best hospitals offering maternity care by Money, in partnership with The Leapfrog Group.
“Choosing an obstetric team that listens to your concerns and makes you feel comfortable is important as well. Having the right team can help provide reassurance and joy during your unique and special pregnancy and childbirth experience,” Flicker says.