Due to improved medical knowledge and new technologies, women are much safer during pregnancy and childbirth than in previous centuries. Still, it is important to have access to good health care that can help prevent complications both during pregnancy and throughout labor and delivery. In fact, according to CNN, women in the United States are more likely to die from childbirth than in any other developed nation. So how can you ensure you get the best possible prenatal treatment to keep you and your baby healthy? Below offers a few tips to keep you on track and to help you find the best treatment possible.
Get Health Insurance
Having health insurance will help you access the best in prenatal care. By law, your pregnancy is covered even if you were pregnant before you got insurance. If private insurance is not an option for you, or you have a grandfathered insurance plan that does not offer coverage for pre-existing conditions, look into Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) to determine your eligibility for insurance.
Keep Your Medical Appointments
During pregnancy, it is important that you see your provider regularly for monthly and later on, weekly check-ups. If you must cancel, be sure to get in touch with the doctor’s office as soon as possible to reschedule your appointment. Skipping appointments can mean opening the door to a medical issue that could be completely preventable. Most modern clinics and offices now also have automated reminders and check-up calls, helping you stay on track.
Investigate Your Options
Many pregnancies are unexpected or not well-timed, and women may feel overwhelmed by the physical, financial, and emotional burdens of having a baby. However, services are available to help women get good health care despite an unplanned pregnancy. Many adoption agencies, for example, offer maternity resources like housing, education, medical care, and counseling services. Don’t just search online, call local agencies or pregnancy centers to find out what your options are.
Be Your Own Advocate
Sometimes women do not speak up even when they know something is medically wrong because they want to trust the medical care of experts. Unfortunately, health providers can make mistakes or misunderstand their patient’s problems or questions. Sometimes, they’re just as tired as you are. Ask questions if you don’t understand what your doctors are telling you. Do your own research, and don’t hesitate to challenge your provider if you feel your concerns are being dismissed.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to ensure you get the best prenatal care you can. Know your options, attend your appointments, and find a provider you trust and who listens to you for the best possible outcome.