Congratulations — you’re pregnant! You want to give your baby the best possible start in life, and that begins with expert, comprehensive prenatal care.
“Finding the right obstetrician is an important step in the health of both you and your baby,” says Dale Mitchell, MD, an OB-GYN at Scripps Clinic La Jolla. “Your obstetrician will be the one caring for you and your baby from now until you give birth, so choose someone you feel comfortable with and trust.”
Choosing the best obstetrician near you is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic when hospitals and clinics are taking extra precautions to ensure the health and safety of expectant mothers and their babies. Learn if virtual care is available and when it can be used for prenatal appointments. Learn what to expect during labor and delivery.
Your primary care physician or gynecologist may be able to recommend an obstetrician, or look into the physician referral service at the hospital where you will deliver. Ask friends and family members who have had children if they have recommendations as well.
It is very important that your physician is someone you can talk to and openly discuss your labor preferences. They should provide the time to answer your questions and you should have confidence in their ability. This may take several interactions to establish. Don’t be afraid to change providers if needed.
“Having a good rapport with your OB-GYN can help reduce stress and make your prenatal care and delivery a positive experience.”
All hospitals have different delivery policies, accommodations and visitation policies. During the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals have implemented new visitor restrictions. Learn who can be with you during labor and delivery and what precautions they must take.
Ask about taking a virtual tour of the maternity ward to get a personal look at where you will deliver. Learn more about Scripps labor and delivery locations.
Chronic illness, age or difficulty in previous births may mean that you need the co-management of a perinatologist — a physician who specializes in higher-risk pregnancies.
If your pregnancy is high-risk, make sure the hospital has the appropriate level of care.
There is always a possibility that your physician may not be available to deliver your baby. Ask about the likelihood of colleagues being in the delivery and their qualifications.
Review your insurance coverage and identify which hospitals and obstetricians are considered “in-network,” where you’ll receive care at a lower price. Going out-of-network can be costly.
Scripps accepts most insurance plans.