Childbirth being a sensitive and sentimental issue, probably everyone turns into a bundle of nerves during those 9 months period. Especially the first time parents welcome a new best friend in their lives. Doctor. Finding out that doctor who best suits your sensibilities is quite a job if you aren’t already in touch with some gynaecologist. This is not just about your health, but it has also a lot to do with your comfort — both physical and mental. There are such moments in pregnancy when the regular check-ups get uncomfortable and you don’t really appreciate a stranger touching certain parts of your body. This happened with me, even when I knew it was absolutely necessary and I am facing a doctor who is just doing his job, showering me with well-meaning advises I so much require given that I have a very nuclear set-up at home. Later though, the same experience was echoed in privy conversations by some other friends and I realised that many women, like me, might be in a state of shock if they are not aware of the check-up procedures and/or are not well versed with the doctor. For a doctor it is a profession and hence, routine. For a woman, it is her body and hence, very special. Setting up that equation well in advance actually helps.
Scared of the much talked about labour pain, I chose for myself a nursing home very close to my place so that I can be rushed there and “processed” the moment the “L word” raised its head. It was only later that I got to know that labour has a full term and the duration differs from person to person.
I have seen people choosing their hospitals for delivery based on myriad reasons. Some pick up the gynaec’s advice; some go for the brand of the hospital; peer reviews often shapes choices. This is one of the most vital decisions that would-be parents have to take. Someone I know was visiting a high profile doctor in a plush suburban hospital. During her seventh month of pregnancy she was shocked to know that the foetus in her womb had died in its fifth month and her doctor was not only clueless but also unapologetic about it! The lady had shrugged and said, “It happens, try again after eight months.” Consulting with another doctor in the same hospital, a friend of mine had survived an extremely difficult pregnancy as she continuously bled all through. She gave birth to a healthy baby. These examples are rampant and confusing; sometimes encouraging, else scary!
Scared of the much talked about labour pain, I chose for myself a nursing home very close to my place so that I can be rushed there and “processed” the moment the L word raised its head. It was only later that I got to know that labour has a full term and the duration differs from person to person. It can be two hours, twelve hours and more! My far-sighted planning though had fallen flat as I had no labour at all. I walked into the nursing home as the expected date of delivery was already behind us and there were no signs of discomfort, forget labour. They finally tried to induct artificial labour; when that did not work either, I was taken to the OT for a C-Section.
Though my experience was fun, I still believe that hospitals chosen for delivery must be close to home. These are delicate periods and emergency is always an emergency.
What happened thereafter was something that I never predicted. Soon after my baby was born, he experienced some breathing issues. May be it was because of the tension my body experienced when I went through that failed artificial labour induction procedure. The baby now needed to be kept under supervision of a pre-natal care unit and the hospital I had picked for myself didn’t have that facility. The new born had to be carried to a children’s hospital few buildings away. The doctors assured that such symptoms are common these days and my child would just be fine. Yet, staying away from the new born in altogether a different building for two full days was quite unnerving.
Hospitals are also dictated if the benefits you are entitled to receive from your organisation includes maternity. A large number of health insurance plans offered by a host of companies cover maternity. There they usually specify a list of hospitals who are their associated partners. In such cases your freedom to pick up a hospital of your choice is sufficiently curbed; however it would be wise to consider the above-mentioned while deciding on your maternity home.
General insurance companies often cover maternity under their group health schemes. Maternity health insurance plans include routine healthcare and complications that may arise during pregnancy. They cover caesarean, normal and also pre-mature births, unless specified otherwise. Group health insurance policies offered by organisations usually have a ceiling to the cover of maternity expenses. Also check, if there is a sub-limit. In many corporate policies maternity is an add-on benefit with a specified sub-limit. If you are opting for or are benefitted with maternity under any health insurance scheme, you must have a clarity on the waiting period applicable for claiming the expenses and the specific inclusions and exclusions listed in the cover. That helps you to simultaneously organise your finances systematically.
Doctors, hospitals and insurance being more practical aspects to consider thoroughly and arrive at a rational decision, here’s listed below some summarized points that can make a chaotic phase seem comparatively easy.
- Choose your doctor wisely; form a rapport in advance; ensure you are comfortable with him/her
- Ask friends with babies about the pregnancy check-up procedures to avoid any kind of shock later
- Do a reference check on the hospital you chose for delivery
- Try to choose a hospital that is close to your residence
- Choose a hospital which has an inbuilt pre-natal care unit
- If your health insurance or corporate benefits cover maternity, be very clear about the norms, receivables and limits right from the beginning