How to Pick Your Care Provider in Nashville

Friendly Female Medicine Doctor's Hands Holding Pregnant Woman's

In Middle Tennessee, we are lucky to have many options for a care provider that will help us on one of the most special days of our lives. We have hundreds of obstetricians in dozens of hospitals, a few dozen midwives in hospitals, a handful of midwives at free standing birth centers, and a couple dozen home birth midwives. If you were to ask in any of the moms groups on Facebook who the best doctor or midwife in Middle Tennessee is, you’re likely going to get about 100 different answers.

People choose their care providers for all kinds of reasons; reasons that we don’t always know. When asking a large group of people who they think is the best provider, we don’t always get the explanation of why they felt that way. Was it their bedside manner? Was it that they were very natural-friendly and that particular person really wanted a natural birth? Was it that their doctor was very skilled at a particular high-risk procedure that was needed by that individual? Was it that the provider was highly supportive of that individual’s birthing wishes? Was it that their care provider was receptive to the idea of them hiring a doula?

Choosing the right care provider is a very personal experience but here are some things to consider that can help you figure it out.

  1. Where do you want to deliver? This will narrow your focus a bit. Do you want to deliver at home, in a hospital, or somewhere in between? Do you want the option of laboring in the bathtub? Did you want to deliver in the tub? Do you want medical pain relief or the option of medical pain relief? Answering these questions will help you figure out the location of your birth, which will narrow down the list of providers that deliver there.
  2. Did you want personalized attention from just one provider or are you happy with a practice with a rotating call schedule? In our area, we have many small practices that work together and share a call-schedule for your birth, but you work with one provider for all of your prenatal visits. We also have some providers that do everything they can to make sure they are the ones you will deliver with. Finding out which you are more comfortable with will also help you narrow down your options.
  3. Do you feel like you are working towards the same goal? Is your goal a healthy baby, healthy mom, and safe delivery? Is your goal to have a VBAC? Is your goal to labor at home for as long as possible before heading to the birth location you have chosen? Is your goal to labor and birth in a different position than lying down? You may also want to find out when your provider may want to talk induction if that is something you are interested in having or want to avoid. Talking to a few care providers can help you get a feel for their style.
  4. Do you feel comfortable with this provider? If many people you know raved on and on about this one provider, but you met with them and weren’t feeling it, that’s okay. Maybe a few people chimed in to say to avoid a particular practice or provider but you met with them and loved them! Everybody is different. Go with the provider that makes you feel most comfortable, heard, and supported.

As doulas, we don’t know the reasons why people choose their care providers and we don’t need to. We trust our clients to make the best decisions for themselves in every part of their birth and parenting journey and choosing a care provider that is right for them is no exception to that. We will never try to sway you away from your chosen care provider nor will we try to convince you that your provider has bad intentions or insinuate that they do not know what they are doing. Doing so only hurts the level of trust you have built with your provider, your doula, and even yourself and your ability to make your own decisions. We trust you to make the right decision for your family and know that it doesn’t need to look the same as anyone else’s decisions.

At Music City Doulas, we are comfortable working with all the care providers and feel lucky to have so many great doctors, midwives, and nurses serving families in Middle Tennessee.