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If the news is good, and you are pregnant, congratulations! After the news has sunk in, you’ll start to ask yourself rather more practical questions, such as where and how to give birth. There are important choices ahead of you…

You need to consider the following:

- Your doctor. If you want a particular doctor to look after you, you might be limited to the hospital or clinic he/she works at. Obviously it’s best to have the same doctor throughout your pregnancy.
- If you or the baby need special medical attention, (neo-natal units, surgery), you’ll need to go to hospital.
- The location is important! You’ll have to go to your hospital or clinic regularly, so avoid long journeys if you can.
- Ask others for advice or go on hearsay. Someone you know (or your sister’s cousin’s hairdresser knows!) might be able to recommend a particular doctor or hospital.
- Hospitals and clinics can give you their statistics (number of births, caesareans and epidurals) and this could sway your decision.
- Consider several options, because there might not be room where you want to give birth.
- Start thinking about other practicalities and plan ahead: the role of the father-to-be, getting ready for the birth, visiting hours after the birth, how long you’ll be in hospital for, help with breast-feeding, etc.


Sarah Horrocks
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