I'm Pregnant, who should I see?
So you got that infamous + sign or those two pink lines. Congratulations!!! This is an exciting time for you! Lots of things are probably running through your head, an important one might be: who should I go to see for my prenatal care and my birth?
We're here to give you a run down on who's who in Lethbridge that will provide prenatal care and catch your baby!
We've got General Practitioners who deliver, Obstetricians and Midwives, so you have a few different choices. We'll explain a bit about their roles and how you go about seeing them.
First off we will start with the midwives. Midwifery care is covered under Alberta Health Care and we have a team of midwives from Cardston (Birth Partnership Midwives) that will travel to Lethbridge. The midwives currently have hospital rights in Cardston (which means they can admit and catch babies there) but they do not have hospital rights in Lethbridge at the Regional Hospital. In Lethbridge they can only attend patients who are low risk and planning a home birth. Because the demand for midwives is high you will want to apply with them as soon as you know you are pregnant. You can apply via their website or via the Alberta Midwives Request form. We suggest you apply through both options. If you get turned down, don't loose hope, sometimes they will contact you a few weeks later with a spot that has opened up so keep your name on the wait list if home birth is the route you want to go.
Next up we have your family doctor (GP), you can see them for your prenatal care and for a referral to any of the below options. Some GPs also deliver at the Regional Hospital. Our list of GPs who deliver includes: Dr Musk, Dr Gibb, Dr. P Koegler, Dr. W Burton, Dr. A Coma, Dr. McKay Steed, Dr. D Orr, Dr Low (Coaldale), and Dr. Lorenz. The GPs who deliver take low risk pregnancies and you will see them through your entire pregnancy and they will be on call and catch your baby. You get to see the same familiar face throughout your journey. ** Please note that as far as we know none of the doctors who deliver are currently accepting new patients, but that can change so it never hurts to give them a call**
If your family doctor doesn't deliver, there are a couple more options for you. We'll start with Maternity Associates. Originally run by Dr Godwin and Dr Watke, this practive of GPs who specialize in Maternity care has expanded into a practice with 5 doctors on staff. They are a low risk maternity care clinic. You will need a referral from your family doctor to go see them and you will see a primary doctor throughout your pregnancy, but when the big day arrives you may see a different face in the delivery room as the clinic works their own on call rotation through their group of doctors. We are saddened to hear that Dr. Watke will be retiring, and wish her well as she has been a wonderful care provider for some of our former clients.
Last but not least we have the Obstetricians. Currently there are 4 OBs in Lethbridge as we just learned that Dr. Kahn has retired (We also wish her well!) We have Dr. Malach, Dr. Topping, Dr. Browne and Dr. Adolph. OBs specialize in high risk care and surgery, however they do care for low risk patients as well. These wonderful doctors are also very supportive of your choices and have seen/delivered many many natural vaginal births as well as births with interventions. You do require a referral to see one of them and you will see your OB most likely starting in your third trimester if you are low risk, and sooner if you are having complications. If you are in labour during their daytime office hours you will get your OB. If you are giving birth outside of those hours they have an on call rotation at the hospital so you may see a different OB then you saw through your pregnancy.
So now you know the who's who! Any of the above listed care providers are fantastic. We encourage you to do your research while looking into who you want to be your care provider. Talk to others, check out Rate MDs to read reviews and talk to the doctors themselves. You will find the one who is right for you, and as always it's your choice who you see. So don't be afraid to ask for a specific care provider.
Here at Earthsong Doula Services we'll work with you and any of the above care providers, in hospital or at home under the care of the midwives.