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Become an Informed Health Care Consumer

 

Take Responsibility for Your Health

No one knows more about you than you do! Visit your provider (e.g., doctor or certified nurse midwife) before you get pregnant or early in pregnancy and then regularly during pregnancy. Talk to your doctor about what you are experiencing and any other medical conditions that you may have. Take an active part in health care for you and your baby. Visit the Utah Department of Health’s Reproductive Health Program and learn how to ensure a healthy start to your pregnancy.

Reduce the Chances of Complications

You can reduce the chances of complications occurring during pregnancy and childbirth by getting early and regular prenatal care. Utah’s Baby Your Baby program says that 13 is the lucky number when it comes to a healthy pregnancy.  Visit your health care provider before the 13th week of pregnancy and then go back at least 13 times throughout pregnancy.

You can also reduce your chances of complications by avoiding things like smoking, drinking alcohol, or taking non-prescribed drugs during your pregnancy. Follow your doctor’s or midwife’s instructions about issues such as diet, exercise, and weight gain. Learn more about proper nutrition for mother and baby.

In addition to longer hospital stays, discomfort, and worry for you and your baby, complications are expensive. Learn more about complications during pregnancy. 

Know Your Insurance Plan

If possible, learn about your health insurance plan or medical benefits before you become pregnant. Many companies offer several insurance plans such as preferred provider organizations (PPOs) or health maintenance organizations (HMOs). Each plan differs in what it covers, its limits of coverage, and the rules that apply to the plan. Learn more about the quality and cost of health plans in Utah. 

Explore Options

Your first priority, of course, is a safe and healthy delivery of your baby. There are many options in delivery and childbirth. Take a tour of some selected hospitals to see what birth options they provide. For example, some women want to have a delivery without any medication or with minimal medication to reduce pain. If you are considering that option, explore how a hospital can support your choice. Your baby can be delivered by a doctor (find one) or by a certified nurse midwife (find one).

Find a child birthing class in your area to get more information about childbirth and delivery options. 

Know Your Hospital

Many factors come into play when you are trying to select a hospital. You may want a hospital close to home, one recommended by a family member, or one that you have been to before. Sometimes your insurance policy only covers care at certain hospitals. Whether you are choosing from among many hospitals, or only a couple, this report can give you information about the average charges and safety at Utah’s hospitals. Learn more about choosing a health care provider.

Important! Keep in mind that many factors will affect a hospital’s average charges, utilization rates, and performance on quality and patient safety measures. Such factors include the size of the hospital, available staff, teaching status, and whether the hospital cares for women with high-risk pregnancies and, if so, how many. If you have questions, speak to a staff person at the hospital. Find a hospital in Utah.

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Last updated: November 13, 2008 1:37 PM