This sounds a little extreme right? And some of the time, even with a provider that doesn't totally align with your birth plan everything can end up a-okay! But let's be real- it's much easier to not have to fight your way through birth or feel that you are not being heard or properly advised of all options if you can help it.
So what are my recommendations, then, for finding your unicorn provider?
Hone in on your Goals- I know, I know....people are SO reluctant to have "goals" surrounding birth but hear me out. Wherever our mind goes our body follows. So if we are constantly telling ourselves nothing about birth is ever going to go as planned, we just don't care what happens because it's not up to you, etc. etc. etc. Then you're right- none of those things will happen because you're telling yourself so. There's more of a chance that those things WILL happen if you focus on preparing your mind and body for that challenge and dig into the research to see how you can best make those goals plausible.
Decide Whether an OB or Midwife is the Best Fit- if you are a low risk birther and you are looking for minimal to no intervention, would you hire a trained surgeon? Once you dig deep into your goals it may be easier to align yourself with the best provider.
Don't Run to Ask Local Mom's Groups Their Recommendations- I said what I said. Yes, mom's groups can give you options but we have to understand that we all want different things for our birth experience and, therefore, one person's unicorn provider may be another's worst nightmare. If you are going to ask for recommendations make sure you've done step #1 above and be specific about what you are looking for from a provider.
Interview Different Providers- providers at the end of the day work for you. Just like if you were hiring a new employee, you would ask them questions to make sure they're the perfect fit. Don't be shy with your questions- asking questions like their c-section rates, episiotomy rates, how they would handle certain situations, if they are open to your wishes, etc. will make it easy to see if you mesh. Pay special attention to the way they speak to you, do they brush off a question? How is their tone? Do they "yes" you to death but their statistics maybe don't match? If anything just feels off- listen to your mama gut. There are plenty of fish in the sea. If you had a terrible experience with your provider with previous births, you don't owe them anything. There's nothing wrong with interviewing other providers and exploring all of your options!
There are so many other things to consider when picking your provider such as insurance coverage, birthing location amenities and services, distance to your birthing location and more. This is a tough, but super important decision in your pregnancy journey!