Couples expecting babies shop for clothes, cribs and carseats.
On Saturday, they searched for the right doctor.
“When you are choosing an OB/GYN, you don’t want to have to make an office visit for multiple doctors,” said Gina Herrera, manager of prenatal education and outreach at Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center in Sun City West. “What we’re doing here today is giving parents a chance to meet several doctors and choose the one who is right for them without having to schedule office visits for all of them.”
Banner Del E. Webb’s first Healthy Baby Fair featured the medical version of “speed dating” with obstetricians as well as a showcase of the maternity services available at the hospital. Frank Fara, one of the obstetricians at the event, said he was immediately on board with the idea.
“Absolutely, I think it’s a great benefit to the community,” he said. “It’s certainly better than not doing it at all. This is our first time trying this here, and I think we’re all very excited.”
Herrera said the hospital’s No. 1 goal “is to ensure they leave the hospital confident they are going to be successful parents. To do that, we try to make sure these mothers are as educated about the process as they can be. We want them to understand how the childbirth experience is going to work before they get here.”
Michael Bryan, another obstetrician taking part in the event, said the benefit to parents is immense.
“The day they give birth to their child is one of the most special days in their lives,” he said. “And so to find the right doctor, who can tailor that experience to the desires of the parents, is very important. Having an event like this, where parents can interview a whole variety of doctors to see who is the best fit for them, I think that’s a great idea.”
Herrera said staff expects the event to become more and more popular as the years go by. And they are already receiving positive feedback.
“I’ve had several women tell me they wish they’d had this available to them when they were having their babies,” she said. “And we’ve already been asked to do these more frequently, maybe twice a year or quarterly. But we’ll have to see about that.”
Regardless of when the next Healthy Baby Fair takes place, Herrera said parents-to-be can always attend a Pickles & Ice Cream Tour on most Saturdays from 9:30-11 a.m. and the first Wednesday of each month from 7-8:30 p.m. In addition to viewing the facilities, Herrera said the tours are another good opportunity to get some questions answered. And some ice cream.
“We did try having pickles one time but they made the whole place smell.”
For information or to register for a tour, call 602-230-2273.
Jeff Dempsey may be reached at 623-876-2531 or firstname.lastname@example.org.