Press Release

For Immediate Release
Dec 11, 2014
Contact : Donna Sellmann, Public Relations Manager  

Important to Choose the Right Doctor when Preparing to Have a Baby

Ask questions to select the right obstetrician for your pregnancy journey  

Neptune, NJ - Selecting the right obstetrician to help expand your family is an important decision, deserving of the same thorough research and evaluation as other big choices. If you’re getting ready to become pregnant or suspect that you might be pregnant, you should make sure you choose a doctor that you are comfortable with for the long journey ahead.

Your obstetrician will be by your side for the next nine months, so take the time to meet with and select the person you think will be best for the job. Talk to friends and family for recommendations, consult with your family physician for referrals, and even research doctors in your area using online databases.

 “Before even meeting with a doctor, take some time to consider what is important to you and your partner during your pregnancy and delivery,” recommends Lisa Vernon, M.D., an ob/gyn at Southern Ocean Medical Center. She and partner Alma Bustamante, M.D., practice at Forked River Obstetrics and Gynecology. “Be sure that your ideas fit with the physician’s practice. Ask questions that can help you understand a physician's qualifications, philosophies, and birth practices, and then make the best decision for you and your family.”

First, find a practice that fits your needs. Some physicians practice alone, while others are part of a small group, and some are part of a large group. Dr. Vernon suggests doing your research, and then asking the following questions:

•    What is your general philosophy concerning pregnancy and birth?
•    Who is responsible for me if you're not available?
•    How do I get emergency care after office hours? 
•    Who will see me for my checkups?
•    At which hospitals do you deliver?
•    What is your philosophy on pain relief during labor?

Once you’ve selected the right doctor, learn about the hospitals where she/he can deliver your baby. Call to see if the hospital will provide a tour and ask questions.

•    What types of classes do they offer for childbirth? Breastfeeding? Siblings? Grandparents?
•    Are the rooms private or semi-private?
•    Who can be in the room during the delivery, and what is the visitation policy?
•    Where can your partner stay/sleep if you are in labor for a long time?

Dr. Vernon and Dr. Bustamante care for expectant moms, as well as women of all ages, at their practice located at 730 Lacey Road, Suite G08, in Forked River. They are currently accepting new patients and can be reached at 609-693-2900. Both physicians are on staff at Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin.

At Southern Ocean Medical Center, the Maternity Pavilion features a family-centered, home-like atmosphere of private birthing suites where expectant mothers labor, deliver and recover in a relaxed and comfortable environment. Through the Southern Ocean Medical Center Family Resource Center, a wide variety of parenting and childbirth education classes are offered to help new parents with pregnancy, labor, delivery and childcare. In addition, expectant and new parents can take advantage of an extensive lending library that offers a comprehensive selection of books and videos on pregnancy, childbirth and parenting, as well as free internet access. For more information on services, call 1-800-560-9990.

About Southern Ocean Medical Center
Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin is a member of the Meridian Health family, which includes Jersey Shore University Medical Center and K. Hovnanian Children's Hospital in Neptune, Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, and most recently, Bayshore Community Hospital in Holmdel. Southern Ocean Medical Center is home to a wide range of clinical services and programs specializing in cardiovascular and stroke care, maternity and women's health, orthopedics and joint health, bariatric surgery, and wellness and prevention programs. Part of Meridian Cancer Care, Southern Ocean Medical Center provides comprehensive cancer services, including radiation oncology, surgery, and clinical trials, and is connected to specialized programs and services throughout Meridian Health. For more information, visit or call 1-800-DOCTORS.