There’s endless talk about what VA gets wrong, but I’d like to call attention to something very critical they’re getting very right.

Nine months ago, I had my first child. As a disabled Marine Corps Veteran enrolled in VA healthcare, I was eligible to receive my maternity care through the department. While I had gone through the initial steps to do so, I opted to stay with my private OB-GYN because I already had an established relationship with that physician.

But that choice did not end my maternity journey with the VA. On the contrary, it sparked a months-long exercise in establishing trust and satisfaction with the lengths VA has gone to ensuring both my physical and mental well-being as I started my family.

To begin, the process was very clearly outlined for me had I chosen to stick with VA for my prenatal care and delivery. VA provided my breast pump quickly and easily, without hassle. And representatives from the women’s clinic at my VA hospital have called at regular intervals both pre- and postnatal to check in on me and update my records. They asked how I am feeling, if I am still nursing and taking my vitamins and if there is anything they can do or appointments that they can arrange.

As much as I love my private OB-GYN practice, the truth is once I had my baby they all but fell off the map. Nine months after my son was born, I’m still receiving check-up calls