Choosing your ob-gyn is one of the most important decisions a pregnant woman can make. Finding a doctor you trust and can meet you and your baby’s specific needs is important. When looking for an ob-gyn, this is what you should keep in mind:
Figure Out Your Deal-Breakers
For some women, their first instinct might be to just go with what ob-gyn is recommended by their general practitioner or covered through their insurance. However, you should keep in mind that different ob-gyns will have different qualities, and not all will line up with what you want. If you’re planning on using a certain hospital or need someone available after-hours, you might have to look harder.
Look For Recommendations
Your doctor may know ob-gyns that are worth checking out and their track record. You can also ask friends who have recently had children if they recommend their doctors — their honest advice is invaluable at this step. You can also check out online reviews from other patients. Check out each doctor’s website and credentials, and then check their ratings on sitings like Health Grades, Yelp, or Google Reviews.
Location, Location, Location
Finding an ob-gyn close to you can start with a simple google search like “Greater New Haven OB/GYN.” Once you know where they’re located, try figuring out how long it takes to get there, if there’s bad traffic during rush hour, or if there’s a long wait. Once you’re further along in your pregnancy, things like wait times and traffic will feel twice as long!
Think About Your Health Needs
Some people might need to consider a specialist for their pregnancy. If you have long-term conditions like diabetes or heart disease, you might need someone with experience in these areas. Also, if you’ve had pregnancy complications in the past or may be considered high-risk, you should look for an ob-gyn that practices maternal-fetal medicine and can ensure your pregnancy is as safe and healthy as possible.
Find the Right Hospital for You
You should do your homework regarding hospitals in your area, as well as the ob-gyns that operate in them. Look into whether or not the hospital offers prenatal education classes or after-birth support. You should also find out the level of NICU care available — while hopefully, you won’t need to use that service, it’s important to prepare for all scenarios.
Don’t Be Afraid to Switch
If you’ve already chosen an ob-gyn and now find things aren’t working out between you, don’t keep quiet and hope for the best. Talk to your doctor about your concerns, whether they’re things like bedside manner or level of care provided. If that doesn’t resolve your issue, look into finding a new doctor. You can check if there are different physicians at your chosen hospital, but keep in mind it can be harder to find a new doctor the further along in your pregnancy you are.
Consider a Midwife
Midwives are growing in popularity across the United States. Midwives are highly trained and certified nurses that specialize in midwifery and are known for a ‘low tech, high touch’ approach. Unlike ob-gyns, midwives cannot perform c-sections or use forceps during delivery, are more likely to encourage vaginal birth and less likely to prescribe epidurals. Take the pros and cons of each into consideration while making your birth plan.