How to Find the Right OBGYN
August 31, 2015
How do you find the right person to take care of YOU and your growing baby while pregnant? Someone you feel comfortable with asking a lot of questions to and whose opinion you respect. In this article, we’ll address ways to help you find a doctor and what questions to ask them to help you feel confident you’ve picked the right person for your pregnancy.
First, if you’ve been visiting a gynecologist you already like and if they practice obstetrics as well, ask him or her if they are able to care for you during your pregnancy. (Don’t forget to ask what hospital they deliver at.)
If you need to find a new OBGYN doctor altogether, start by networking names. When our insurance changed, I asked my friends on Facebook if there was a doctor they recommended. And sure enough, I got over 20 recommended names! From there, I made sure the doctors were under my insurance plan. Then, I looked up their locations, as I wanted a doctor close to my home.
CONSIDER YOUR HEALTH HISTORY
The next thing to consider is your health history. If you’ve had chronic illnesses, you’ll want to go to a doctor who specializes in your symptoms. Or, if you want to try and have a vaginal delivery after a c-section, you’ll want to make sure both the provider and the hospital are supportive of vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC).
Don’t forget that this is YOUR body and YOUR pregnancy, so ask your doctor about topics that are important to you, including:
- How many c-sections has the doctor performed?
- How does this doctor feel about episiotomies?
- Is this doctor supportive of natural childbirth? (Especially if this is important to you.)
- Will he allow a doula or mid-wife to be present during labor?
- Is he supportive of breast feeding? (If this is important to you.)
These are just examples of topics that may be important for you to ask. Remember: don’t feel bad to ask questions- and lots of them! If you do feel like the doctor doesn’t give you enough time or won’t let you ask specific questions, it may be time to find a different doctor.
Upon your initial visit with your doctor, be sure to ask them who you will be meeting with when you have your doctor appointments. When I had to change doctors because of a sudden insurance change, I met with my new doctor initially where I sat in his office and was able to ask him any questions I had. I really liked him! Then, from there when I had my regular doctor visits, he was either at the hospital delivering a baby or out of town. I would meet with his PA (Physician’s Assistant), who I really liked, but after three consecutive visits without meeting with the actual doctor, I was frustrated. I voiced my frustration to his PA, and she was really helpful about making sure they’d do whatever it took to meet with the doctor upon my next visit.
Some practices will have other doctors meet with you when your doctor is unavailable. Or, they will have their PA or nurse meet with you. So, be sure to verify who that will be if the doctor is not available to be sure you are comfortable with them.
WHO WILL DELIVER YOUR BABY
Many practices take turns rotating who will be on-call, so the probability of your regular ob-gyn being able to deliver your baby may depend on how many doctors are in their practice.
With that said, if it is important that you have your baby delivered by a doctor you know, think about finding a smaller practice. That way you’ll be more likely to be able to meet most of the doctors during your prenatal visits.
Make sure you know what hospital your doctor delivers at. If you have health insurance, you’ll want to make sure that hospital is in their coverage and network. Secondly, reputation is an important thing. Ask around to make sure you have heard good things about the hospital you are set to deliver at.
Once you have selected a doctor and have visited them after a few visits and just are not happy with their staff, nurses, and mainly, the doctor, voice your concerns. If they do not listen to them and change what you are complaining about, do not hesitate to look for another doctor.
What do YOU think is important in finding the right OBGYN?
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