Finding the right OB-GYN is important for all women. If you’re pregnant and need a new doctor, or if you are switching doctors, here is what you need to know.
It’s a fact of life that you never know what might happen. This is especially true when you’re pregnant as you go through many changes. If you need to change doctors for any reason, you need all the resources you can get to help.
Importance of Finding the Right OB-GYN
Pregnancy is a happy time in your life, but it’s also full of ups and downs and plenty of emotional decisions. Even if you already have a doctor, you may feel the need to switch after you’ve gotten a positive result on a home pregnancy test. Perhaps you never felt fully comfortable with your current doctor, or maybe the doctor doesn’t offer all of the same services as another. You might be planning to move and need a new doctor who is closer to your new home. Whatever the case, finding the right OB-GYN is essential to the healthy progression of your pregnancy and your growing baby.
Considerations When Choosing a Doctor
There are certain factors to consider when choosing a doctor. It’s important to think about what you truly want out of your OB-GYN. For example, if you prefer to have a natural birth instead of a c-section, you will want the doctor to be comfortable with your decision. You should also ensure that the doctor you ultimately choose is the one who delivers your baby rather than having another who is a stranger come in and handle the delivery. Always keep a journal about what’s important to you when you search for your new doctor. You can jot down questions to ask each one you meet.
Do You Want an Obstetrician or a Midwife?
Some women prefer to have a midwife instead of an obstetrician to help them throughout their pregnancy. You have more choices than ever for your requirements in a provider and management of your nine months, labor and childbirth.
It’s important to know the differences between midwives and obstetricians. Obstetricians have medical licenses and can prescribe medication. Some midwives have nursing degrees and may be affiliated with a doctor’s office or hospital. Other midwives don’t have formal training, but they acquired their experience while working with a mentor prior to going into solo practice.
If you’re more concerned about emotional support, you may want to choose a midwife to guide you throughout your pregnancy. However, an obstetrician is skilled at all types of scenarios during birth and is a better choice if you have a high-risk pregnancy.
Going to Your First Doctor’s Appointment
In most cases, you can have your first appointment with a doctor a few weeks into your pregnancy. During that first visit, you will get an ultrasound to confirm your pregnancy and estimate your due date. You will also have your weight and blood pressure checked and be asked to provide a urine sample. Blood is also taken to determine your blood type and Rhesus (Rh) factor.
You will be tested for diseases, and a pap smear will be taken during this initial visit. The doctor will ask you questions about your medical history and encourage you to ask questions as well. Once your appointment is finished, you will be asked to schedule a second appointment to have bloodwork performed.
Questions to Ask the Doctor
Although every doctor is different, it’s important to ask the right questions when searching for the right OB-GYN. In addition to the basics such as whether this doctor’s office accepts your insurance, you may want to ask the following:
- How long have you been in practice, and how many babies have you delivered?
- How many ultrasounds will you perform?
- Do you support non-medicated or natural deliveries?
- What is your bedside manner?
- Where will you deliver my baby?
Never feel worried about asking any questions that pop into your mind. This is your pregnancy, your body and your baby, and you have a right to know the answers. It can help you greatly when you go about finding the right OB-GYN, and you will feel more satisfied once you’ve found your doctor.
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