As you begin your pregnancy, start looking for an obstetrician you feel absolutely comfortable with — one you trust will see you and your baby safely through delivery.
As you begin your search, we’d like to encourage you with the following tips so that you can ensure you find an OBGYN who’s a good match for you and your growing family.
Tip #1: Know Your Preferences
Not all of us want the same kind of birthing experience. Some women prefer a hospital atmosphere with standards, procedures and accessibility to emergency equipment. Some women, on the other hand, may want more personalized care in a home or homelike atmosphere.
Decide what kinds of things are important to you. If you prefer a sterile hospital and the latest technology (and pain medication), find a doctor who will be able to provide that for you. If you’d prefer not to use pain medication, inform potential OBGYNs from the start and discuss it with them. Likewise, if a home or non-traditional birthing experience is more up your alley, inform the OBGYN – you might also enlist the help of a certified nurse midwife.
Tip #2: Get a Boatload of Recommendations
The best recommendations come from actual patients — real testimonials from moms in your town. Ask all moms you know who their OBGYN was and what they thought of him or her. What were the strong or weak aspects of the practice? Would she personally recommend the doctor?
Not only can you ask friends for recommendations, but you also can:
- ask your coworkers;
- visit online mom groups to locate local practices and ask for referrals;
- speak with nurses at the hospital where you plan to deliver; and
- attend a natural moms support group for midwife/doula referrals (if applicable).
Tips #3: Shop Around a Little Bit
This is one of the most important events in your life, and your health and your baby’s health are of the utmost importance. You shouldn’t just pick a random OB practice out of the phone book and settle on the first doctor you see. It’s perfectly OK – actually, it’s preferable – to research several doctors before making your decision.
Ask the doctors about the practice, visit them for an appointment to talk about your pregnancy and wishes, and try to get a good feel for them. You’ll want a doctor who you feel is experienced, likely to be OK with your birthing preferences, and will be there for you when you need him or her. A rapport and the doctor’s willingness to take his or her time with you is also extremely important.
As parents ourselves, Chalik & Chalik is committed to helping local parents with children of all ages. Head over to our Parents’ Corner for more articles written especially with parents in mind.