Tips for Choosing an Obstetrician-Gynecologist (OB-GYN)
Regardless of how excited you are about having a baby, looking for the right obstetrician-gynecologist can still feel like a challenge. But it has to be done anyway, if only to make sure that you as well as your child are safe.
Then again, considering the large number of OB-GYNs these days, how do you know you’ve found the right one?
Referrals and Web Tools
It’s nice to get referrals from family members and friends, but they’re not always useful, especially if your insurance policy states that you use a doctor within the provider’s network. If that’s the case, you can start your search for an OB-GYN by talking to your insurance agent. You can also look up practitioners in your area in the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).
As a pregnant woman, you are advised to see your doctor on a monthly basis and then more often each month as your due date draws near. If yours is a high-risk pregnancy, you will have to visit even more frequently, so pick an OB-GYN clinic that’s close to home or the office.
Doctor’s Attitude and Perspectives
Different OB-GYNs treat their patients uniquely, and neither do they have the same perspectives on birth-related issues like pain relief, family participation and circumcision. In any case, the doctor you choose should have practices that align with your expectations.
Size of Practice
A lot of OB-GYNs operate as part of a network, and the bigger this network is, the more likely your doctor will not be on duty on the day you deliver. They do know this can be uncomfortable for mothers, so for your prenatal checkups, see a different doctor in the network so you can build rapport with them early on.
Doctors normally have privileges with particular hospitals. Before you start seeing an OB-GYN, know which hospitals they’re with and take a tour of their maternity wards. Also take advantage of this visit to ask them about such things as your delivery options, visiting hours, accommodation for your partner, etc. Very importantly, ask them whether your baby will be roomed in with you or stay in the nursery.
Lastly, don’t go with the first OB-GYN you meet; instead, take time to consider different doctors so you can compare them before choosing. Consider the doctor’s professional background, such as how many years they have been in practice as an OB-GYN and whether they have a history of malpractice. Of course, you should also consider their fees, but don’t make this your sole basis for making a decision.
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