If your gynae is also an obstetrician, you might want to keep seeing a familiar face. If not, asking for recommendations is a good way to start. Who does your doctor recommend? Have any of your friends or relatives in the area been particularly impressed by a certain obstetrician?
You may even decide to dispense with the services of an obstetrician altogether. Many women prefer to remain under the care of their General Practitioner while others prefer to deal with a midwife.
Should I just rely on recommendations?
Definitely not! Assess the suitability of an obstetrician with the aid of a few sensible guidelines.
If you have a chronic health condition, you should interview the obstetrician to determine if he has experience with people experiencing similar health issues. If you have a particularly high-risk pregnancy, you might prefer a different type of specialist. Perinatologists specialize in helping patients who may be at risk during birthing.
Your doctor’s attitude towards childbirth and medicine
Find out the doctor’s attitude towards issues that may later prove important to you such as his attitude towards natural childbirth and medical procedures such as fetal monitoring. Do you agree with his attitudes? If you’re eager for a natural birth, you need to determine what your doctor’s feelings are and agree on contingency plans in advance.
Do you get along with your prospective obstetrician?
There are also personal issues that are very important. You should feel comfortable with your prospective obstetrician and you should feel free to ask questions. The doctor should also be able to explain things in a way that you can understand without concealing any facts. Does the doctor treat you with respect and take your opinions into account?
What if your doctor isn’t available when the time comes?
It’s possible that you may begin giving birth when your doctor is not available: who looks after cases when the doctor is not available? It may be helpful to get to know the person you may ultimately end up having to deal with when the time comes.
At which hospital or hospitals does your doctor attend births?
Last but not least, at which hospital or hospitals does your obstetrician attend births? You need to feel comfortable about the facility where you will be giving birth. If you are at risk owing to health problems, a neonatal intensive care unit could save your life – but not all hospitals have such facilities available.
These questions should be answered early in your pregnancy. You might like the obstetrician, but if you don’t like the facility where he or she attends births, you should choose another.
What if there are elements that make me feel uncomfortable?
Try discussing any issues that cause you to feel uncomfortable with the doctor to see if these matters can be addressed. If not, it may be time to look around for another option with which you feel more at ease. Your comfort and peace of mind are important to you and to your baby’s well-being .