You may be so excited about having a baby, but you might still be overwhelmed by the task of finding an obstetrician-gynecologist. 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 Internet Tools
Family members and friends can give you referrals, but this won’t always work, especially if your insurance company wants you to use an doctor in their own network. In such a case, you can begin looking for an OB-GYN by speaking to your insurance agent. You can also look up practitioners in your area in the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).
Location of Office
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 your case is considered high-risk, those visits will become even more frequent, so choosing a conveniently located OB-GYN clinic is necessary.
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, make sure you choose a doctor whose practices match your expectations.
Size of Practice
Many OB-GYNs are part of a group, and the bigger this group is, the greater the chance that your doctor will not be the one to deliver your baby. They do understand that this can be a concern for mothers, so you will probably be advised to see different doctors in the practice for your prenatal checkups so you become familiar with at least most of them.
Doctors are typically associated with certain hospitals. Before deciding to see an OB-GYN, find out what hospital options you have and take a tour of each one’s maternity ward. 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 if they allow rooming in or if the baby will remain in the nursery until you are discharged.
Lastly, don’t stop with the first OB-GYN you meet; instead, set appointments with different doctors and then compare before you select. 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. Certainly, you should check their fees too, but don’t choose a doctor based on this alone.