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Sep 11, 2019

6 Things to Consider Before Choosing Your OB

Choosing an obstetrician is not a decision to be taken lightly. You’ll want to choose a doctor who not only has great qualities but who also has an excellent track record when it comes to prenatal care and delivery. According to Hankey Law Office, a group of Indianapolis birth injury lawyers, “Often, birth injuries are the result of either improper/insufficient prenatal treatment or are caused by doctors who fail to react quickly enough to complications that arise during childbirth.” Here’s what to look for when choosing an obstetrician.
Photo by Ryan Franco on Unsplash
1. Specific Advantages
It’s true that you’ll likely want to find an obstetrician that is available through your health insurance plan, but that doesn’t mean that you have to settle for anything less than what you consider to be the best doctor for you. First off, you may prefer to have a female doctor over a male or vice-versa. Next, the obstetrician’s access to your hospital of choice may also be important. After-hours availability is another advantage you may want. And of course, having a doctor with an awesome track record should be non-negotiable in a decision as important as this.

2. Trusted Recommendations
When looking for the perfect obstetrician, you may want to ask trusted friends or family members for their recommendations — especially those who are currently seeing an OB or who have recently given birth. If you’ve been seeing a gynecologist, you can also ask her for a recommendation.

3. Stellar Patient Reviews  
Although many people don’t take the time to write a review online if they are satisfied with their doctor’s care, many people will take the time if they are upset or have had a negative experience. And those negative reviews can provide a wealth of insight to you. Do yourself a favor and take the time to research obstetricians you are considering as your doctor so you can identify any potential red flags. Health Grades — a site that houses doctor reviews and ratings — is a good place to start looking.
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4. Location of Office 
The location of the OB’s office is another factor to consider, especially if you live in a city that becomes clogged with heavy traffic throughout the day. If you’re still working while pregnant, this factor could become even more important. If the OB’s office is far away or will take considerable time to reach from your workplace due to traffic, you may want to exclude that particular doctor.

5. A Comfortable and Confident Feeling at the First Meeting
Even if a doctor ticks all your boxes and comes highly recommended, is on top of the best practices in pre-natal care and birthing and has a flawless track record, that doesn’t mean that she’s the doctor for you. You absolutely need to feel comfortable and confident with your obstetrician. For example, if you feel like you’re not being heard or you and the doctor have a major difference of opinions on OB-related issues, those are red flags. Bottom line: If you don’t feel comfortable and confident about selecting a certain obstetrician, go with your gut and do not be afraid to look elsewhere.

6. The Type of Practice You Want to Deal With
If you pick an OB who operates a solo medical practice, then you’ll see him every time you visit. This also means that you likely won’t have to worry about giving birth with someone other than your OB. However, if you see an OB who is part of a partnership or medical group practice, you may see a different doctor at different appointments, and you may not know which doctor will end up delivering your baby. This type of situation may or may not be an issue for you. Just be aware that you may not prefer to deal with some of the OBs in the practice for one reason or another, whereas others are perfectly fine.

What Do You Do If You Have a Hard Time Choosing?

Who you should choose as your obstetrician may not be as clear cut as you had hoped once you narrow down your choices. If this is the case, make sure you schedule an in-person meeting if you haven’t already to get a feel for the OB’s personality. You can also ask these important questions at that time:

  • How do you feel about natural childbirth? or How do you feel about epidurals?
  • What type of fetal monitoring do you use?
  • How often do you induce labor?
  • What is your opinion on breastfeeding?
  • How often do you perform C-section deliveries?
  • What labor and post-natal benefits does the hospital you are affiliated with offer patients?
  • What happens if you’re not available when I’m ready to deliver?
We hope these tips have helped you. 

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