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Re-interviewing your doctor

October 12, 2011

Many women start seeing an OB/GYN when they start having a menstrual cycle.  The doctor that you see once a year for your annual takes on a whole new role once you become pregnant or start trying to conceive (and you will see them a lot more often!) But is the doctor that you have always seen for your yearly exam the right doctor for your pregnancy and delivery?

Typically, a fourteen year old girl does not go into picking a doctor (if she had a say in the matter at all) asking what their philosophy of childbirth is or under what circumstances they would preform a cesarean section.  Once she is older and starts thinking about that area of her reproductive health- it is time to “re-interview” her care provider and find out if they are the right fit.  Going along with a doctor because that is who you’ve always seen is not necessarily the best method for choosing a care-provider for your pregnancy/birth.

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One of the first questions that you want to ask yourself is whether an Ob/GYN  is the type of care provider you would like to use for your birth- would you prefer a family doctor? a midwife?  You should also think about where you would like to give birth (hospital, birth center, home) as that will also have an impact on the type of care-provider you choose.  Of course, not every community offers every option (for instance, the Bloomington/Normal area does not currently have an out-of-hospital birth center).

The Childbirth Connection has developed great pdf documents of questions to ask potential care providers that you can print off and has plenty of extra space for your notes.  You can find the links below:

Questions for midwife
Questions for physician 

And don’t forget- even if you are far along in your pregnancy- it is not too late to switch care-providers.  If you have concerns about your current care make sure to address them with your provider.  If communicating these fail to bring an acceptable resolution then, by all means, you may want to begin the process of switching care providers.  While it may not be easy, especially if you are close to delivery, it most likely will be worth it!

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