Finding an OB-GYN can seem like an overwhelming task, at first. These tips can help you find local doctors and then choose one for your pregnancy experience.
How to Find an OB-GYN:
- If you have a gynecologist you like, check if s/he also practices obstetrics.
- Ask your general physician or other health care providers for recommendations. They probably know of good OB-GYNs in the area.
- Ask family and friends who have recently given birth about their doctors and if they would recommend them.
- Search online for recommendations and reviews. Social media, as well as health care review sites, can be helpful.
- Check if your insurance company has a list of local providers.
- If you don’t have health insurance, search for free or low-cost health clinics near you.
Factors to Consider When Choosing an OB-GYN:
- Is that specific doctor covered by your health insurance? If you choose an out-of-network doctor, the cost will likely be much higher.
- How far is the doctor’s office from your home, work, or school? You will probably be visiting the doctor often during your pregnancy, so a nearby doctor can be much more convenient than one far away.
- How easy is it to make an appointment? How responsive are the office staff? If it’s very difficult to get appointments when you need them, or your questions aren’t answered promptly, this might be a red flag.
- Is the doctor male or female? If you won’t be comfortable with a male doctor, you’re completely within your rights to search for a female doctor. This is your pregnancy, and your comfort is important.
- Does the doctor have experience with your health conditions? If you have certain medical conditions that might affect your pregnancy, ask prospective doctors about their experience with these conditions. It’s important to have a doctor who has expertise with your concerns.
- What is the doctor’s philosophy regarding pregnancy and birth? While all OB-GYNs receive similar training, different doctors/practices will have different views on things like pain relief and medical interventions. Asking your doctor about her standard medical practices can give you an idea of her approach to pregnancy and birth.
- Where does the doctor have hospital privileges/do his deliveries? If you’re set on delivering at a certain hospital, look for doctors who use that hospital. If you already like a doctor, check that you’re okay with delivering at the hospital he uses.
- Do you like the doctor? Do you feel listened to? It’s important to feel comfortable asking your doctor questions and to feel that your concerns and wishes are respected. If you feel your personality doesn’t mesh well with the doctor, it’s perfectly fine to switch providers.
Your OB-GYN is a vital part of your pregnancy, labor, delivery, and postpartum care. The right doctor will ensure a happy and healthy experience for you and your baby.
By Stella Masucci