by Dr. Nicole Calloway Rankins
Congratulations! You’re pregnant!
You want to get started with prenatal care so you call up your regular ob/gyn and make an appointment. You’ve been happy with her for your yearly checkups so she should be fine for your prenatal care right? Not necessarily so….
Your provider during your pregnancy has a big impact on the course of your pregnancy and birth. You want to feel confident that you’re in good hands for one of the most important events of your life. You should feel well supported, that you’re respected throughout your care, and that your concerns are addressed.
Whether you already have a provider or are in search of one, keep reading to learn how to be sure you have the right OB doctor for you.
This seems obvious, but there’s more to it than it seems. You want to ask what and how questions as opposed to yes/no questions. When you ask what and how questions, you’ll get more insightful responses than yes/no questions. You’ll also have the opportunity to see how she responds. The truth is, time is limited in most office visits. So by asking what and how questions you’re making the most of the time you have.
Here’s an example of what I mean -
Yes/No question vs What/How Question
See how the responses may differ? It’s easy for a doctor to answer the first question “yes” and move on. But that gives you no insight about if she actually supports birth plans (birth wishes is a better term, you can learn why here). When you ask the second question you get much more insight as to where she stands and if her approach is in line with what you’re looking for.
Here are a few more questions to ask:
Get Recommendations From Women Like You
The key here is asking women like you. You want to ask women who have a similar philosophy towards pregnancy and birth. For example, if you know that you want to give birth without pain medication, asking your friend who got an epidural as soon as she hit the door may not be useful. Similarly, if this is your first baby, you may want to ask someone who just had their first baby. Someone who’s had babies before may have different expectations for prenatal care than a first time mom.
You’ll want to ask women:
Do a Gut Check
Pay attention to how the doctor makes you FEEL. Did she rush you when you were asking questions? Did she seem annoyed with questions? Was she dismissive? Did your “spidey senses” go up that this isn’t a good fit? If any of these things are the case then give serious consideration to finding another doctor. Don’t worry about hurt feelings. The most important thing is that you find a doctor that works for you.
I’d love to hear in the comments what your experience has been finding an OB doctor. I wish you a healthy pregnancy and birth!