Post # 1
I’m considering changing my lady doctor at the advice of my primary physican. I don’t have any issues and I’m not currently TTC however I know within the next 3 years we will so I want to at least start a “relationship” which brings on my stupid questions. I need an OB/GYN right? Not just an OB or GYN? Do you choose your hospital when you have a baby or do you have to go to the hospital where your doctor works? As in if my doc works at hospital A but I want to deliver at hospital B, I won’t be able to? Does your actual OB/GYN deliver the baby? What are some other things I need to consider?
Post # 3
Typically, if an ob/gyn is only practicing one or the other, they would be practicing gyn without ob – so yeah, you’re looking for an ob/gyn. Doctors are typically only affiliated with one or several hospitals, and this is where you could deliver with them. You ultimately can go to any hospital when you are having your baby, but if your doctor is not affiliated they won’t be the one delivering your baby. Who delivers your baby also depends on the practice your doctor is in. A lot of the time in larger practices, you are just as likely to be delivered by any of the doctors as your own doctor depending on when you go into labor. Sometimes in these cases, they have you see all the doctors in your practice throughout the pregnancy so you somewhat know them all.
Post # 4
I would agree that yes, you’re looking for an Ob/Gyn. The practice I go to is affiliated with two hospitals so I can pick between those two. And my doctor will deliver my baby if she is born during office hours or my doctor happens to be on call. They explained that they alternate the on call doctors so that the doctor delivering the baby will be well rested and ready to go. We also researched the hospitals to make sure I wanted to deliver at one of the ones my doctor was associated with before we got too far into a relationship with her. I’ll go on a tour during my childbirth class but so far it looks like they are very open with whatever choices you want to make and they have as many resources as they can in case the baby is premature or needs extra attention.
Post # 5
As the other posters mentioned you want to be familiar with everyone in the practice. My last office, I switched because of this. They had 9 doctors/midwifes. There were 3 of them that I really didn’t like. I didn’t like my chances of delivering with one of those 3. I chose to find a smaller practice where I liked everyone. Luckily for me, it was easy to find. In my current practice there are only 2 of them and one of them has made it every birth but one in the last 9 years. I liked those odds better, and know I will feel more comfortable with someone I know when I am in labor.
Post # 6
Dependant on your hospital, they may have a team of OB/nurse midwives on call, and you may have never seen the person delivering your baby before. I know, in the small town I live in, there are two hospitals, and while multiple practices have privalges there, if it isn’t scheduled then they have on call docs from one of any of these practices. But usually that only happens if you go from first labor to delivery incredibly, unusually fast, but these would all be things to talk to whatever person you decide to go with.
Post # 8
@MrsPinkPeony: Hey! I just wanted to add that there are some other really great questions you should be asking, especially because I had to switch doctors after I got frustrated with their prenatal policies and there is quite a bit of variance in how each doctor does things. So here are some good questions to ask when looking at a practice:
1.) Once I become pregnant, how early will you see me and when will I get my first ultrasound? Most Drs. wont see you until you are 8 weeks along, which feels like an eternity when you are waiting to find out if everything is okay. And then not all Drs. do the first ultrasound at that time, but I’d say most do… some make you wait for 12 weeks for the first ultrasound, and you probably don’t want that.
2.) Is it standard practice at your office to order an NT scan for every patient? If you are interested in this extra screening for down syndrome/other mental disorders, which is done between 12-15 weeks, you want to go to a practice that automatically orders it for every patient. This will also get you an extra ultrasound, otherwise you may only have 2 ultrasounds your entire pregnancy – one at 8 weeks and one at 20 weeks.
3.) If I have spotting at any point during my pregnancy, will you be able to get me in for an ultrasound to ease my concerns? This is so important if things don’t go perfectly smoothly – you’d be a complete stressball if you couldn’t check on the baby at that time.
I’m sorry I am only 14 weeks along, so that’s really as far as I’ve gotten with my experience, but as I progress in this pregnancy, I hope to add to this list to help new moms to be find the right OB for them. Pregnancy is supser stressful and we shouldn’t add to that stress to just resign to whatever policies the first practice we stumbled into has.
Post # 9
@PandasWifey: Just to add to your point about NT scans – I believe everyone should be offered them, but it should not be automatic to order it for everyone – it should be about informed choice. Some people wouldn’t want to proceed to invasive testing (eg amnio) if concern was found on genetic screening (blood work plus NT) because it wouldn’t alter the course of the pregnancy – so the screen may just serve to heighten anxiety for this group. On the other hand, other people would choose to proceed to amnio, so it is a very personal decision. I work in the field of genetic screening, and sometimes we see really anxious pregnant women who didn’t even understand what the NT scan was about and then find themselves in a difficult position regarding next steps.
Post # 10
@blondy: Agreed! However, I do think even the women who wouldn’t proceed to the next stages of testing tend to want the extra ultrasound. Pregnancy is a life of constant worry and we get so few ultrasounds throughout, any opportunity to check on our LOs is something most of us cherish.
Post # 11
@PandasWifey: Yes, ultrasounds can for sure be reassuring if they are normal, but can occasionally be anxiety provoking if they see a finding that’s abnormal or difficult to interpret. I guess I have a bit of a skewed perspective because in my job I only see the anxious pregnant women in the second category. I definitely understand the desire for ultrasounds – since I know my dates and am low risk, my first will be the nt scan and I can’t wait for that!