You definitely want your pregnancy to be as smooth and uneventful as possible and to ensure that comfort, you will need to choose the right OBGYN who will help monitor your pregnancy, assist in your labour and deliver your baby to you. If you already know a gynaecologist who also practices obstetrics, you might want to refer to him/her but if you have a birth plan that he/she is not compatible with, you can always research about another and refer accordingly.
While choosing an OBGYN, do consider chalking up a pregnancy and birth plan and jot down your questions beforehand so that you end up with the safest pair of hands to deliver your baby. The ideal time to go hunting for an OBGYN would be as soon as you start thinking of a baby so that you are on track with your prenatal vitamins and folic acid supplements. Listed below are the factors you should consider before deciding:
1. Discussing Your Health
You will need to discuss about your health history to your OBGYN. If there is a possibility of developing pregnancy induced illnesses and your pregnancy might seem to be a high-risk one, he/she may refer you to a perinatologist1. Otherwise, you will be asked to undergo basic health checkups that might include blood tests, USGs and internal checkups to ensure all is well with you. Do remember to convey about family history of Gestational Diabetes, miscarriages, high BP or any other issues.
2. Comfort Factor
You will need to be absolutely compatible and comfortable with your OBGYN. If you have a birth plan, consider discussing with him/her. You might want a VBAC; choose a doctor who specialises in this area. You might also want to discuss your views regarding episiotomies2, fetal monitoring, epidurals, induction, delayed cord clamping, placenta encapsulation, skin-to-skin after birth and breastfeeding. These are important factors to discuss and know if your OBGYN supports your views on them.
3. Is he/she Respectful Of What I Think?
You don’t want to get into an unnecessary hassle in the third trimester on grounds such as repeated USGs and unnecessary internal checkups. Plan your innings beforehand; ask yourself if your doctor:
- Will answer all your questions
- Will explain the needs and consequences of procedures
- Is interested in your pregnancy
- Will entertain emergency calls
- Is respectful of your wishes
You will need to convey your wishes to your doctor to check if he/she is the right one.
4. Choose The Hospital
While choosing your OBGYN, you are also choosing your birthing centre. Remember to choose wisely. Keep the hospital on board with your birth plan, convey to them if you want a natural, intervention free birth and if you want your partner to assist you in the labour room. If the hospital agrees to your conditions, you can go ahead with it or else you have the option to change your OBGYN and hospital together.
Instead of waiting till you conceive; try picking your OBGYN well in advance so that he/she is as beautifully involved in your pregnancy as you are.