Do you need a new obstetrician? If this is your first pregnancy, take a look at the lesser-known (but equally as important) questions to ask before selecting your baby's first doctor.
What Does Your Schedule Look Like In Nine Months?
You want your doctor of choice to deliver your baby. But if the OB is on vacation, at a conference, or will go on her own maternity leave in nine months, you'll need to quickly switch to a substitute.
While many practices offer an experienced, knowledgeable alternative, some mothers-to-be only want to work with one doctor. If you want to stay with the same OB all nine months, and for your delivery, you'll need a doctor who doesn't have other plans on or near your due date.
Who Are the Other Doctors In Your Practice?
Are you onboard with another doctor possibly delivering your baby? Ask your would-be future OB about the other doctors in their practice. Along with questions about experience, education, and pregnancy/delivery philosophies, ask to meet the doctors. This can help you to assess your comfort level with each obstetrician and make an overall decision about the practice.
Is It Easy for Patients to Get Ahold of You?
It's the middle of the night and you think your water may have broken or you have unexplained server cramping. Can you easily get ahold of your doctor? Discuss communication options, such as phone, text, or email and what hours the doctor is available. They may have specific on-call hours, rotate on-call/call-backs with another doctor in their practice, or have a service who will contact them.
What Hospital Do You Have Admitting Privileges To?
Where will you deliver your baby? The doctor will only have admitting privileges (in other words, the ability to treat patients) in specific hospitals. If the office location isn't in a hospital, ask where your doctor delivers their patients. Take a tour of the hospital or ask friends/family for references. You need to feel comfortable with both the doctor and the hospital.
Do You See High-Risk Patients?
Are you a high-risk patient? This means you need an OB who specializes in the condition, issue, or disorder that may impact your pregnancy. If need a maternal-fetal medicine specialist, or have concerns you might, choose a doctor who has the expertise and experience to help you stay safe and healthy during and after your pregnancy.
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