I’ve heard a lot of horror stories about OBGYN’s that seem to have missed the portion of their schooling the dealt with bedside manner. I’ve heard of doctors that are very brief and aren’t very helpful when it comes to answering questions, and I’ve heard of doctors that aren’t the gentlest people in the world. If you’ve decided to go ahead and have your first child it’s important to think about your doctor before your pregnancy.
You’ll have questions about conception and your health and if you’re not yet pregnant you have the time to talk to a few doctors before you’ll need to be treated by them. Keep in mind you’ll no longer be going in once a year for a quick routine exam, you’ll be dealing with this doctor and their staff for the next year or so on a monthly and sometimes weekly basis.
There’s a few things you should keep in mind when looking for an OBGYN for your pregnancy because they will indeed be one of the most important people regarding your health and you child’s health during those nine months.
When you call for an appointment or you have a quick question the first person you typically talk to on the phone at your doctor’s office is the doctor’s staff. This usually consists of nurses and midwifes who you will also deal with during your pregnancy.
You will have appointments where you see only a midwife and not your doctor so keep in mind you not only need to love your OBGYN but also the people who work along side of him or her. Find out the education and training they have gone through and what their specialties are. During your pregnancy you will meet all of staff at one point or another but it might be a good idea to get a feel for the attitude of the staff before you sign up to be one of their patients.
Make sure your OBGYN is gentle. Once you’re pregnant you’ll be undergoing a lot of routine exams and tests and you don’t want to dread going into the office every few weeks. This should be an exciting time that you and your partner can enjoy together- you don’t want to be uncomfortable or in pain. Usually you can find recommendations for gentle doctors through word of mouth.
Ask family members and friends. Someone you know may have a doctor that they love, or may know someone who just went through a pregnancy where they enjoyed the doctor the y had. You can also read reviews online where people just like yourself can comment on the doctor. There are often doctors in your area that have in the past specialized in treating adolescents or abused adolescents. This is going to give you a good indication that this is a compassionate and gentle doctor and you may want to jump on board with them.
Besides having an OBGYN that is physically gentle you are going to want a doctor that is also emotionally gentle. When you’re pregnant your hormones are going to make you feel quite emotional and wacky and you’re going to find you have a lot of questions that will be coming up constantly. Even though this is probably the thousandth pregnancy your doctor has seen, it’s your first and you should have a doctor that is comforting and easy to talk to.
I’ve heard of doctors that laugh at a patient’s joke because he’s heard it so many times before, or doctors that won’t really even take the time to answer a patient’s question. You’re carrying a child inside of you, and you deserve a doctor that will give you his undivided attention and compassion for the duration of your visits. Unfortunately not everyone’s pregnancies go smoothly and without issues, so in the event something unforeseen does happen you want a doctor who will reassure you, console you, and be able to point you in the right direction of what you need to do.
Bedside manner is an important characteristic of all doctors and unfortunately it’s a quality that not all doctors possess. You’ll be able to tell after one conversation with the doctor whether or not his or her personality provides you with the care you need. Especially if this is your first pregnancy, you’ll have a lot to learn and if you find yourself a doctor who is willing to provide you with all the information you need and then some, you’ll be much more at ease and you will find you enjoy your pregnancy more.
Don’t forget that there’s a good chance your doctor will be delivering your baby. For most doctors, they deliver anywhere from 30%-40% of their patient’s babies. That has to do with the timing of your labor and whether or not the doctor is available. The midwives on staff are also available to deliver so that’s why it’s so important to like the staff as well. If you find that during your pregnancy you got along very well with one of the midwives and you felt comfortable with them you can often request that person to deliver your baby.
Keep in mind that your labor and delivery is going to be a stressful time and the more comfortable you feel with the people in charge the easier it will go. It’s very important to make sure you have an OBGYN that you can trust and that you feel comfortable with. This is a very important time in not only your life but your child’s life and the first step to becoming a good mother is making sure your baby is in the right hands. Ask as many questions as you need to make you feel at ease and comfortable with your choice and never be afraid to speak up. Technically these doctors are working for you, and they owe you the best care they can possibly provide.