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Choosing Someone to Catch the Baby from My Vajayjay

Try visiting your girlie doctor… Being told your insurance doesn’t cover the procedure, arguing with them, and calling the insurance company yourself to find out in in fact DOES. Putting your insurance company on the phone with them, they finally agree, but say that you need to pay your $150 deductible.. And that needs to be paid up front (as if they assume you’ll run away after in your attempt to evade the GYN bill monster). Then, you wait… And you’re called into a little room. Then you wait, and wait, and wait… And Tweet about the long wait.. And consider pulling the dang cord out yourself… You start to consider leaving…. Getting up to put your clothes on. And as if on cue… A knock at the door.

Your doctor comes in, puts your legs in the stirrups, pulls the goalie, and asks if you need another method of birth control prescribed. You tell her you’re thinking of using natural prevention measures for now, and she sort of says somethings like “cool” and is outta there like a fat kid in dodgeball! It all happens before you could say your ABCs and you wonder “WTF?”

This was my last experience at my GYN, and I’m not gonna lie, I felt a little violated. I felt rushed, unimportant, and a little like a cow… Or cattle, whatever–It didn’t feel good!

She is an OBGYN, but needless to say, I don’t want HER delivering my future baby! So… Now I’m faced with the quest of finding a new “female doctor.”

I might as well just find an OBGYN, so I can go to the same person pre-and during pregnancy. But get this.. I’m SUPER picky. Ok not really normally, but I kind of want to be for this.

Have you seen Knocked Up? Not the best movie, but there’s a scene where the pregnant lady goes to like 10 different doctors and has them give her 10 different ultrasounds and based on their personality, skills, and connection she chooses the doctor she likes best. That’s a little how I imagine myself… But I’d rather get the interviews done early.

I’ve watched one too many episodes of A Baby Story where the mom-to-be is given a time limit for dilating, then they take her to the operation room to be cut open, just cause “it’s taking too long.” No thank you!

Nothing against C-sections or whatever, but I definitely don’t want one if I don’t absolutely NEED one. I mean, although it’s not the prettiest sight, I’d much rather just get the thing to come out of my Hooha… But it’s not even that, bottom line… I want whats best for me and baby, but without feeling rushed, or pushed into anything. NOTHING against anyone who has c-sections, I just want to try to get baby out of my lady parts first if possible.

How did you choose your doctor? My last GYN was referred by a friend. Although it didn’t go well, my family doctor was also referred by a friend and he is WONDERFUL. He took the time to talk to me and my husband, answer all of our questions, joke with us. I didn’t feel rushed at all. He did give me some recommendations of OBs, so I’ll look into that.

So my question is, how do I choose a new OBGYN?… And/or perhaps a Midwife or Doula? I don’t want to wait until I’m pregnant to choose one. I’d like to have one in mind before so I know who to call when I’m like “Hey, I’m pregnant, when can I come in?”

My friend Kayce is a midwife assistant and doula in training and I’m ALWAYS asking her questions about labor, delivery, pregnancy, etc. She has a great post with questions to ask a potential doctor/midwife/doula.

*Added* Can I “interview” a midwife before I’m pregnant, or would that be weird? Don’t most OBs have midwives too? Do doula’s deliver babies alone? If I do interview an OB or Midwife do I pay a copay, does it count as a “visit” like that, or can I do it over the phone? Do they actually schedule time for those things?**

Anything else you can think to add? What should I watch out for? Be aware of? How did you choose yours? Are there good doctor review websites you like? Feed me!!

Thanks!

PS: My BFN story here.

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PS: Winner of my JOHNSON’S gift basket giveaway: #39 Mrs. Priss who said: “Glad you’re feeling better. I’m a follower” Congrats! email me your address babymakingmachine{at}gmail.com


karmapearl says:

I chose my “Ladyparts Doctor” long before we ever TTC. I got new insurance and needed said doctor, so I pulled up a directory of docs and sort of eenie meenie miney mo-ed it. I chose a woman who, from what I could tell by her medical degree credentials, had graduated from school within the past twenty years (I prefer younger doctors). My doctor was also part of a practice of doctors who work at a hospital that specializes in babies and delivery, so that was also a factor in my decision.

It just so happens I made a good choice; I like my doctor a lot! So, my “Ladyparts Doctor” became my “Baby Doctor”, and I’m pleased with my choice.

I didn’t shop around for my doctor, as there is only one CNM in Cedar City haha. I chose not to have a doc because I wanted a natural birth, and the midwife could get me in sooner than the doc 😉

This next time I am choosing a little more carefully. I already know who is going to do it, but the thought process was a lot more thorough.

Definitely interview before you decide. You have to find someone you are comfortable with compeltely, especially since they will be covering you and your baby.

Emmy says:

Oh if you get some answers please let me know! I am over due for my yearly just because I don’t know how to find a good one. All of the ones my friends recommend our insurance does not take. So please post if you get some good answers!

I think I kind of lucked out. We had moved out of state about 5 years ago and had to pick a new doctor. I checked out who my insurance covered and picked someone close by house. I went with a midwife b/c I have always found that they make more time for me than a doctor. Well, I went to my first appt for an annual exam and loved her!! 5 years & 3 kids later, she’s still my doctor. I now live about 45 minutes from her but refuse to change b/c I like her so much. Teh only advice I can say it to go w/ a midwife over a doctor 🙂 good luck!!!

I wanted a midwife sooooo badly when I was pregnant, but there were 0 in my town. Midwives are trained in normal, healthy birth. OBs are trained in problem pregnancies/births and they tend to assume the worst and get a little intervention happy. I would get a midwife if you have any available nearby. And if not, then definitely get a doula. I <3 my doula SO MUCH. I couldn't have handled 36 hours of labor w/o her support. She's like family now. Visit the DONA page and read about the benefits of a doula (including less chance of c-section)!

Gosh it all sounds very complicated in the States. Over here in the UK, each doctors surgery has a ‘nurse’ who does all those kind of things for you, for free. If you dont connect with her, you can ask for someone else, for free….

When you’re pregnant, you get a midwife, for free, who look after you, arranges all your scans, checkups, bloods, tests etc, for free. If you dont like her, you can swap. For free.

You get assigned a Dr at the hospital, guess what, for free, and if like me, you hated him, you can change him…. for free.

I have had one awlful experience with my Dr, see the post “my dr is a cock” on my site, otherwise they have been fab.

Not really helpful to answer your questions, but thought I’d add my two pennies 🙂

Future Mama, Good luck! You are VERY wise to choose early! I was not so wise…

In my travel through fertility issues I tried a couple of doctors and wound up settling with my original practice (different doctor). I really liked her and felt comfortable with her (and the practice). That’s when I found out that they didn’t deliver at my preferred hospital anymore. Or really – my husband’s preferred hospital (one with a NICU and surgeon on staff) – something he didn’t want to budge on. I said – since it’s important to you, you find me a new doc. It has to be a woman / generally female practice, at your hospital and then as many of the other “personality” type things as we can get. At about 12 weeks, I started asking friends for their doctors. At about 15 weeks, I mentioned I thought we should be getting on this if he wanted to switch, so where did this stand. At about 17 weeks, I found myself a new doctor. Argh!

My doctor was great – but I can’t say the same about the whole practice. I was really lucky that my primary doctor happened to deliver the baby, but you never know.

I know this wasn’t helpful, but I hope it helps to know others have the same concerns and truly wish you luck!

Let me just put in my recommendation for midwives. I love that they take an approach that isn’t 100% medical and sometimes (definitely not in all cases) see pregnancy as just a condition to be treated. Midwives are also trained to offer emotional support.

I also have a doula, and let me tell you – just knowing she will be there on my baby’s birth day to help me through the whole thing has expelled my fears on numerous occasions.

I also have to say that I have friends with great OBs and they love them. It’s all personal preference. mine is to have a midwife.

Sevibabyyy says:

This is actually a post that I enjoyed because that’s like my scariest thing when it comes to procreating is who I choose to deal with all the business going down in my lower arena. I mean I’m not a picky person when it comes to male or female. I’ve head a guy OBGYN for a few years now and they’ve always been great. I just want someone who will be totally understanding with what I want out of my birth. If I don’t need a C-Section, I don’t want one. If I can do it without medicine, which I highly doubt, then I don’t want the medicine.

I don’t blame you for starting the search early. Oh and I’m totally coming to your baby shower in Texas if I’ve moved back by then!

Becky says:

I put in my word for midwives. I had an Ob/Gyn for my first child, and now pregnant with my second, and having a midwife compared to the Doctor is like night and day. And a midwife CAN provide well woman care (yearly check ups, pap smears, etc) just as an Ob/Gyn can. I love the level of care, and I have never felt rushed during an appointment with my midwife. I don’t live in Texas, so I can’t recommend anyone in particular, just midwives as a whole.

beyondalice says:

Great post! I started looking early too. I just did some research online and found a couple websites where people can rate their doctors. I made a short list of doctors with good reviews, and then checked to see which ones I could go to with my insurance, and which ones delivered at hospitals that I knew had good reviews. Then I booked a preconception appointment. After my first couple of visits, I was completely comfortable. I love the office, the staff, and the doctor. I go in for my first prenatal appointment in a few weeks, so as long as I’m still feeling comfortable with him at that point, I’ll stick with this OBGYN!

you crack me up. I called and talked to nurses and asked who they would want to deliver their baby… some actually didn’t say the OB they worked for.. that told me a lot. 🙂

being induced tomorrow hoping you get your BFP soon!

Ashylee says:

I lucked into my doctor.. got pregnant.. i worked in a hospital so called the OB/GYN office and lucked into an awesome doctor. She is def someone who is open to anything. I plan on having her deliver my next one… when the time comes… hopefully soon! We’ve been trying for about 9 months.

Mommy Bee says:

There are awesome OBs (yes male ones) and there are crummy Midwives…so just because someone has the title doesn’t necessarily mean they hold to the stereotype. I’m sure you could have guessed that, but it’s worth saying again.

With my last baby I had a fabulous male OB. With this pregnancy I moved around a bit, so I spent most of my second trimester seeing a nurse-midwife group (they happen to be the ones who work with my old OB) and while I loved him, I hated them! I felt like I was on an assembly line, something to be checked off the to-do list. I have now found a midwife here and I just had my first appointment with her. She works on her own–not in a big group–and I am loving her. She seems so much less medicalized and more in tune with babies and bodies and how they work. She felt my tummy to see how the baby was positioned, and then put the doppler right in the right spot for his heart…no poking around all over my belly trying to find it as the other midwives did all summer. I am really excited to have her be part of this birth.

As for finding someone who you feel comfortable with (because we all are looking for different things!) I recommend a couple of things: first, go to http://www.thebirthsurvey.com and check out the reviews for your area. The site is somewhat new and doesn’t have a ton of reviews yet (at least not for smaller areas like where I live) but you should be able to find some. (AND FOR ANYBODY ELSE READING THIS COMMENT–IF YOU’VE HAD A BABY IN THE LAST 3 YEARS, GO LEAVE YOUR REVIEWS THERE TOO!!!)
Another thing I would do is talk to moms in your area. Try people at church, people at work, neighbors, etc. Talk to people who have had kids recently–within the last year or two. Ask them what they liked/disliked about their provider.
Finally, interview people. Yes, really seriously, schedule ‘consultation’ appointments with anyone you’re interested in. Go in with a list of questions and feel free to take notes so that you can remember who said what and what kind of vibes you got from them. (I interviewed one person here who seemed to assume I was going to go with her…that vibe actually kinda bugged me…and she’s not the one I am going with!)

(continued in next comment)

Mommy Bee says:

As for a list of questions worth addressing:

**Do they take your insurance/are they a preferred provider? (that may not be a deciding factor, but it’s good to know what to expect)
**What is their c-section rate? (It should be under 10%, ideally closer to 5%…if it’s over 20%, run away. The only OB who should have a rate that high is someone who specializes in high risk pregnancies, and unless you have one, you shouldn’t be seeing them anyway). FYI, the national average is about 30%, even though all the medical journals agree it should be under 10%.
**What is their VBAC rate (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean)–this is a good indication that they support less intervention rather than more. VBACs have risks but they are lower than repeat cesareans, and around 90% of attempted VBACs should be successful.
**What is their episiotomy rate (Again, an indication of how much they like to intervene)…you want a really really small number…most homebirth midwives are lower than 1-2%, in a hospital probably shoot for under 10%…but the truth is you want an answer to the effect of “that’s really not necessary most of the time.”
**What is their induction rate (you want it to be low, as inductions tend to cause more problems than they solve…hmm, I should write a post about that!)
**I don’t believe in routine epidurals, but depending on your thoughts about that you may want to ask about that…
**Who shares on-call duty with them (ie, are you going to for sure have YOUR provider at the birth, or might it be a partner, or one of five partners?!) this was one thing that led me to the OB I chose–he had only one partner rather than five. Luckily I got ‘my’ OB on the birth day, but his partner did several of my appointments and I liked him fine too.

Personally, I think that years of experience/how many babies they’ve caught are secondary issues. Obviously you want someone who is trained and certified, but whether they have caught 100 babies or 6000 doesn’t necessarily mean that one is better than another… I would be wary of someone who has caught more than a couple hundred a year…that to me indicates that they have an assembly line thing going on…
Pay attention to how you feel when talking with them, and to how they talk to you. Do they talk down to you? Do they have this “I am the almighty doctor and you should be quiet and let me tell you how things work” kind of attitude? Or do they talk WITH you, give real answers to your questions (not brush-offs) etc. Are they human, and do they put themselves on a level with you? Do you feel comfortable with them? One of the most vital things for labor is to be able to relax (while naked in front of people…but really the naked is a tiny part of it when it comes down to labor LOL!) If you’re not comfortable with them, or they bug you, then they are NOT going to be a good babycatcher for you. 🙂

Mallory says:

Getting a midwife would be a better (in my own opinion, of course). If you are set on an OBGYN, then I would ask them all their intervention rates (c-section, fetal monitoring, episiotomy, forceps/vacuum, epidural, anything you can think of that would have a percentage attached to it), if anything freaks you out, find a different doc!

Mommy Bee says:

Incidentally, this was a great birth story I just read (from a friend of mine…) She had a planned homebirth, and whether that sort of thing interests you or not, her description of her mental journey through labor was very intriguing and inspiring for me. 🙂

http://magicallymama.blogspot.com/2009/09/peanuts-birth-story-real-deal.html

milftobe says:

I had one absolute requirement– my OB had to be female. Where I live, that left me with about 5 options. About 2 of those 5 were recent graduates and nearly my age! So I was down to 3… I heard one of the remaining OBs was accepting new patients and that she was wonderful. So I made an appt.–keep in mind I was about 4 months pregnant already because I had just moved here from another state. So I was desperate!

I LOVE her. Thank god. She’s so easy to talk to about ANYthing and is really easygoing/relaxed about labor/delivery.. meaning she’ll do what I want.

I feel like I got really lucky because I had so few options. What if I hadn’t liked her?!

Sure you can go prepared with a list of questions (I basically just asked about her preferences for c-sections, epidurals, episiotomies, etc), but I think the best way to tell is if you just “click” personality wise. Are you comfortable? Do you feel like you can tell her (or him) anything? Do they listen to your needs so you don’t feel rushed/ignored?

Good luck!!!
I’ll wait for your next post on how to choose a pediatrician!!! That’s where I’m at now… I feel like it’s a daunting task! 🙂

Emily @ Baby Dickey

Jenna says:

Sounds like a midwife would be a good choice for you! I wish I could have one, but there aren’t any in my HMO network. Bummer.

I see the same guy who delivered my little sisters. He’s LDS and he’s an avid BYU fan. So it’s all good. LOL.

The Rogers says:

Sometimes you just have to meet them and see if they click with you. Ask all the questions that have been posted above but if your personalities just to mesh, move on! I think most insurances let you change your OBGYN up until you are in your third trimester, so that should give you plenty of time to find the right fit for you. Also find out how they can help you dilate if you are a slow move. (I was and I had the best doctor who did everything she could to get me to dilate and not have a c-section. I did have a natural birth and boy, was I happy about that.)
Good luck in finding the right person and getting pregnant. I love reading your blog!

spoodles says:

I wish you were close by so I could send you to my midwife. She has delivered all three of mine–sort of. The last was a C-section, but she was there the whole time, and I would have been miserable without her.

You’re looking for something besides a doctor, if you don’t like being treated like cattle. Even the nicest doctors don’t seem to have the time to get to know you, let alone allow you to make some of the calls for yourself during labor. I blame OB-GYNs for the low birth-rate. If I had to have my babies their way, I wouldn’t want to do that more than once, either!

Find yourself a good Certified Nurse Midwife who practices with a reputable physician. (Stay away from direct entry midwives, as they don’t have the expertise to take care of emergencies, and they seldom work with doctors.)

Goldibug says:

I kept it simple and asked my sister-in-law who had two kids before me who she went to. I asked her how she liked her doctor and if she recommended him. She loved her doctor so I went to him too. He was great and my husband and I never felt rushed during our visits. If my kids didn’t come out so quickly I’d drive an hour from my home to go to him for our third but my next one will probably be deliverd before I’d make it there. Ask everyone you know with kids in your area who they went to and why. I’m sure you’ll find a great doctor that way.

Here in Ontario, we have the option of going with a Midwife (Association of Ontario Midwives) or an OBGYN, or if you’re really comfy with your family dr. you can stay with him/ her until they feel the need to refer you (high risk).

Typically, you dr. will offer you a referral. I think I will be taking one, even though I luv my dr. He’s kinda far away, but he’s been soooo good to me, that I’d trust any referral he gave me. He does NOT attach his name to referrals for just any ole “brand new” dr. I’m not sure if I’m gonna go with a Midwife or an OBGYN.

I think the mister would prefer if we went with an OBGYN. When I brought up home birth, that was shot down swiftly! I let him have that one, but told him I was leaning toward Midwifery and he didn’t say “boo” about it.

In Ontario, a doula will run you anywhere from $600- $900, depending on what kind of laboring support you want. A midwife will give you the laboring support, plus they’re verrrry well qualified & recognized as “primary caregivers” as would be an OBGYN… Just a little more friendly, you know, so you don’t feel like cattle.

…Still torn, I think I ask my Dr. to level with me and let me know what his feedback has been for both his OBGYN of choice and his Midwife of choice… Apparently though, you need to know STAT b/c spaces fill up swiftly for Midwives in Ontario…. Sorry to blog….

Ashley says:

I chose my doctor based on a two friends recommendation. I went to see her before we started TTC and loved her! She was super friendly and listened to me ask about 100 questions without the least bit of irritation. So I got lucky on the first try. Good luck finding a doctor.

You can interview before you get pregnant. They don’t just catch babies, they do well woman care too. You have to call your insurance to see if they cover consultations, and then call the docs or midwife’s office to see if they have a fee for consultations.

Midwives do NOT work for doctors. Midwives handle low risk birth just as a doctor handles high risk birth. They can consult with a doc if the need arises, but they do not report to the doc. They are not nurses.

Doulas DO NOT deliver babies. They are not trained in anything to do with catching and monitoring babies. They monitor your labor so they can help you through it. They are a support between you and the doc or midwife or nurses. They are not clinically trained. Montrices, on the other hand, are trained to monitor labor. They don’t normally catch babies, but they do monitor fetal heart tones, and can monitor your dilation progress.

To find out about consultations for midwives or docs, you do need to call their offices. SOme do them over the phone, some do an appointment. Every one is different.

And then just as an afterthough, spoodles said that direct entry midwives can’t handle emergencies, and that is SOOOO not true. They are trained to handle exactly what a CNM is trained to handle. They carry pitocin for hemorrhage, they have oxygen if the baby needs resuscitation, and they DO know what they are doing. They trained using an apprenticeship, so by the time they become midwives, they have seen over 50 births.

Sorry for the input, I just don’t think saying they aren’t trained is a good thing. There is tons of research to the contrary about CPMs and DEMs.

Oh, and one more thing (sorry just remembered) DEMs do work with docs. They have a backup physician that they consult with, and they have for emergencies that need to transfer. They aren’t just women that catch babies without training and backup.

milftobe says:

The office my OB works in has a midwife… LOVED her, but my insurance only covers a doctor.

Definitely interview before you get pregnant, I don’t think that’s weird at all! And they’re probably used to that. I believe it’d count as a visit… as you’re using the doctor’s time…

Good luck!

Emily @ Baby Dickey

Hez says:

Hmmmm, you make a C- section sound so horrible. I had one (didn’t have a choice as I am diabetic and babies born to diabetic mothers have larger heads and rounder abdomens)it was so easy. SO if it does come down to that, it’s really not that bad!

Amy says:

LOL…I had FIVE c-sections and I wouldn’t want it ANY other way. It is sooooo easy and my doc is the best! He has the best bedside manner of any doc I have ever seen. He is an older gentleman so I don’t feel weird at all! C-sections – don’t knock ’em till you try ’em! LOL But in all seriousness, research and trial and error are the only ways you will find out if they have what you want. The “click” factor is the most important factor in this decision. Having a doc will truly LISTEN to your concerns and questions is the most important thing there is. Having faith that he/she will do what is in the best interest of you AND your baby is vital to a successful outcome for all parties concerned. Good Luck! 🙂

Michelle says:

You seem to have similar ideals with me. I am not a big fan of c-sections unless of course it is absolutely necessary. I think too many interventions are performed during labor and delivery in the U.S. unecessarily.

I would go with a midwife. Search the internet for reviews. Here in Baltimore http://www.mothering.com had a great post with lots of recommendations for midwives in the area. Almost everyone recommended two different midwives, one does home births, one does hospital births. I looked at the hospital the midwife delivers at and it has two birthing tubs, does water births, and has a much lower c-section rate. The other hospital in my area that a lot of OB/GYN’s use seems way too medicalized for me.

I moved to Baltimore a few months back so recently was going through this search. I made an appointment with the midwife for my annual gyno exam. I hope I like her. That way in the future when I begin TTC I will already be established with the midwife I want to deliver my baby.

Our Family says:

Well, I had an OBGYN. I loved her! But if you go with a midwife be sure you still deliver somewhere where they can do emergency surgery if needed.
A c-section was the LAST thing I wanted. And I knew my doc. would suggest it after so many labor hours but I was determined to do it MY way! After 12 hours of labor my baby’s heart rate started to drop dramatically and they rushed me to the O.R. for an emergency c-section. Luckily, the baby was fine, but my doc. said she took a look at my bone structure while she was in there and she said that I wouldn’t have been able to push the baby out. I was too small{who would’ve thought that? When you got hips like mine?} She said it could have been a very dangerous birth because of that fact.
So all I’m saying is, make sure you give birth somewhere where they are prepared for ANYTHING!

Sarah says:

Have you seen “The Business of Being Born”? It’s a documentary by Rickie Lake. She has two kids, one was a C-Section and one was a home birth. I don’t know if now would be the best time to watch it (a bit scary) but I saw it months ago and have never felt so strongly about NOT having a C-Section. I know sometimes you can’t control it but…well…you’ll have to see the movie.
I think you can interview Docs. It’s a BIG DEAL. you want to make sure they are okay with pain meds and episiotomies (sp?) When my niece was born that Doc didn’t “believe in” either and it was a shock to the mother. I think it’s fairly normal to interview…I plan on it. I also plan on talking to people I trust who have kids to see what they advise…

Just as an FYI, Ricki Lake didn’t have a section. She had a drugged vaginal birth and then a home birth.

B&U&I says:

I chose my OBGYN by first choosing which hospital I wanted to deliver at. Fortunately I live in a metro area of a large city so I had about 5 different hospitals to choose from within a 20 minute drive from my house. I went to my provider’s website which had pictures of all the doctors. I picked a female who worked in the practice right beside the hospital I wanted, she happened to share the practice with 2 men. When I called to make my appointment I found that she was no longer with the practice so they asked me which of the other 2 doctors I would like to see and I quickly blurted out one doc over the other. Had no idea why and at the time I definitely didn’t want a male doctor but I stuck with it and it ended up being the BEST decision I could have made. I guess my advice would be to go with your gut and trust your instincts.

thecookswi says:

Shame Hun, i kinda feel ya pain. WE not pregnant but i have had an incident wit a gynae. we moved from Durban to joburg which is a 7 to 8 hour drive and i got this gynae recommended by a friend he had stone age tools . poked my living day lights out i felt like a lab specimen and was in pain after my so called annual check up for three months and hubby and i decided we weren’t going for crap any more we drive down 7 to 8 hours to see my gynae in Durban who is experienced and im comfortable with so good luck in your such. I agree with you find someone you are comfortable with.Just remember giving birth and the whole pregnancy happens once ( that specific pregnancy)and you wont be able to redo .

(This may all be different cause I am in Australia but you may gain some insight?)

My OBGYN was recommended to me and it wasn’t until I had got my appointment and told other people who I was going with that I realised how lucky I was to get an appointment with her. Apparently all the ‘good’ ones get booked up early, and they alway take previous clients first (ie if they have delivered a child for that mum previous).
My OBGYN delivered my son, did the D&C’s for my misscarriages and also implated my second son through IVF and then delivered him. SO it is very important to find someone you are comfortable with. My OBGYN gave me her mobile and home number to call anytime!!!! And my IVF pregnancy was high risk and whenever I was in doubt about anything she would fit me in straight away.

One question to ask is when will they be going on Vacation, as through this time you will have to see someone else. You don’t want them going on vacation close to when you are due.

Good luck on your search!! 🙂

I live in an area that has precisely three OB/GYNs. So yea. But when I was prego with my son I was adamant that I wanted a natural birth. Truly natural..no IV, water birth even maybe. I ended up having prenatal care at a freestanding birthing center staffed by four midwives. Kicker? It was over two hours away. But I STRONGLY suggest seeking care at a birthing center if you have one nearby. The one I went to also handled any well-woman exams, so you could use them before and after pregnancy.

Not all OBs have midwives, but many are starting to employ them. From my experience, the midwives at an OBs office aren’t of the same mindset as midwives on their own or at a freestanding birthing center. Midwives at an OBs office are more in line with the medical community then the natural community.

Never bothered with a doula. My husband was with me, and I’m pretty vocal about standing up for myself. So I didn’t feel I needed a doula. BTW, doulas don’t deliver babies. Doulas act as your support person during labor. They’re more of a helper. If a doula has midwife training, she could deliver babies. But otherwise, they aren’t baby catchers.

You can interview any doctor, and I’d suggest if they won’t set aside that time for you to meet them, then you shouldn’t be going to them anyway. And there should be no fee to meet them. If you find a birthing center, most of them have Open Houses throughout the year, where you can get a tour and meet the staff.

Good luck!!!

I am in the same boat (not preggers yet, but keeping fingers crossed for soon). I was working with an OBGYN who I thought was great but then as time went on I realized that she was not listening to me. So what I did was I really liked my primary care doc and was actually hoping she would be my obgyn, but she has stopped practicing that field, but she just had a baby and she referred me to her personal obgyn (who she loves) and also gave me the name of another one who she heard was good. I then figured out where each delivered and then asked some ofthe girls I worked with their take on the hospital they delivered at. I ended up going with the ob that is also my primary cares doc b/c of where she delivered and also I did some reseach and found that she was more in tune with what I am wanting. I don’t get in to see her until Dec as I already had my annual, but I am excited. I figure my doc is not going to refer someone who she doesn’t back and trust espeically with her being a doc also.

Had to jump in here with my 2 cents to say you must INTERVIEW any prospective maternity care provider. This goes for OB/GYNS and midwives (yes you can ask them ?s too). We had an OB until I was 5 months then switched to a midwife at a birthing center based on our desire to have a natural birth, which we felt the odds of happening at a hospital were low. you can read my two-part birth story here:

http://marlieandmommy.blogspot.com/2009/08/labor-day-marlies-birth-story-part-i.html

http://marlieandmommy.blogspot.com/2009/09/labor-day-marlies-birth-story-part-ii.html

you should also read this lady’s wonderfully crafted on the two sides of birthing choices:
http://keyboardrevolutionary.blogspot.com/2009/05/homebirth-gone-wrong.html

Best of luckin whatever you decide!!!

Suzzanne says:

It’s smart to be thinking of that stuff now. I have the same questions so I hope you can find some good info to share!

Casey says:

I would chose a midwife in a minute if I was a low-risk pregnancy and if there was a birthing center in my area. Unfortunately, I live in an area where my choices are OBGYN or family practice doctor for a hospital birth or midwife for a home birth.

I had an OB for my first birth, and I wouldn’t do that again unless I had a high risk pregnancy. The OB I had was often in a hurry, often not at the office when I had my appointments (so I saw a nurse practitioner), often didn’t ask if I had any questions, and rarely answered my questions with more than a quick cursory answer. Apparently she is very knowledgeable for high risk pregnancies. Unfortunately, she has no bedside manner nor time for your average low risk pregnancy.

OBs are trained surgeons. One acquaintance I know went into OB in order to do surgery. She decided plastic surgery was not for her so she chose OB. Not what I want. Midwives have training in low risk, low pressure deliveries. To me, that is what pregnancy is. It isn’t something I need to rid myself of. It’s a natural process. I did it on purpose! I wanted it to end in labor. Labor isn’t a problem for me that I want to be managed. It’s something I experience with a competent professional at my side.

Another thing about midwives is they spend far more time with their patients. With an OB, you will likely labor with the nurses who are on duty with the OB entering at the end to catch. If you have a midwife, you will have your medical professional with you during labor, during delivery, and after.

Doulas are support people. THey are not medical professionals. http://www.dona.org/mothers/index.php While they provide assistance to a mother (and the mother’s partner) during labor, they do not make medical decisions or perform medical tasks.

Ricki Lake has a documentary called The Business of Being Born that is eye opening. Definitely a must see before going into labor.

Toni says:

You can definitly interview a midwife before you’re pregnant. My midwife even does yearly examines when you’re not pregnant. I actually recommend that if you’re going with a midwife to do several interviews. My first visit with my midwife was more like an interview than anything. She has to make sure you’re not high risk and you both decide if you “click” or not. After having two babies in a hospital, for my last, I opted for a midwife and was greatly impressed by the difference in procedure as well as involvement. My midwife was involved in my lifestyle (exercise, nurtition) as well as my baby and her well being. You can also do ultrasounds and blood tests while using a midwife, and yes, some docs do have midwives in their practicies. And, lastly, I pulled my own string out. I had the idea, its my body, why not. 🙂 Good luck on your decision!

Mama Kat says:

After a not so great experience with my second baby I called the best hospital in the state for baby #3 and asked for the most experienced dr. in c-sections.

It was a man…and to be honest I was ok with that. If someone’s life is on the line I think I feel a little safer in a man’s hands.

Let the feminist movement strike me down!

My friend had a midwife and it sounded like the best thing ever! If money wasn’t an issue, and if I wasn’t worried about the “what ifs” of unexpected emergencies I would totally have a midwife.

I have just started reading your blog (I found you after you left a comment at mine. Thanks!) and I admire your enthusiasm for mommyhood! You’re like a contagious piece of sunshine. Thanks for brightening my day!

BTW, I have done the whole OBGYN thing. The shared care between Dr and Midwife thing and Midwife only at the birth centre thing.

With the OBGYN Doctor, I was blessed because he was my lifelong GP so it was natural for him to care for me throughout my first pregnancy. He is also a very ‘Hands off, let nature take it’s course’ Doctor which is well suited for pregnancy and birth. Unfortunately not long after, he gave up Obstetrics after 20plus years.

Since then I have come to love and trust midwives. I have found that Midwives are just as safe if not safer than a lot of Docs. Although you also have to find a suitable Midwife. I did once have a midwife that made me feel a little like a number on her ‘to do’ list. However, most are great.

You need to work out what you value in birth and find someone that believes the same thing.

All The Best for a sweet little tumbling, kicking ball of joy in your near future!

jineen says:

i would say get a notebook and write down the things that are important to you as an individual. then during your interviews you can make sure you really get your info correct and have it written down for later review. each doctor will have their own policies and practices and you have to find what is right fo ryou. i don’t think it is ever too early to start. i always have founf that a referral from a friend works out better than the yellowpages. midwives, pediatricians, all those things should be interviewed far in advance. i think you will be happier knowing ahead of time that the choices you make are educated and right for you and what you want:0

heather says:

You know, I think the best way to find a good doctor is ask friends or people they go to. Why they like the doctor, what kind of procedures the doctors believe in, etc. Hope you find a good one.

My husband actually found my OBGYN. He works for a medical call center that answers for a lot of OBs. So when we decided it was time to TTC, he told me about my current doctor. He said when his partner left, said Dr called the answering service and gave him instructions for each of the partner’s patients and what to do if they called. He said he was a very nice man who was concerned about each patient. Then I asked a friend who she used and it was the same guy. I started seeing him back in December and have loved him. He also deals with fertility issues, so it was perfect. He likes to ramble and is a bit scatter brained sometimes, but he is very good and spends a lot of time with you. If you were out here, I’d recommend him. Sorry I don’t know any in Texas!

Rixa says:

You’ve got lots of good advice already…so let me perhaps bring up a few more things

1) Don’t choose an OB or midwife just because they have a good bedside manner–sometimes the best care providers might not be the ones you’d expect. For example, the CNM who attended my son’s birth (at home) worked with a certain OB when she was doing her midwifery training and at first she strongly disliked him. Then she realized he just wasn’t the world’s best people person–BUT he was by far the most fantastic OB she’d ever worked with, he would absolutely go to bat for the women he attende, would go out of his way to support their wishes, etc.

2) We put all this energy into finding the “Right” care provider but if they work in a group practice, chances are you won’t see them at the birth anyway. So, first thing is find out if they are in a solo practice, a large group, a small group, etc. It’s really pointless to find the perfect OB, only to have htem work in a 5-6-7 person group and have some stranger show up at your birth anyway.

3) Most OBs spend very little time with you in both prenatals and at the birth, which is a reason to strongly consider midwifery care, which can happen in hospitals, birth centers, or at home. It’s more typical (but always ask!) that a hospital-based CNM will have much longer prenatal vistis and will “labor sit” with you. It’s quite rare to have an OB who has the time/interest to labor sit. Usually they are called in when the head is starting to crown. The rest of the time the nurses keep them assessed via phone, or if they are already in the hospital that day, they might pop in every once in a while to do an exam. But really, your interaction wtih your OB is likely to be quite minimal during your labor. It’s a lot more influenced by the nursing staff if you’re having a hospital birth.

4) CNMs can do all your well-woman gyn care, just like an OB can.

5)**** lots of starts, because this will save you so much time in the long run ****** You can save so much time in your interviewing process if you get in touch with your local doula organizations first and ask them “hey, I am looking for X Y and Z in my care provider. Can you give me the inside scoop on which doctors, midwives, hospitals, birth centers, etc are most likely to meet those expectations?” I am sure they could say “stay away from this practice” or “definitely see So and So.” I am a doula so I definitely recommend doing this first. They can tell you if Dr. X is nice in office visits but won’t “let” you move around or eat or push in an upright position.

Rixa says:

whoops, sorry for all the typos!

Lesley says:

Yeah…totally don’t think I’d use them either…I lucked out…and who my insurance directed me to all the doctors were amazing…I was able to visit each one…and just so happened my fave was on call the day I delivered. I don’t think it would be weird at all to interview even if you aren’t preggers…just means u are ahead of the game

Marly says:

I know you have a lot of comments and I haven’t read any but I just thought I’d throw my opinion in, because I like to do that kind of thing 🙂

There is nothing wrong with looking now. Would your family doc not catch your baby? I mean if you already have a great relationship with him, why not? Or does he not catch babies? I’ve heard some do.

With my first baby I went to a Dr who worked at the clinic I went to. At 20 weeks I switched to a midwife who worked at the same office of the pediatrician I picked. Before I picked her, I interviewed other midwives and just went with my list of things that were important to me and I saw how our personalities clicked. With my second, I went to the birth center and they only had two choices. I went with who I got an appointment with and then when I had to meet the other midwife at 34 weeks, I ended up clicking with her better and switched. With my 3rd, I think I just went with the first homebirth midwife I was recommended and she was great. My 4th I was going to use the same one, but she moved. I interviewed another 3, and went with the one my previous one recommended.

I think you should go in with your questions. Those things you’ve found in your research that you feel are important to you and see which one you click with. You could interview some midwives and some obs. Doula’s, which I’m sure others have told you, don’t catch babies. They are there to support you and I would highly recommend you hire one! You can also go to different forums and see what others who have gone to that dr or midwife thought about them.

By the way, midwives can do your womanly visits, so don’t let that deter you from picking one 🙂 I’ve also heard CNM’s can do homebirths in Texas. The one I had at the birth center here moved from Texas and did homebirths there.

Vicki says:

I don’t know how it is where you are from, but here, my dr. didn’t deliver my first. I ended up switching to the doc that did my first, only because it was a repeat csection so I figured she knew her cut better than anyone else. What matters most, in my opinion, is the pediatrician. There are always other dr’s and nurses when you deliver. But a GREAT ped is so very very important.

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Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget

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I'm a former journalist, and lifelong creator striving to make the world a better place. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day by cherishing our individuality and celebrating our differences.



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