Is switching your obstetrician or other caregiver during pregnancy a good idea?
Recently, the midwife I had been seeing retired, without any prior notice to me. I was upset, not so much because she left without letting me know ahead of time, but because I had found a practitioner that I was totally comfortable with, and now the rug had been pulled out from under me. She left me no referrals, so I went on the search for a new doctor/midwife/WhateverICouldFind. At this point, I was twenty weeks into my pregnancy. Halfway there.
Eventually I settled for a doctor whose office was located in the same building as my previous caregiver. My husband and I sat in the waiting room for TWO HOURS. We could have gotten up and rescheduled, of course, but after waiting that long, I really didn’t feel like risking having to do the same thing another day. We finally got called back into the examination room… where we waited for another thirty minutes. Finally, she came in to see me. We spent all of about ten minutes together, and she seemed very uninterested in my pregnancy. I understand that she may have had a long day, and that her job is stressful, but to be honest… I was angry. I had to clear my whole day because the wait for the appointment lasted so long, and she had not told me anything that I couldn’t have read in my “What to Expect…” book. (This book is a god-send, by the way. If you don’t have it—get it!)
So now I was faced with a dilemma. I could tough it out, or start new – yet again, with a totally new doctor at a different practice. I decided to start new, even though I was now halfway through my pregnancy, and my new doctor would have no previous knowledge of my pregnancy. My new obstetrician is great, my husband and I have the utmost confidence in him, and he listens to all of our concerns. I made this decision based on the fact that if a doctor was going to act so cold toward me during a regular visit, I really didn’t want to see how she was going to be when it was time to deliver my child. If you are pregnant, and aren’t completely comfortable with your doctor, switch. Who cares how far along you are? What’s most important is that when the time comes, you have the best doctor you possibly could have, and you have total confidence in that person’s ability and desire to take care of you and your child. Make sure it is someone you feel comfortable building a personal relationship with.
As cliché as it sounds… use Google. People, especially women having children, have no problem with expressing their opinions of caregivers on a public platform. Generally if a doctor really is good at what they do, their reviews will reflect as such. Also ask around amongst your family and friends, people who care about you and want what’s best for you and your child. You will also want to decide what kind of caregiver you want. You may want a midwife, an OB/GYN, etc. Decide if you want a doula, labor coach outside of your family, etc. These may seem like hard decisions, but may as well get some practice making tough decisions concerning your child, eh?