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Guest post by Blanca Duncan, MD

Because the outcome of pregnancy depends on your emotional as well as physical well being, it is important to find a doctor than meets not just your medical needs but also one that you are compatible with. Selecting a doctor to deliver your baby is a very important and personal decision. Following are some steps to help you in choosing the best Obstetrician Gynecologist for you.

Where to begin your search for ob/gyn?
Internet sites that provide basic information on doctors in your area are a good source. Some sites include: healthgrades.com; yelp.com.

Ask around for recommendations. An excellent source of referral is a trustworthy medical professional. Consider asking friends and family members who they see and if they recommend the doctor.

Pregnancy can be financially trying. Make sure the doctor you are considering is in your network of providers. Talk to your insurance. If it is a requirement for your insurance coverage to see someone in your network, you may want to narrow your list to include only physicians in your network.

The doctor’s office as well as the hospital facility where the physician delivers should be included in your decision. You will visit the doctor’s office several times and you may need to get to the hospital quickly. Therefore, the locations should be convenient to your job and home. In addition, you should feel comfortable in both settings. Assess the friendliness of the office staff. Get to know the hospital; ask about availability of tours to the labor and delivery unit.

What to look for in an ob/gyn doctor?
A provider with whom you feel safe and relaxed is key to optimizing your pregnancy and childbirth experience. Below are some things to consider in choosing a doctor.

Doctor’s personality

  • Is the doctor easy to communicate with?
  • Are things explained in a manner that you understand?
  • Do you feel that your concerns are validated and addressed?

Doctor’s practice outlook

Write down any specific concerns about your pregnancy. Find out what the doctor’s outlook is in regards to things that are important for you. For example if you have a specific birth plan such as at home birth or natural birth, find out the doctor’s perspective on this. If you are considering vaginal birth after cesarean section find out if the physician and hospital would be supportive.

Determine if the doctor’s scope of care meets your specific needs

If you have special health needs such as diabetes, heart disease, or very complicated pregnancy history, find out how much experience the doctor has treating these areas. You may want ask if the doctor work in conjunction with a maternal fetal specialist (a doctor that specializes on high risk pregnancy).

Once you have narrowed your choices, you may want to interview a few providers and compare notes until you find the one that you feel is the best choice for you.

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