Welcome to my birth and postpartum guide, item #1. Congrats on the upcoming addition to your family! Please take care of yourself and best of luck with your preparations. This is one piece of a 10-part guide. Feel free to explore the other pieces from the introduction page.
You should love and trust the health care provider that is going to deliver your baby. As I recently told a friend — this is not like a dermatologist — life gets very real. Unfortunately, few OBGYNs are used to being “interviewed” in this way and some are resistant to the idea. Whereas its normal for expecting parents to check out pediatricians and interview them before making the choice of who will care for their child, this is fairly unusual when it comes to choosing the person who will help you birth your baby, and it shouldn’t be. I probably interviewed 10 OBGYNs in Denver to find one that I LOVED for the birth of my second kid. From my narrow experience, I can say that universally the best providers were open to this interview approach, but it sometimes did require scheduling a first prenatal appointment, and insisting that it be with the physician in order to have the time to chat with them and get to know them. If you get a lot of resistance to the idea of an “interview” appointment, I’d look for another provider. You should ask questions at that appointment that address any concerns that you have, here are some ideas:
- What percent of your patients’ babies do you deliver? (The whole idea of finding a great provider is to ensure that there is a great provider actually present at your birth.)
- Will you be in town around my due date?
- If you cannot attend my birth, what steps do you take to make sure that I know and trust the provider(s) who back you up? And to make sure that they know my history and trust me?
- How do you advocate for your patients? That is, how do you help make sure that this birth goes according to my plan? (Whether that is preventing an episiotomy, ensuring delayed cord clamping or making sure you can have two support people in the room if you need a cesarean.)
- How do you help your patients if they need to be readmitted following a birth?
- How do you look out for your patients’ mental health? (Remember that depression and anxiety is THE MOST COMMON complication of pregnancy.)
- What brought you to OBGYN as a specialty?