What To Look for in an OB/GYN
A gynecologist specializes in female reproductive health and an obstetrician specializes in the management of pregnancy, labor, and postnatal care—or the time following childbirth. An OB/GYN does it all. He or she ensures your reproductive system is healthy and provides prenatal care, preventive care, and appropriate screenings for gynecologic conditions.
Finding the right doctor for you isn’t as simple as just picking a doctor from your health insurance providers’ list. Your OB/GYN provides care for you and your baby, therefore, you must find a doctor you can trust and who shows empathy, honesty, and an interest in your daily life.
Seek a Doctor You Can Trust
Establishing trust with your OB/GYN allows you to be more open about your pregnancy concerns. Ask friends and family members for referrals. Your primary care physician is also a great source for referrals. Your primary doctor knows your body, your needs, and your lifestyle and can point you in the right direction. While seeking out referrals, consider whether you would like to have a male or female OB/GYN.
Honesty Is The Best Policy
When asking for referrals, find out if honesty is a quality that stands out in suggested candidates. Honesty in doctor-patient relationships ensures that care during your pregnancy is not compromised. Mutual honesty establishes a connection with your doctor that improves your chances of a healthy pregnancy, delivery, and postnatal care.
An honest doctor is also curious about your daily life. He or she will ask you questions about problems with your period, vaginal discharge, your sexual health history, fertility, and birth control methods.
Finding an Empathic OB/GYN
Having a doctor who understands your struggles can motivate care and improve communication between doctor and patient. Empathy also influences trust within the relationship. A doctor who can share your pregnancy symptom concerns and childbirth anxiety to better determine the best course of action for problems you may encounter during pregnancy.
Questions to Ask Your OB/GYN Before You Decide
You should never be afraid to ask your OB/GYN questions. Get to know him or her. Inquire about medical background, certifications, and childbirth experience. To find your ideal OB/GYN, here are a few questions you should research ahead of time before becoming a patient:
- Do you accept my health insurance?
- What are your office hours?
- Are you board certified?
Here is a list of questions to ask your potential OB/GYN in person or over the phone:
- What is your position on reproductive issues? (including birth control methods)
- How many births have you attended?
- Do you have a limit on how many patients you will accept who are due in the same month?
- Do you perform C-sections?
- What is your philosophy on pregnancy care?
- In case of emergency, how can I reach you?
- If you are not available when I need you, who will cover for you?