An excellent place to start in your search in choosing the right obstetrician is to get recommendations from your friends and family, but keep in mind that selecting an obstetrician is a personal decision. A good obstetrician for one woman may not be ideal fit for another.
What to Include When Choosing the Right Obstetrician
Consider Your Insurance
It is essential to learn exactly what is covered in your insurance and what isn’t. Review the benefits and ask questions about the sections about your coverage that you don’t understand. This is also the perfect opportunity to ensure you understand which costs you’ll be responsible for, especially when it comes to certain genetic testing. Check which providers and hospitals are in-network, where you can obtain care for a lower fee. Going with out-of-network options can be pricey. The bills can quickly add up, especially if there are complications such as your baby needing special care and have to stay in the neonatal unit (NICU).
Look At Your Health History
While it’s typically recommended patients stay in in-network to prevent paying more if you suffer from a chronic medical issue like heart disease or diabetes or previous pregnancy-related complications, you may require a more substantial level of care that in-network providers may not offer. In these cases, high-risk OB/GYN services in a maternal-fetal medicine clinic maybe your best option. Sometimes insurance companies can be persuaded into authorizing care despite the physicians being out-of-network.
Selecting The Hospital
Consider substance over style and pay attention to these questions instead:
- Which hospitals are in the network?
- Does the hospital offer NICU care?
- Are prenatal education classes provided?
- What lactation support and type of care is offered after giving birth for questions such as how to store breast milk safely.
- Can they recommend pregnancy support groups like exercise classes.
Do Your Obstetric Homework
After choosing the hospital, consider the physicians who are practicing and compare them to the doctors included in your insurance plan. Narrow down the list and begin digging. When it comes to recommendations, a personal approach is your best bet. Ask your colleagues, family, and friends about who they have used. Also, phone practices in your area and ask if the physicians are willing to talk to patients before admitting them for care.
Some women do it the other way around. They find a doctor and agree on delivery at the hospital where the doctor practices frequently. If you require a specific doctor present during delivery, ensure you are finding out about their call coverage preparations before the time. It is scarce nowadays to find an obstetrician who delivers for all their patients. You will most probably see your obstetrician through during prenatal care and have your baby delivered via the doctor on staff once you go into labor.
Ask about the physician’s and delivery team’s viewpoints on issues that are essential, like:
- Elective induction of labor after thirty-nine weeks gestation or ongoing electronic fetal heart rate monitoring.
- Having a birth plan in place or a doula present during delivery.
- Pain management.
- Vaginal delivery if you’ve previously had a C-section (VBAC).
- Their availability to attend to questions during after-hours.