Choosing an obstetrician can be one of the most difficult decisions for a woman to make. It is essential that a woman chooses an obstetrician that aligns with her individual preferences. Before choosing an obstetrician, there are a number of questions you need to ask. So let’s start with the basics.
WHAT IS AN OBSTETRICIAN?
An obstetrician is a doctor who specialises in pregnancy, childbirth and a woman’s reproductive system. Obstetricians specialise in taking care of women from conception through to delivery, covering all aspects of the pregnancy journey.
It must be noted that obstetricians provide a number of services for women during pregnancy, which include:
- Monitoring the health of your child by conducting regular tests
- Regularly assessing patients for health conditions that may cause problems during pregnancy, which include high blood pressure, diabetes and any other genetic disorders
- Providing diet, exercise and medical advice for patients to ensure they remain healthy during pregnancy
- Providing care for common symptoms of pregnancy which include morning sickness, stomach pains and other common complaints
HOW TO CHOOSE AN OBSTETRICIAN
As mentioned, it is pivotal that women choose a doctor who aligns with their individual preferences. You may need to ask yourself questions such as:
- Will I be more comfortable with a male or female doctor?
- How much can I afford to spend for treatment?
- Will my doctor support my desire to aim for a drug free birth?
- Will my doctor support my birthing preference (e.g. hypnobirthing)?
It is essential that you ask yourself necessary questions such as these before choosing an obstetrician to support you during your pregnancy journey.
WHEN SHOULD I FIRST VISIT AN OBSTETRICIAN?
Well it’s simple, as soon as you believe you may be pregnant! Here it is recommended that women undergo an initial physical examination to ensure you receive the care you require. Traditionally, most doctors won’t schedule a visit until around the two month mark of your pregnancy journey, although it is recommended that you schedule an appointment to visit your doctor immediately if you are experiencing symptoms such as vaginal bleeding, abdominal pain, or severe nausea and vomiting.
The sooner you schedule an appointment with your obstetrician, the smoother your pregnancy journey will be, as they will assist you in determining the most effective treatment plan for you.