If you are looking for an obstetrics and gynecologist (ob/gyn), you have just embarked on one of the most important decisions of your life. When looking for a gynecologist, you are trusting someone with your feminine health which is a very sensitive, private matter altogether. Whats more, if you are pregnant you are trusting the life of your unborn baby to an obstetrician. They will care for you throughout the pregnancy, as well as bring your baby into the world with the delivery. It is a decision that carries some weight, to be sure. Here are a few things to consider when looking for an ob/gyn.
1. Male/Female Doctor. Many women feel very strongly as to whether or not their doctor is female. This can be due to many things including personal preference, history of trauma/abuse, privacy with their bodies, and past experience. There is no correct answer on this topic. You should choose whatever you feel most comfortable with. Be aware that should you choose a male doctor you are agreeing to allow a female chaperone to be present during all physical examinations. The doctors perform this practice so as to ensure themselves against any malpractice or misconduct suits. Male doctors have monopolized the ob/gyn field for many years due to the lack of female doctors, and some may feel that they are more qualified for the work since it takes some speed, strength, and stamina to deliver a baby. Female doctors are every bit as capable, and may exhibit some empathy and understanding that male doctors do not. Many women find great comfort in knowing that their doctor has delivered a baby herself, and is aware of the minute details involved. The choice is ultimately yours.
2. Midwife vs Doctor. A common debate in the mind of many a pregnant woman is whether to visit a midwife or a doctor during her pregnancy. Midwives are often nurse practitioners who have specialized in midwifery, and will perform the same services as a doctor at a more affordable rate. They are often very capable and empathetic, sometimes making home visits, and may even help during labor instead of just showing up at delivery as most doctors will do. You should know, however, that should a problem arise during delivery a doctor will be called to the scene. Home births will be rushed to the hospital, making a once cheap delivery potentially quite expensive due to the unplanned essence of the emergency. If one has a complicated pregnancy it is wise to go with a doctor.
3.Insurance Coverage. Always be sure to check with your insurance company before signing on with a doctor. Doctors/midwives out of coverage will be substantially more expensive than those in network.