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Choosing a Doctor or Midwife

When you’re pregnant, you’ll obviously need someone to care for you and deliver your baby.  Typically, you will see either a doctor or a midwife during your pregnancy.  Even if you already know which you prefer (and you may not), they are not all the same.  Who you choose, specifically, can have a big impact on how your pregnancy and delivery goes.

So how do you choose?

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. Am I likely to be high-risk? (If yes, choose a doctor)
  2. What do I believe about birth? (If naturally minded, consider a midwife.  If you’re at all afraid or want things “managed,” choose a doctor)
  3. What style/mannerisms do I want in a medical professional?
  4. Am I more comfortable with a male or female?

Questions to ask a potential doctor or midwife:

  1. What do you believe about birth? (should match your answer, roughly)
  2. How many c-sections do you do?  In first time moms?
  3. Do you require routine IVs?
  4. How often do you schedule inductions?  Do you do it for non-medical reasons?
  5. What tests are routine, and do you require all of them?  Why or why  not?
  6. Are you experienced in handling high-risk moms? (if this matters to you)
  7. Do you do VBACs? (if this matters to you)
  8. What happens if you can’t attend my birth?  Has this ever happened to you?
  9. Do you allow doulas?
  10. What happens if something goes wrong between appointments?  How do I reach you?
  11. What if I have (non-emergency) questions between appointments?  How do you handle that?

There may be other questions, depending on your situation.  For example, if you’re a twin mom, have a high-risk history, history of infertility, etc. — you will want to ask about the professional’s experience with that situation.  Hopefully your doctor also believes in informed consent!

The most important thing is that you are satisfied with the doctor (or midwife)’s answers and attitude.  Some moms want the option to VBAC; others would prefer not to.  Some moms want to be able to schedule a “convenience induction;” others don’t (though if the doctor is very willing to schedule one prior to 39 weeks with no medical reason…you might want to find someone else).  That’s why it’s important to ask anything that’s important to you.

Regardless of your preferences — if the doctor brushes you off and seems annoyed by your questions — find someone else!!  If the professional doesn’t seem to know the answer to some questions — skip him/her.  If anything about the interview bothers you, just look elsewhere.  It’s not worth it.

How did you choose your doctor or midwife?

Top image by chimothy27

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