Finding the perfect obstetrician for you

If you've decided on a conventional childbirth experience for the safety, professionalism and track record that physicians and hospital facilities offer, you've narrowed down your choices considerably. Now you know that you'll need a doctor instead of a midwife, and ideally that doctor will have a lot of experience and expertise in prenatal care and delivery. While many women choose to stay with their family doctor throughout their nine months, some opt for a doctor that has a bit more to offer than the basic catalogue of medical ability. Learn when an obstetrician or OBGYN is the right pregnancy professional to choose and how they will contribute to your pregnancy and birth experience.


Choosing an Obstetrician

If you anticipate pregnancy complications, plan to have a c section or simply want a doctor with outstanding expertise, an obstetrician may be the right choice for you. This type of physician has all the certifications of a medical doctor, plus a specialization in pregnancy care which allows them to actively monitor and manage the health and treatment of both Mom and Baby.

Even if you have no preexisting medical conditions or specific health concerns, certain complications can pop up later in pregnancy that will demand the attention of a specialist. Problems like placenta previa or preeclampsia can happen even if you've had a perfectly healthy pregnancy for the first few months, and those can be life-threatening if left untreated or not treated well. If you have been working with an obstetrician up to that point, these types of medical troubles should pose less of a threat, as an OB has the experience to handle them swiftly and in the best possible manner for your health and pregnancy.

What OBGYN Doctors can Offer

OBGYNs are obstetricians who are also trained as gynecologists, which make them experts not only in pregnancy but also in the health of the female reproductive system. In turn, an OBGYN would cover all of your prenatal care, Pap test screening and related care, family planning and postpartum care. The appeal of an OBGYN is apparent: you can simplify the process and invest more time in your relationship with one doctor than you could with two.

Of course, there's no guarantee that you'll find an OBGYN that fulfills your requirements, and in many cases women will choose (or be referred to) an obstetrician and keep their existing gynecologist for reasons of convenience or personality preference. If, during your first prenatal visit, you receive less than ideal answers to the questions you ask the OBGYN, consider another route. It's hard to predict just how your relationship with your doctor will proceed, but it's easy to determine if the physician is wrong for you from the get go. If you need a specialist to help you through your high risk pregnancy, ask your current family doctor or gynecologist if they can refer another doctor that may suit your personal situation.