If you are pregnant or if you expect to become pregnant in the near future, then you will need to find an obstetrician to care for you and your baby. A good obstetrician can be an invaluable source of help as your pregnancy progresses and will guide you through problems that may occur. If you aren't clear about how an obstetrician can help you or exactly how you can find one, then here is what you can do to locate the perfect obstetrician for you and your baby.
Start your search early
Your first obstetrician appointment will normally take place somewhere between week ten and week sixteen of your pregnancy, but you should start looking for an obstetrician long before that. Your GP should be able to recommend an obstetrician, but choosing one for yourself will give you more control over your pregnancy care. Your GP will need to provide you with a referral to the obstetrician, and they may decide you need to see one earlier than usual, so it helps if you are prepared and know who you want to see.
What should you look for in an obstetrician?
Picking the right obstetrician should involve thinking through your pregnancy journey as a whole. Each obstetrician will normally work in a particular hospital, so it helps to know the hospital where you want to give birth; you can then limit your search to those who work there.
The next thing that you will want to consider is where their private practice is based. Most of your check-ups will probably be held that their private practice, so you need a location that you can continue to reach easily as your pregnancy progresses.
The final consideration for choosing an obstetrician is the standard of care they offer. Many of your family or friends will have used obstetricians in the past, so ask them about their experiences and whether they would be happy to recommend the obstetrician they used.
Meeting your obstetrician for the first time
Your first meeting with your obstetrician is a great opportunity to ask any questions which you may have and to discuss your birthing options. It is also a time for you to get to know the obstetrician. If you decide after meeting them that you would prefer a different obstetrician, then you can move your care to someone who is a better fit for your needs.