Choosing the best healthcare provider for prenatal care is about more than just talent. An obstetrician needs to believe in some or all of the choices parents make along the way or at least support the choices of expecting parents. If there is a lack of communication, trust or positive connection between the pregnant woman and her doctor, the pregnancy process will be far less beautiful and enjoyable than it could be. Interviewing potential obstetricians does not mean parents are forced to choose that obstetrician. Typically, the first prenatal appointment is not scheduled until the 10th week of pregnancy, or so. This gives the expecting couple plenty of time to interview potential caregivers. When looking for an obstetrician, there are some key point to consider and questions to ask both the doctor and yourself.

Key Points to Consider

         Location of the doctor’s office
         Hours of operation
         Patient load
         Average waiting time per patient
         Availability of emergency appointments
         Walk-in policies

Questions to Ask the Doctor

         Where do you have hospital privileges?
         Who takes calls after hours?
         Can I contact you directly?
         How do you Feel about circumcision?
         What percentage of patients have C-sections?
         What percentage of patients are induced?
         Do you believe in planned C-sections?
         Do You Support Immediate Skin Contact After Birth?
         What is Your Rate of Episiotomies – When Do You Perform One?
         Do You Support Breech Birth?
         Do You Have Strong Feelings on Bottle Feeding Versus Breast feeding?
         What Types of Insurance Do You Accept?
         Will You Attend a Birth After Hours?
         Who is the Back Up Physician in Case You Are Unavailable?
         Will I Meet the Back Up Physician?
         Do You Believe in Trying VBAC Births?
         Is There an In Office Ultrasound Available?
         How Many Doctors are in the Practice?
         Will I See More Than One Doctor?
         When Do You Believe Solid Foods or Milk Should be Introduced?
         How Do You Feel About Pain Relief During Birth?

Questions to Ask Yourself

         How Do I Feel About the Doctor?
         Do We Agree on Important Choices Regarding Care?
         Does He/She Have Hospital Privileges at my Local Hospital?
         Did the Doctor Listen When I Spoke?

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