Midwives have been shown to be attentive, positive, cost effective and healthy care providers for uncomplicated pregnancies, and my first...
Midwives have been shown to be attentive, positive, cost effective and healthy care providers for uncomplicated pregnancies, and my first advice is to consider a midwife over an obstetrician (OB) because there are some major benefits to choosing a midwife. However, in the U.S. about 80% of women still choose an OB over a midwife so today let's look at how to find a good one. Word of mouth is one of the best ways to locate a great OB. Other mamas, your family doctor, your gynecologist, lactation support groups in your area are all great places to ask around if you're looking for an OB that will fit your needs. You can also check with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Interview before making a final decision. Just because you best friend loved her OB doesn't mean you'll get on perfectly. Asking around is a good starting point, but you shouldn't make a decision until you've met. When you meet you can ask some basic questions (below) that will help you make a smart decision.
- What are your birth philosophies - does the OB see birth as a normal event or a medical event. Do they think a birth means constant monitoring and management or do they think nature should rule the birth?
- How many birth interventions do you use on average?
- What's your labor induction rate? Hopefully low.
- Do you agree with my birth plan? Hopefully you have a basic birth plan thought out before you go see your OB but if not that's fine. Read about how to write a birth plan and just take a few ideas in with you when you go.
- What do you think of pain relief during labor? Do they use it often, think it's overused. Do they support your choice to use it or not?
- What is your cesarean rate and when would you recommend one? I.e. what situation would need to occur before your OB says you need a c-section. Note this is an important issue to press. The World Health Organization (WHO) notes that no region in the world is justified in having a cesarean rate greater than 10 to 15 percent. And they further note that 5% to 10% c-section rates correlate directly with the most healthy outcomes for mamas and babies. Right now the current rate in the U.S. is 30% so you want a doctor with a MUCH lower rate - as noted above 5-10% is considered excellent.