Your doctor is the most important person when you are pregnant. Here is how to choose one you are comfortable with.
Reshma had gone to the same gynaecologist for years and continued when she got pregnant. She was taken aback when the doctor brushed her off every time she asked questions. The doctor said she knew everything and there was no need for her to bother. Reshma says, "It is not that I did not trust her, but I wanted to be reassured sometimes." For her second pregnancy, she chose a different doctor and was happier with her experience this time.
Finding the right doctor can have a big influence in how smoothly your pregnancy goes. To determine if a particular doctor is right for you, here are some questions to ask.
Where do you deliver?
Most doctors are affiliated to a specific hospital or nursing home. When you visit the doctor, ask her where she normally delivers babies. Visit that hospital and check the facilities for yourself to decide if you would be willing to deliver there. For example, you may prefer a hospital close to your house or one with an advanced neonatal care unit.
If you have already decided on a hospital, you will need to check if your doctor is willing to schedule a delivery there. If a doctor has her own team at a particular hospital, she may not be willing to work in another hospital or with a different team.
What tests do I need to do?
When you are pregnant, you need to undergo various medical
tests to check yours and your baby's health. Before you actually do a
test, your doctor should explain the nature of the test, why you need
to do it, possible complications, etc. In the case of extra tests, a
good doctor will also give you the option of deciding to undergo a
particular test or not.For example, amniocentesis is recommended for women over 35 but it is not compulsory.
Whether you decide to have a particular test or not, your doctor should
respect your decision. This is also important if a test shows up
complications. While all doctors have their own opinions, they should
not influence a patient's decision. When Malini found out her baby was
deformed, she chose to have an abortion. When she told her doctor about
her decision,the doctor was horrified and kept trying to convince Malini to change her mind. Eventually, the doctor performed the procedure, but Malini felt guilty and stressed because of her doctor's attitude.
When do you perform a Caesarean?
A caesarean or C-section is a surgical method of giving birth. It is unavoidable in a high-risk pregnancy or due to sudden complications. Sometimes, a normal pregnancy might culminate in a C-section due to prolonged labour. Check with your doctor how long she is willing to wait before opting for a C-section. The waiting time can vary from one to five hours after you start pushing.
If you only want a vaginal birth, ask your doctor
what measures she takes to avoid a C-section, even after prolonged
labour. Alternatively, if you have already had a C-section previously,
is your doctor willing to allow you to have a normal birth i.e. VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean)?
What do I do if you are unavailable?
No doctor is available 365 days of the year. If your doctor does happen
to be out of town when you go into labour, another doctor will
obviously have to do the delivery.Ask your doctor
who is her backup and arrange to meet this person beforehand. Discuss
the delivery procedures with her and see if you are satisfied. If not,ask your doctor if it is possible to arrange for someone else.
During your pregnancy,
it is best to be open about the various options available to you so you
can make an informed decision. By trusting your doctor, you empower her
to take decisions that are bestfor your baby when you are not in a position to do so.