Questions Every Pregnant Woman Should Ask When Choosing an OB/GYN

Having a baby is exciting. You might be ready to choose names, diaper bags, and nursery themes, but before you get to all of those decisions, you need to find an obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN) physician you trust. To help make this a bit easier, our doctors at North Atlanta Women’s Care have created this list of must-ask questions just for you.

How long have you been in practice?

You want to feel confident that your provider is up-to-date in the most common practices. You also want someone who has delivered many babies. The experience of your doctor becomes of utmost importance if you have a high-risk pregnancy, or something unexpected happens during the birth.

What are your general philosophies on pregnancy, labor, and delivery?

Planning a birth isn’t black and white. There are many choices to be made, and most pregnancies don’t go according to plan. This makes it crucial that you speak to prospective doctors to hear their thoughts on birth methods, intervention techniques, and philosophies of care.

What is your Cesarean delivery rate?

Cesarean sections (C-sections) are among the most common surgeries done in the U.S., accounting for nearly 1.3 million births each year. If a prospective doctor has a higher than usual C-section rate, there might be a reason. Doctors and hospitals who care for high-risk pregnancies have higher than typical rates of C-sections.

Be sure to ask about high-risk pregnancy care as well as C-section rates. You want to this information because having one C-section puts you at a higher risk of needing one with your next pregnancy. Also, C-sections will almost double the cost of your birth experience.  

Are you in a group practice? If so, will I get a chance to meet all of the physicians before delivery?

You want to be familiar with the doctor delivering your baby. If there are multiple physicians in the practice, you want to meet each of them if possible before the big day.

Will you be in town around my delivery?

There’s no guarantee that plans won’t change, but this is a fair question. If you’re looking to have only one provider address your pregnancy needs, then you need to be direct and ask the provider about this before you find out that they’ll be out of town.

Do you allow your patients to create a personal birth plan?

Many moms want to create a birth plan that covers everything from how to manage pain to who will be in the delivery room. If you intend to use a birth plan, you need to discuss this with your doctor to ensure they’re on board with sticking to your plan.

If I go past my due date, what’s your policy on inducing labor?

Birth is a process best left to nature, but if you go past your due date, you might need to be induced. Inducing labor is the process of your doctor giving you a medicine or uses other methods to get labor started. It’s essential you know how you feel about being induced if you go past your due date and what your doctor’s philosophy on induction is.

With what hospitals are you affiliated for deliveries?

If this is your first baby, you probably don’t have much information on local hospitals. So, as you start your research, you’ll need to know where each possible OB/GYN delivers and what level of care each hospital can provide.

If you have a healthy pregnancy, you won't need to use any high-risk services. However, it’s important to know what services are available, in case they’re required.

What are features available in the birthing rooms?

Moms-to-be have more options today than ever before. You can choose a family-centered care room, where you labor, deliver, and recover in one place. You might also have access to birthing pools or tubs, birthing stools and bars, and the ability to have an unmedicated, or natural, birth. Speak to prospective doctors about these features and how they feel about using each.

If you’re looking for a care team to meet your birthing needs, we invite you to schedule a consultation with our office to discuss these questions and more. Give us a call today, or request an appointment online in one of our Atlanta offices.

 

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