When it comes to having a baby, there are many huge decisions to be made. The first is obviously choosing to have a baby but a close second is your choice of obstetrician. Eve Health specialist, Dr Paul Conaghan, suggests some tips for choosing the right fit for you.
Unfortunately there’s no defined process to picking the right doctor; it all comes down to researching a doctor’s approach, skills and experience. The good news is that research is often guided by recommendations from friends and family, so in most cases, the short list is narrowed down to who you should (or shouldn’t) speak with.
Before you make an appointment with the doctor, research two topics – what type of birth you would like and your preferred doctor’s reputation and view on obstetrics. You should consider the type of birth you want because this will play a part in your compatibility and help you understand the type of doctor they are. Search for their website – maybe even testimonials or videos – to help you get a feel for their personality and style. It’s important to do your research thoroughly as the cost of an initial consult often prohibits seeing multiple doctors to gauge their personality and expertise.
Once you feel comfortable with an obstetrician’s profile, make an appointment to discuss how you would like to experience your birth and pregnancy. A good obstetrician will actively seek to find out your wishes and hopes and do their very best to make the journey for you as joyous and smooth as possible, while keeping and eye on the important risks and dangers for you.
With this in mind, be honest and open about what you want. Some people know their ideal birth is labour in a dark room on all fours utilizing minimal or no pain relief with their choice of music playing in the background, while others haven’t really thought about it at all. Think about your ideal experience, tell the doctor and gauge their reaction. Now’s the time to ask for their view on what’s important to you, such as water births, pain relief, VBACs, vaginal birth for twins or caesarean sections. If they don’t agree with your values, don’t be afraid to ask to be referred to someone more like-minded.
Also consider where the baby will be delivered and by whom. Depending on your clinic’s model of care, your doctor may provide one-on-one experience and do all they can to be present at the birth. Other clinics may operate in a group arrangement, being present for most of your appointments but with one of the group rostered to cover all the groups’ deliveries on any particular day.
All Eve Health obstetricians offer one-on-one care and deliver exclusively at the Mater Mothers Hospital because of the level of safety and resources available. Having delivery teams, anaesthetics specialists and paediatricians available 24 hours gives us the strength, confidence and flexibility to safely practice medicine our way, providing more options with less risk to you and your baby.
- Research your obstetrician and your birth before making an appointment.
- Choosing an obstetrician comes down to their approach to delivery and their experience.
- Mater Mothers is the premier birthing hospital in Queensland.
This post was written by Dr Paul Conaghan, an obstetrician and gynaecologist at Eve Health.