Finding Dr. Right is not always easy. Ideally, you want a doctor who views you as a participant during the birthing process—not as a patient. Before you choose this healthcare profession, consider the following:
- Talk to friends or other health-care professionals and ask for Recommendations.
- Narrow your list to several candidates, and then make an appointment to interview these physicians. (Let the receptionist know this is for an interview only so you are not charged.) Be sure the candidates you choose are listed on your insurance plan.
- Visit this doctor with your spouse and bring a list of important questions you want to ask. Talk to office personnel when you get to the appointment. Ask about the doctor’s call schedule, vacation plans, accepted insurance plans, fees, hospital affiliations, and if the doctor is in solo practice, who covers for him or her.
- If there is time, chat with expectant moms in the waiting room to get a sense of the doctor’s birthing philosophies.
- As you leave the interview, make sure you will have an “informed partnership.” You want to know how this doctor approaches birth, and how the doctor manages birth. Is birth considered a healthy, normal process? Or is the doctor rigid and overly technical or medical in discussion and philosophy? Look for a balance between natural methods of pain control and medical management, as well as a supportive presence.
- Be flexible. Sometimes the unexpected happens during the birth process. Remind yourself that being able to “go with the flow” is vital to birthing a healthy baby.