How to Choose an Obstetrician
An obstetrician is a physician who has special training in providing prenatal care and delivering babies. Other health care specialists, including family care physicians and midwives, also can provide prenatal care.
It’s important to carefully select your physician or other prenatal care provider, not just to find someone who has the skill and expertise but also someone whose personality and style are a good match for you. After all, you’ll be seeing this person a lot during the next nine months!
If you would like to find a physician who will deliver your baby at Littleton Hospital, you can search online or call Speak to a Nurse who can talk with you about individual needs, such as location, training and insurance plans. Call fat 303-777-6877.
Here are some criteria you may want to consider :
- Insurance: Before you spend time calling or meeting potential providers, check with your insurance plan to see if the provider is part of your network. This will save you time.
- Location: You will see your obstetrician every month for the first part of your pregnancy, then every other week, and finally weekly. Consider how far you want to drive to those appointments and whether it would be more convenient to have your doctor near your home or work.
- Hospital: If you would like to deliver at The BirthPlace at Littleton Hospital, check our online physician directory or the prospective doctor’s website to ensure they practice here. Many doctors deliver babies at several hospitals, so be sure to tell your doctor where you want to be delivered.
- Experience: Consider whether you would like an obstetrician who has practiced for a while or one who has recently received training in the latest techniques and research. Remember that every obstetrician has received hundreds of hours of training and delivered many babies before ever being certified to practice. You may want to consider whether a physician is board-certified, which means they take tests to maintain their expertise.
- Practice: Consider whether you prefer a practice that includes many physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners or a practice with just a few doctors. There are benefits to both. A large practice, for instance, may be able to offer quicker appointments and one of the physicians in the practice will most likely be available for your delivery. In a small practice, you are more likely to see the same physician at each appointment.
Once you’ve used those criteria to narrow your field, it’s a good idea to meet with the physician you are considering. During this meeting, you’ll want to get an understanding of:
- Philosophy: Find out the doctor’s attitudes about issues that are important to you, such as genetic testing, use of medications during delivery and natural childbirth.
- Compatibility: There is no right or wrong with this one—it’s simply how you feel about the physician. Does the physician’s “bedside manner” match your style? Do you feel comfortable asking questions? Did you understand the physician’s answers? Does the physician seem interested in you and your wishes?