Q&A: I'm considering switching my OB-GYN, but don't know if it's too late.
I am currently 18 weeks pregnant and I'm unhappy with my doctor. What type of questions should I ask doctors when I'm looking for a new one?
You should ask about his or her availability after hours. Many doctors are in “on-call” groups, and you need to know how many there are in his group, or does he or she deliver all of the babies with little or no coverage. Is there a Maternal-Fetal Medicine subspecialist the doctor uses for particularly difficult pregnancies. No one can know it all. What are the policies on anesthesia, episiotomy, and other aspects of labor? Does the hospital being used have a Level III or at least a Level II nursery for high-risk newborns? What is the training of the doctor(s)? What are his or her indications for C-section–do they follow ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) guidelines? Except for your safety and the baby’s safety, does the doctor otherwise “hang kind of loose” on other considerations that should be your choice, like Dad in the room, pictures of the newborn, etc.?
These are starters. One of the most important things is patience with these questions. If the doctor seems too busy to take the time to answer them, that’s a bad sign. Assuming you’re comfortable with a doctor’s training and expertise, you also need to be comfortable with the doctor’s personality and readiness to address all of your concerns.