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Choosing an OB or Midwife

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  • Are you solo or with a group practice?

  • If solo, who covers for you?

  • If with a group, how often will I see others in the practice?

Prenatal Care:

  • What tests do you routinely perform during pregnancy?

  • Can you give me some examples of when you might manage my care jointly with the back-up OB or transfer me to an OB full-time?

  • If I had to have a cesarean, would you stay with me during the procedure?

  • Do you recommend any childbirth classes?

Labor and Delivery:

  • What do you suggest to help me manage pain during labor?

  • What procedures do you routinely perform at the hospital or birth center (i.e. enemas, IVs, fetal monitoring, episiotomies, etc.)?

  • What if I don't want one of these procedures?

  • Will you help me develop a birth plan?

Questions to Ask Yourself after Interviewing a Doctor or Nurse-Midwife:

  • Did you feel comfortable with the doctor or nurse-midwife?

  • Is the office convenient?

  • How long were you kept waiting?

  • How helpful were the nurses and support staff?

After you've decided on the type of caregiver you prefer, you'll need to decide which kind of medical practice you'll be most comfortable with. The solo medical practice is one where the doctor works for himself or herself using another doctor to cover when your doctor is away or otherwise unavailable.

An OB or a family practitioner may be in a solo practice but in almost all states a nurse-midwife must work in a practice with a physician. A major advantage to a solo practice is that you see your doctor at every checkup and you have the opportunity to really get to know them and feel comfortable. A major disadvantage is that if your doctor isn't available at the time of delivery, your baby may possibly be delivered by a doctor that you've never had the chance to meet. Also, if you're seeing a doctor who's in a solo practice and you decide that things just aren't "clicking" with the doctor halfway through your pregnancy, you may be stuck unless you can afford to pick up the bill and move to a different doctor.

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