If your pregnancy wasn’t planned and you are thinking about adoption, chances are you have a lot on your mind. Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to make it easier for yourself. Choosing the best doctor is among the most important choices of all. Making the right decision, will make you feel much better about the care during your pregnancy. Here is what you should know before you start looking up the physicians in your area.
What is the difference between obstetricians and gynecologists?
An obstetrician is a physician specialized in the management of pregnancy, labor and the period directly following childbirth. A gynecologist is a physician specialized and educated in the health of the female reproductive system, which includes diagnosis and treatment of disorders and diseases. There is also a special training program that unifies both medical fields, and these doctors are referred to as Obstetrician/Gynecologists (OB/GYN). They usually develop unique practices, providing high-quality care for pregnant women. If you think you’re pregnant, your first step should be to consult your doctor. Your doctor will perform tests to confirm the pregnancy and advise you on choosing a specialist to monitor the pregnancy.
Do you need both an obstetrician and a gynecologist?
Nothing is stopping you from deciding on a physician who only specializes in one of the two areas, providing you hire a midwife if you choose a gynecologist over an obstetrician. Experts, however, encourage pregnant women to see both specialists and to monitor the pregnancy from the very beginning. After all, that is the only way to ensure it goes well.
What questions should you ask the potential candidates?
It is important to find a good doctor to care for you during your pregnancy, so choosing one randomly from your health insurance list is not always the best way. Ask family members, friends, or your primary care doctor for a referral. Consider whether you would prefer a male or a female doctor, especially if you feel uncomfortable during a medical exams. Before making any final decisions, meet with the OB/GYN and ask them the following questions:
- How long have you been practicing medicine?
- How many pregnancies have you seen through successfully?
- Have you had any negative experiences treating pregnant women?
- What is your opinion on adoption?
- Do you accept my health insurance?
- What are your office hours?
- If you are not available when I need to see you, who will cover for you?
Make sure you are completely comfortable with the doctor before making your decision, since that person is going to guide you through the whole of your pregnancy.
What should you expect during the visits?
The first appointment involves a general health check, as well as blood and urine tests, which will confirm your pregnancy. It might also include an ultrasound. The nurse might ask you some questions about your own and your family’s medical histories and your habits. After this, you will have to undergo a physical exam, which includes a Pap test and some other minor tests before screening and monitoring the baby. This first prenatal visit is usually the longest one, but also the most important one.