Choosing the Right Obstetrician and Hospital

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If you are pregnant already, or seriously thinking about getting pregnant and planning ahead, picking the best obstetrician to follow your pregnancy and the best hospital for you to have your baby may be one of the most important decisions you make. The right doctor and hospital are critical to having a good experience, as well as a good outcome – meaning the baby is healthy and so are you after delivery.

After collecting as much of this information as possible, you should have an idea about which hospital you prefer, as well as the names of some doctors.

Depending on where you live and what you want, you may have few choices or many choices. Often, the obstetrician and hospital go hand in hand. You can start by looking for an obstetrician, and then look at the hospital(s) he or she uses; or you can pick a hospital, and then try and meet obstetricians who do deliveries at the hospital you like best. 

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You may not have made a birth plan yet, but you should have some idea of what you want. If you think you might want an epidural for pain control, you have to pick a hospital with anesthesiologists who can give you one. If you plan on a “natural” delivery and want to be able to do things, like walk around, sit in a bathtub, or deliver in a sitting position, you need a hospital with a birthing room that allows that, as well as a doctor who is sympathetic.

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Here are some of the factors to consider if you are anticipating a normal delivery. If you have significant medical problems, or there are concerns about the baby’s health, you would look at this process differently. But let’s assume everything will go well. If you are thinking about a home birth and/or a midwife, the information here will not be specific enough to help you.

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Do you know an obstetrician? Perhaps you are already seeing the doctor who you want to take care of you during your pregnancy. If your doctor does not do obstetrics, can he or she recommend anyone? If not, you can ask family and friends for recommendations. If you are new to an area, you can try to talk to women you meet who have had babies. You might get a recommendation from someone at work, church, or any other place where you are meeting new people.

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You may have an idea of whether you want a male or female obstetrician. Keep that in mind.

If you are able to gather a list of promising names, you can either set up appointments to meet with each doctor, or check which hospitals they use first.

What do you think?

Choosing the Right Obstetrician and Hospital

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37 comments

  1. Profile photo of sheenaholman sheenaholman says:

    Love my doctor and the hospital is only three minutes from my house!

  2. I’m not crazy about the doctors I see, but the midwife is amazing. I am hoping to have her deliver my baby. Also, most of the nurses on staff are good and they spend the most time with you anyway…

  3. Profile photo of JamJam JamJam says:

    My docotor was really terrible. treated me bad because im so young. so i switched to a midwife and that was the best choice i have ever made! this is my first child so its so nice how she goes over every single step with me

  4. Profile photo of brittney brittney says:

    I do NOT like my doctor!! He is pretty much still a student! Let me tell you how anxious i am to meet my little baby and about the anxiety i have about something happening to him! I worry about my baby all the time so when i go to the doctor i shouldnt be laying on the table for 20 minutes freaking out because my doctor can’t find little boys heart beat and has to have somone else come in and find it, but i do. Im 27 weeks pregnant and getting ready to really decide if its time for a new doctor.

  5. I have the best doctors at the hospital for this pregnancy. Hopefully everything goes well!

  6. Profile photo of ErinF ErinF says:

    As an update, my OB appointment was very disappointing. The office wasn’t very communicative, took me late without explanation, and didn’t tell me that I needed bloodwork–I had to call and ask after the appointment because I thought it odd that I hadn’t had any–and I still don’t know what tests they did, because half of the results haven’t gone into my chart yet, when the lab tech said that these results should be available within a couple of days. The MA pretty much shut down when I mentioned that I was planning a homebirth as long as the pregnancy was uncomplicated, and she told me that I couldn’t see the doctor for concurrent care unless I committed to driving half an hour to the hospital to deliver. I definitely will not be back to that office and will be seeking recommendations for backup OBs from my midwife.

  7. Profile photo of ErinF ErinF says:

    I’m a little anxious about finding an OB that clicks with me. My first OB appointment is in 3 weeks, and I’ve learned that she only delivers at a hospital 20 miles away. My ideal birth is at home with a midwife/doula, as long as I have an uncomplicated pregnancy, and fortunately there’s a birthing center close by if I decide on that route instead. The birthing center is outside my regular hospital system, though, so I’d have to check what’s covered by insurance.

  8. Profile photo of Hope Hope says:

    We have a doctor and hospital as a back up in case something goes wrong at the home birth.

  9. Profile photo of vonney vonney says:

    I have been with the same doc. I am not comfortable with the hospital I have to choose because my Doctor is striking at the hospital that i am comfortable with.

  10. Profile photo of Julie Julie says:

    I decided to go with a doctor that I was comfortable with. The office that I go to has several different doctor’s and after a few of them I found the one! They all used the same hospital which was the one I wanted.

  11. This was very hard for me to do because I found out that my doc was covered my insurance but the hospital and lab work were not. Now I need to find a new doc.

  12. i picked the hospital that i was most comfortable with and the one that is closest to my home

  13. Profile photo of Kristin Kristin says:

    I feel good about the doc and hospital i picked so far. just starting in a new area and even though im working on kid number three things change so often that its hard to find someone to work with you the way you want. i already have my birth plan set up and i already have a lot of ideas in place for later on. 😀

  14. Profile photo of melissa melissa says:

    i hopei picked the right one

  15. I see some of the ladies here are in the same position as I am. With army there is not much of a choice when it comes to hospitals. But I was able to go through and choose my midwife/obgyn

  16. With the army you don’t have much choice but I have a female, midwife/OBgyn and she is awesome. She lets me be in control and just gives me the info I need to decide.

  17. Profile photo of Annalicia Annalicia says:

    With the Air force you don’t have a choice but to go with women health. I am seeing a NP and she is amazing.

  18. Profile photo of stephani stephani says:

    Well with the Army I didnt have much choice I loved my appt mid wife but the one that was there the big day was awful so look into it if you have a choice and meet everyone that could be there if you doc is not on call that day

  19. Profile photo of MLS MLS says:

    If you have been through this then you already know where you want to go but if not consider the distance in the ride on your special day, n if it is convenient for the visits before the big day.

  20. Profile photo of Sasoo Sasoo says:

    The research is worth it. The peace of mind you feel in the end puts it all in perspective.

  21. Profile photo of Laura Laura says:

    I feel your pain. I found out I was pregnant after more than half of my pregnancy was already OVER, and at that point, the OBGYN clinic we went to locked us into a certain hospital when we wanted another one that was closer to home!! I hate being told what to do. I’m pretty peeved. We had our Doc picked for us, practically!

  22. Profile photo of Rosie2day Rosie2day says:

    I am going with a midwife this time

  23. For my husband and I, this will be out first child. We fear not being able to find the right one and possibly having to settle.

  24. Profile photo of Grace Grace says:

    i lived in different states with each child. i currently have a doctor but am changing next week because we just moved, i dread finding doctors/midwifes/etc. I really don’t like when they try to push you into doing something you are not comfortable doing. or when they have God complexs.i need to start doing my research to see what hospitals are in my area…… my hubby is military and may be out of town when i go into labor so I really need to find a place close because of that and the fact i have no family here….

  25. Profile photo of brandy brandy says:

    i used the same ob as with my first child

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