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Choosing the Right Pregnancy Doctor

There’s one thing you should understand from the very beginning of your pregnancy – pregnant women aren’t sick. Pregnancy isn’t a disease. So why is pregnancy treated like a clinical condition? You, as a pregnant woman, can have the pregnancy you want – let no one tell you otherwise. Your choice of a pregnancy doctor will have a direct impact on the pregnancy experience you have.

Make no mistake – this is an experience, and you can control much of that experience. So, the first order of business is deciding what kind of experience you want to have. A good place to start is with is deciding how much involvement you want. How much direct influence do you want in the decision making process? Are you prepared to undertake a rigid program of diet and exercise to profoundly influence the outcome of the pregnancy? Or do you want a more passive approach, where the pregnancy seems to “happen” to you and your baby? There’s no right answer for every woman, so you should decide that before you talk to any doctor.

Typically, disease states happen to you. You don’t plan for a heart attack. You aren’t, for the most part, in control of the situation. You want it over as soon as possible and you want others to take the lead in dealing with the issues and problems that arise. Pregnancy isn’t this way, unless you choose it to be. Unfortunately, there are still doctors who feel this way and will be glad to “do” a pregnancy for you and your child. This is the old way of thinking – also called “knock ’em out and drag ’em out.” The hallmark of this methodology is ease for the doctor and the staff.

Taking this path will place a great deal of responsibility on the doctor and the hospital, so if you go this way, do yourself a favor and check out the specific outcomes and history for the doctor you’re considering. If he has 75 percent rate of Caesarean sections, then your likelihood of having a Caesarean section is 75 percent – without taking any other factors into consideration. Do a majority of the babies he delivers go to the NICU, even if just for a little while? If so, expect yours to go there too.

Conversely, do you want more control of the birthing process? Are you ready to put the necessary time into researching the effectiveness and outcomes of different delivery procedures? Are you ready to be involved at each step of the pregnancy, eating the best diet and doing the right exercises for the nine months leading up to your delivery? Do you look at your pregnancy as an event that you can positively influence, like an athlete who influences outcomes with proper training? If so, you should find doctors and practices that will support you, and not hinder you. Trust us – they are out there.

The great thing about preparing for your delivery is that you can ask these questions of all the doctor’s you’re considering to find out what kind of a practice you’re getting into. Rates of Caesarean section are a good indicator – more C-sections adds up to a more interventionist practice. Another indicator is how they respond to your questions. If they meet inquires with a sense of superiority and veiled hostility, know that is what you’ll get in the delivery room.

Barring any unexpected medical problems, you’ll get the birth you plan for and prepare for – and the doctor you choose will give you exactly what he plans to as well. Know exactly what you’re getting into – it’s up to you to make that good, bad or indifferent.

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