Giving birth is a very special occasion and it is something that most people don’t get to experience more than a few times in their lives. It is a big moment. Naturally you want it to go as smoothly and as hassle free as possible, but you do need to be aware that there is scope for things to go wrong. Because while it is very much a natural act, it is also one that brings with it, danger and potential life threating risks for both the mother and baby. So, assembling the right team and birth plan to help you through the big day is important, and it goes without saying that the obstetrician is a big part of the team. As a medical practitioner they tend to rank at the top of the authority chain in the whole team, which is why it is important that you can connect with the doctor you hire, and that they share the same vision that you do for the birth plan. Here are a few things to ask your doctor and which you might want to consider, before committing to somebody.
Where are they based?
When you pick a doctor, it is important to pick as much on location as on reputation. There is no point in having the best doctor in the world on your team if they are thousands of kilometres away. So, ask around in your area and find out who is recommended. Use the internet. Maybe Google something like ‘Caroline Springs obstetricians’ to see what comes up. Get a list of three or four and meet them all. Then make sure that it is not just a question of are they locally based, but also, are they scheduled to be in town on and around your due date. There is no point building a relationship with somebody who, at the critical moment, is not going to be around.
Who is the boss?
It is important to have the same philosophy on this. If you end up with a situation where you think that you are in charge and the doctor thinks that he is charge it is going to be a very awkward and upsetting day. Remember that the doctor is there to help and to facilitate the birth of your child. It is your birth and your plan. The doctor has experience and has been involved in lots of deliveries, but the doctor cannot make you do something that you don’t want to do.
What is their overall philosophy
Try to establish what the obstetrician is all about and then identify how that fits into your overall plan. If, for example, you are hoping for a home birth, but your obstetrician is a big fan of Caesarean Sections then you may well on your way to a clash of opinions. Even if the doctor says they are open to your way of doing things and live your lifestyle, you may well find subtle messaging and suggestions appearing that tend towards his way of doing things. The point is, there is no right or wrong way of doing it, there is only your way of doing it. Rather find somebody who can identify and buy into your way than another doctor for whom it is not a natural alignment.