When an expectant mom trusts her obstetrician/gynecologist completely, it automatically results in better decisions for your baby. Obstetrician/gynecologist Dr. Erik Muraskas speaks about the benefits this relationship will have on your unborn baby.
According to the doctor, mothers should think ahead right at the beginning of their pregnancy and choose a gynecologist wisely.
“This is your baby and your body and your life,” Muraskas said. “This is about you, not the doctor. You need to feel comfortable.”
He feels almost all gynecologists are also obstetricians and beginning a relationship with a good ob/gyn early on makes a nice transition when the issue of pregnancy comes up.
On average, a pregnant woman meets her doctor 14 times during the course of pregnancy and this, according to Dr. Muraskas, is a good figure to create a level of understanding between the mom and the doctor. This interaction becomes very important during labor.
The best advice about a particular ob./gyn. can come from someone who works in the field. If a mom is acquainted to a nurse or any other person involved with the hospital or the medical field, that person’s suggestions are noteworthy. He also notes that while most women refer to an obstetrician that a friend suggested, it is not always an ideal choice.
“Probably the best reference you can get is from the labor and delivery nurses,” he said. “For the most part, where they trained doesn’t really mean much … Everybody looks good on paper.”
When looking for a doctor women should first determine what they want from a doctor. Some women may prefer an obstetrician with a large practice and a large staff while some may not.
“When you have a four-, five-, or six-person group,” he said, “that’s good for the doctors because they will have to be on call less. But you have to realize when you’re seeing a large group, you will see probably every doctor over your pregnancy, and you may end up being delivered by a person you’ve seen only one time or someone you don’t even like.”
The expert believes that it is also a wise choice for a woman to have an initial consultation with a doctor before becoming a patient. This helps her in getting to know the general way a particular doctor handles pregnancies.
Moms can prepare a little before the consultation and find out more about pregnancy, labor etc. This will help them ask specific questions to the doctor.
Dr. Muraska advises that at a consultation, know about the caesarean rate of the doctor, whether they use vacuum or forceps for deliveries, if they do epidurals and when, and whether he will be your only doctor.
“And ask him, ‘What’s the chance of your being there for the delivery, and not another doctor?’?” he said.
Another important piece of advice he gives is to know if the doctor’s personality and way of thinking is meshing with yours. This will be valuable in the months leading up to the delivery when crucial decisions regarding both the mother and the baby will have to be made.
“If you are feeling rushed,” he said, “it’s not going to be any different during labor.”
Moms-to-be should ask the doctor specifically about medications to take during pregnancy. He says it’s within the first 10 weeks of pregnancy when the baby’s are most affected by what a mother eats and babies during this time may be hurt by smoking, alcohol, and certain medications.
“If you don’t really need something in the first 10 to 12 weeks of pregnancy, don’t take it,” he said. “And there are some medications that are a complete no-no during pregnancy.”
It is therefore all the more important to develop a trusted relationship with a gynecologist or obstetrician early in the pregnancy who can advise on diet, medications etc.
These initial criteria of choosing a doctor, who knows exactly what you want with your pregnancy and at the time of delivery, can make the final experience of childbirth more trouble free, planned and happy.
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