Thursday, April 22, 2010

The OB Debate

I mentioned a few posts ago that we're thinking of switching our practioner.  Right now, we're with an OB practice in Towson, MD.  They were recommended to me when I first found out I was pregnant, before I had made the decision t try to go natural.

Since doing all of this birthing research, I have been following some advice.  Normally, you don't start talking about giving birth until late in your third trimester.  But instead, I've been talking about giving birth naturally and our goals every time we go in (in our defense, we see one of three doctors each time we go in - so we want to make sure each of them is aware of our goal and is comfortable with our wishes).  I mentioned awhile ago that one of the doctors seemed pretty rushed when we wanted to talk about it.  I wasn't thrilled with her response.

Then I discussed it with the only male doctor (who is my fave of all of them) and as always, he responded really well and seemed very supportive.  He's the one who said I was fine not to be hooked up to an IV, to be able to move about (not in bed), and that they would just like to monitor baby's heartbeat for about 10 minutes per hour.

Last week, I called the office to ask some questions.  I called to ask what percentage of their first-time moms end up with c-sections.  The office manager called me back but said they don't keep that kind of information.  She was very nice about it, trying to reassure me that they only perform c-sections "when it's medically necessary."  I explained that that wasn't the type of answer I was looking for and that most likely, any doctor would probably say the exact same thing.  Who would really admit that they perform c-sections for convenience?  I explained why I wanted to know the information and our goal to go drug and intervention free.  Although she was nice about it, she basically came up with lots of reasons why they either don't have the information, or that it's not available for me. 

It made me skeptical.  I didn't need to be reassured of my care - I needed to know that they are transparent in their practices and will fully support our birthing wishes.  I know that if something goes wrong, they are fantastic at handling those situations.  But if things don't go wrong, I want them to let my body do what it is supposed to do, and let me be.  I was very sad when I got off the phone that day.  It made me question whether we're with the right practice.  I've been rushed by one doctor, and my questions haven't been answered by another member.

So I set off to find out some recommendations from others.  I emailed the neighborhood listserv for recommendations for either an OBGYN or midwifery practice in the Baltimore area, supportive of natural births, in a hospital setting, who have experience with hypnobirthing.  I got tons of responses!  And even got a recommendation for an OB/midwife group who have privileges at the hospital we're currently supposed to deliver at.  I also was put into contact with a couple doulas in the region who gave their recommendations for some practices.  Finally, I heard from a few women who delivered with my current OBGYN group, and heard good stories.  The last piece of information made me relax a bit, knowing that even if we don't switch, other women who have wanted similar birthing experiences as us have had those births realized.

As of right now, my next appointment is a week from tomorrow.  I plan on consulting with another practice to see who I like better.  Then I will make a decision from there!  I am a little nervous that we're thinking of switching so late in the pregnancy - but I've heard of lots of women who switch so I can't worry about that.  I know I will wonder whether this is right for us if I don't look into another practice. 

The thing I am learning through all of this is that you have to be comfortable with the doctor caring for you.  Bringing your child into the world is quite possibly one of the most amazing experiences one will have in their lifetime, and I want to make sure that in that moment, I am confident and comfortable with the care I am receiving so that I can focus on this momentous event in our lives.

I'll let you know what we decide!


  1. That's so awesome that you were able to get some good recommendations of others to try out - there is nothing wrong with finding a practice you feel more comfortable with! We all have different communication styles, and it's basically a given that not every patient will connect with every doctor.

    Since it seems like you've had a textbook pregnancy with no issues, I'm sure it will be just fine for you to hop on over to another practice. Good luck!

  2. Did you ask those woman who delivered with your current practice which doctor was on call when they delivered. It is possible that they delivered with the doctor that was supportive of your birthing goals. Also, something to think about... the OB is generally only there a small portion of your labor...usually only right before you deliver and to ocassionally check in on you. If someone is not there advocating that you dont need to be hooked up to an IV etc the nursing staff is probably going to push you to do it as its usually standard. Make sure it is on your chart that it is okayed by the doctor. My oldest 2 sons were delievered via a mid-wife/OB practice and the midwife was there with me for a majority/all of my labor/delivery. I went natural with both of them. Just something to think about.

  3. You are right. You have to be comfortable with your doctor! But keep in mind your health is the most important thing. I am not pro switching or staying since I don't really know your situation but here's a story: I have a friend who REALLY wanted a natural birth. That was the plan, everyone was on board. She never even looked into what having a C section would mean..she just knew she wanted it natural. Well fastforward to delivery and things went wrong and she had to have a c section. The one thing she told me after was that she wished she kept a more open mind and knew what would happen with a C section. She was extremely depressed afterwards...all that I"m saying is that remember doctors NORMALLY do what they have to do to delivery the baby safely for you and the baby....
    Ok long speech over:) Good luck in your choice!


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