by Aarti Kapur Singh
If you really want to know the importance of an experienced and knowledgeable co-pilot, it is best explained when you are pregnant. Every woman and every pregnancy is different. This means that all of us use different criteria for finding a doctor. However, one thing is certain. You need to be absolutely comfortable with your gynecologist, as he or she will be seeing you through your thrilling nine-month journey, ending with the delivery of your bundle of joy. A good gynecologist ensures a healthy pregnancy and baby. This may take some time, but it is worth doing your research and choosing someone you feel comfortable with.
Often family members have a common gynecologist because it is easier to see someone known, tried, and tested than to look for a new doctor. Do not feel bad about wanting someone else if for some reason you are not comfortable with the gynecologists that your other family members have been happy with. It is about your health and your body so you have to be satisfied.
Here are a few tips to help you make your choice:
There is nothing wrong with being particular about standards when it comes to your gynecologist. After all, your gynecologist is privy to some of the most intimate facets of your sexuality, body, and overall health.
1. Start with the website of the hospital she is affiliated to. This should tell you about the doctor’s medical credentials and how long she has been practicing. It may highlight her particular areas of interest or experience as well.
2. See if the gynecologist is also an obstetrician. If she isn’t you will need to see a different doctor at the time of your delivery because only obstetricians are qualified to deliver babies.
3. Sometimes, the gynecologist might have her own nursing home or clinic, and be a visiting doctor in a hospital. In this case, you can ask around among your friends, family, colleagues or your own general physician. You are bound to find someone who goes to that particular gynecologist. If not, you will probably hear of a good gynecologist you might want to consider.
You will be meeting your gynecologist often over the course of your pregnancy and most frequently at the end of your pregnancy when you have a big baby bump. Lord forbid not, the gynecologist also needs to be accessible for any emergency. So before settling on one, it is worth considering how accessible he or she is. This also includes the distance you need to travel for appointments.
1. If you work, you might prefer a doctor who is along the way to your office so you can meet her before or after your office hours. It shouldn’t be too far from home though because you will probably leave from home for your delivery and that is not a time you want to spend hours on the road!
2. The doctor’s accessibility also means how busy she is. Good doctors are always busy, but you don’t want a doctor who always seems too busy to take her time with you or answer your questions. Find out how she deals with emergency calls as well as non-emergency queries. You also need to know how long you would usually have to wait for routine appointments and how long do they take. And if there is an emergency, how quickly can she see you if you feel unwell?
3. The time your gynecologist spends with you is sometimes the most important criterion, especially for first-time parents-to-be. You need a gynecologist who is not rushing from one appointment to another without pausing. You need someone who is relaxed no matter how many more patients are waiting after you. You need someone patient enough to answer all your questions, no matter how minor it might sound.
3. Trust and comfort
Once you have shortlisted a few doctors you would like to meet, schedule an appointment with them to help you decide which one to stick with.
Over the course of your nine months, you will form a bond with your gynecologist. Even if the relationship ends with the delivery, most mums remember the doctor who helped deliver their baby with fondness. You need to be able to trust your gynecologist to make the right decisions for you at short notice during birth and to give you the necessary information and advice to have a healthy pregnancy and baby.
This trust might grow as you progress in your pregnancy but you can already decide a lot in your first meeting. When you go for your first appointment, ask yourself the following questions:
1. Does the gynecologist answer your questions willingly?
2. Is she friendly and responsive?
3. Do you feel comfortable asking her personal medical questions?
4. Does she seem up-to-date in her knowledge?
5. Is she listening to your concerns and answering accordingly?
6. Is she gentle during her check-up?
7. Does she seem to care about your comfort?
If you don’t feel comfortable with this doctor at your first meeting, try another one.
Also, a good gynecologist should also be there for the post-natal care. If she is rude or apprehensive about helping you with your post-pregnancy queries, then you should never feel obligated to continue seeing any other doctor. Tell us in the comments below, how you found the right gynae for yourself.
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