Thursday, June 24, 2010

Selecting The Right Doctor For You and Your Little One

Selecting the right doctor for you and your little one:

One of the most important and critical decisions that you make during your pregnancy is selecting a doctor for you and your little one. From the moment you break the good news that you are expecting, you will receive countless recommendations from family and friends. It is of course necessary that you take into consideration the experiences and recommendations from people you know, but don’t blindly select a doctor just because your sister or your best friend told you to. After all, a doctor who was great for a friend may not be as perfect for you.

One of the key factors that you need to keep in mind while selecting your gynae is to see how comfortable you are with the person. This doctor will be with you for at least the next nine months, if not more, and there will be moments when you will need to get really intimate – a pregnancy involves a lot of close examinations – of course you need to take this as any other doctor-patient relationship, but sometimes, having a friendly and understanding doctor as your gynae will be much more easier for you than having a doctor who hardly talks to you or rarely smiles.

These things may not seem so important right now, but try and select a doctor with whom you feel comfortable to talk. There will be many issues about which you will need to discuss with your gynae. And who better to ease your worries and share and talk about your concerns and fears than your doctor? Imagine sitting in front of a stone-faced doctor and talking about your intimate details and sitting with a smiling and understanding doctor and sharing your details….I think you are getting the picture.

A doctor who gives you a personal number is again welcome. You may experience pain in the middle of the night, or there may be something you need to absolutely check with your gynae immediately. In times like this you would wish you had the number of your own doctor, rather than calling the hospital asking for your doctor and instead being handed over to someone who is not as familiar with your case.

A very important thing you need to keep in mind is the accessibility to the doctor. You may find an amazing gynae, someone who you are comfortable talking to about all your pregnancy woes and fears and who devotes as much time for you as you need and wish. But if that doctor is, say half an hour or one hour away from where you live, it would be advisable to look for someone closer home. This could be a perfect doctor for you, but when you are in an emergency, every second is precious and you cannot afford to lose any time at all, as it can be very harmful for the little one. Getting a doctor closer home should also be a priority. After all, once the water breaks or once you are on your way as the contraptions start, you would not want to see yourself stuck in a long traffic jam, while you rave and rant in the backseat!

PRACTICAL: One thing you should know before hand is that, even if you have chosen a particular doctor to look after your pregnancy, there is no guarantee that this doctor will also be the one who will deliver the baby. Doctors work in regulated shifts and unless your doctor has a shift that day at the time your baby wants to come out, or unless there is some complication or emergency, chances are that you would have to get the delivery by a different set of doctors. But that should not be any cause for concern. Be prepared about such a scenario, it will help you at the desired time, and tell your doctor everything that is on your mind, so that she/he can in turn pass on all the required information to the team who would deliver the baby.

Sometimes, we stay with one doctor till almost the last trimester of our pregnancy, but then may move to some place else for the delivery. If this is the case with you, discuss this with your doctor. Every woman’s system varies from that of the other. In my case, I was allowed to travel by air in the first week of my eighth month. Some friends I know have been cautioned off any kind of air travel after the initial stage itself. Let your doctor know that you may move to another place for the birth and let them check you and recommend a safe travel time. No matter how fit and fine you feel, it is absolutely NOT allowed to take your own call and travel when you feel like it. Also, request your doctor to prepare a complete file for the new doctor and check if it is alright if the new gynae wishes to speak to them.

Finally, let go of your worries and inhibitions. I had a very tough time initially getting used to the various check-ups and answering the questions that were put forth. But I was lucky enough to find someone who understood all my concerns and gave me the time and support I needed. And with time I got so comfortable with her that I could actually discuss every issue I had in mind.

Believe me, it is actually best to place all trust in the hands of this one person who will eventually bring forth the miracle you and your partner are waiting for. So relax and enjoy this feeling.......
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