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When I was 20 weeks pregnant, I learned that I had gestational diabetes. As a healthy person in a normal weight range and with no history of diabetes, I was stunned. So, when I asked my OBGYN how this could be, she looked me square in the eye and said, “well, at 37, you really have no business having babies, honey you’re too old.’ To say I was pissed was an understatement. That day, I called no fewer than a dozen other OBGYN’s to interview someone new. Here is what I learned.
While I was definitely seeing white-hot rage after my unfortunate meeting with that awful OBGYN, I will say that making decisions while pregnant can be a tad tricky for me. Since there is basically a flood of hormones racing at breakneck speed throughout a pregnant body, emotions can run high, no doubt. So, while I may have been incredibly certain about my feelings that I needed a new doctor, I still ran the scenario by a few trusted family members for advice on what to do. They all came to the same conclusion as me: that doctor had to go.
The Question of Insurance
Before you ask all of your questions, though, the most important question is whether or not a new doctor will accept your insurance. It is noteworthy that if you decide not to go the traditional OBGYN route and you opt for a midwife, you may not have to worry about insurance but you will have to pay out of pocket. The average rate for midwives varies state by state. But be prepared to pay in the neighborhood of $8,000 before your due date.
Start Calling Around
Ask your friends and family who they have had experience with and who they trust. It is worth finding out if a potential new doctor has high or low rates of cesarean births if they are open to natural birthing options, how strongly they feel about epidurals, and how likely they are to honor your birth plan. Write our all your questions that address these concerns and be ready when you start dialing to get ready to advocate for yourself.
What Is Most Important to You?
Not every mama has the same idea of a blissful labor experience. For some, a natural birth in a tub surrounded by friends is exactly what the doctor ordered. For others, a full-on epidural in a hospital is where it’s at. There is no shame in any of those options! But it is important that you be honest with yourself and your potential doctor about what you want out of the experience. And while no labor has ever gone 100% according to plan, you can at least hedge your bets that things will go well with some solid planning.
You Found A New Doc, Now What?
Make an appointment! You’ll want to see your new doctor as soon as possible to lay the groundwork for a happy labor, most especially if you’re switching doctors close past the 20-week (or halfway) mark. Your new doctor, with your permission, will be able to get your charts for you so you don’t have to worry about breaking up with a doctor you didn’t like anyway.
The number one piece of advice all moms should know is that your intuition is real and it’s important to listen to it. If you don’t feel heard or respected by a healthcare giver then you are absolutely within your right to speak up or find someone new. All parents deserve to be treated with kindness and with safety and health in mind by their healthcare providers. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!
Want to read more:
- 6 Surprising Ways Your OB-GYN Can Help You
- My First Visit to the Ob-Gyn with My Pregnant Wife
- The Real ABCs of Pregnancy