Choosing a doctor at such an important time of your life can be difficult. Especially if you’re originally from a country where choice of doctors is not an option, it can be confusing knowing what questions to ask and understanding what to look for when making your decision.
However, it’s important to get it right as your doctor will be with you at one the most vulnerable points in your life. It’s crucial that you feel comfortable enough with this person to tell them exactly what you want and need and also that you trust them to look after you through this bewildering yet amazing process.
To help our clients in this essential task, we spoke to Cecile De Scally, long term Dubai midwife and well known birth and baby expert at Malaak Mama and Baby Care about what to look for when choosing your obstetrician.
Cecile’s first piece of advice is to seek help from others. She says “When you fall pregnant, if you haven’t had a longstanding relationship with a particular doctor, then you may want to ask the UAE Mama community for recommendations. A personal referral to someone will always make a mother more comfortable as it’s a tried and tested option and not based on advertising.”
However, what’s good for one person, may not be good for another. Also, you may end up getting so many recommendations that it’s still hard to choose which one might be right for you. Another way to approach the decision is to start with the hospital.
Cecile says “The location of a hospital and the ease of reaching it once labour has started should be considered and may be a deciding factor as well. Some mothers may wish to give birth in a particular clinic as it’s close to home or has the right facilities that they would like to use during birth such as a water birth.”
Another key point to consider is your insurance. Not all insurance policies cover every doctor and every hospital. Check the details with your provider before you make your decision. It’s worth remembering that birth can be expensive if you do decide to go with a facility or a doctor who is not covered by your insurance so make sure you do your sums before making a final choice. Even if one hospital isn’t covered, you may still be able to use a particular doctor as some work in multiple locations. Check with your practitioner which clinics they use.
When you’ve narrowed down your selection, it’s a really good idea to meet with a doctor before you fully commit. Cecile explains “visiting a possible doctor always gives you a good understanding and feeling of how comfortable you are. Asking questions about their practice and beliefs is a good way to get an understanding of the way they see birth. Birth is unpredictable and having a good understanding of a practitioner, as well as the facilities available and their caesarean section rate may influence your decision.”
So what do you do if you like the hospital but not the doctor or vice versa? Think carefully advises Cecile, “both the hospital and the doctor are important to the outcome of your birth, their philosophy and ability to care for you in the way you wish to birth is really important.”
“This is a very intimate relationship that you are forming and trust is a large part of this. Open communication and ensuring that all options will be offered through the journey of pregnancy and birth is paramount; knowing your wishes will always be respected and you will be kept informed and allowing you to be part of all decisions cannot be underplayed.”
Once you’ve chosen your doctor, you will have all your tests, scans and check ups with them throughout your pregnancy. If you are unsure about the way things are progressing, don’t panic, you can still change your mind and your doctor, however it’s best not to leave it too late says Cecile. She adds “The closer to your birth you are; the less likely a new doctor is to accept you as a client. You have the right to make a choice and have a practitioner that will best meet your needs, but it may be difficult to get to know someone new late in pregnancy and for them to get a good understanding of your needs and ensure they give the best care possible. So definitely the earlier the better!”
The key to choosing the right doctor, as with many things in life, is to go with your instincts and trust your gut feel advises Cecile. “At the end of the day it all comes down to whether you feel comfortable with the doctor, the way they answer your questions, their experience, credentials and style. If you are about to choose your doctor, it would be best to start your research as early as possible, so you have time to assess whether this person is the right one for you throughout your pregnancy and parenting journey.”
For more baby and parenting advice and workshops contact Malaak Mama & Baby Care Tel: +971 4 4538164 | Email: email@example.com