Let's face it, first time (and even second and third time) mothers have a lot going on as their new baby grows in their belly. Fellow mamas can recite their own birthing horror stories as if they had already told them a thousand times. And, honestly, they probably have. Looking up any quirky pregnancy side effect always sends any expectant mother into a frenzy of holistic medicines and home fetal dopplers.
But if all of that isn't enough, they have to potentially deal with an OBGYN who, as the pregnancy progresses, is suddenly nothing like you had imagined. A relationship with your OB as you move along in your pregnancy can be the difference between enjoying your special time with your little one and wanting to just give birth already so that you don't have to see the doc every single week anymore.
That isn't fair, by any stretch of the imagination. A healthy, open, and even cordial relationship with your doctor will make you look forward to every appointment, and not just because of the possibility of seeing your little bean on the Sonogram. The right kind of doctor can make you feel like a fiend, someone who won't shoot down questions or worries while making you feel as if you're simply paranoid.
Which, in turn, does nothing to help those sleepless nights worrying about the number of kicks you're feeling or the sudden insane bouts of heartburn.
But to find that special doctor to see you through your pregnancy and help you to enjoy it, you must first weed out those who just make you wonder how they're even still practicing and maintaining patients. Lucky for you, we've figured out which types of doctors to avoid while getting through your 40 weeks of what should be bliss. Except, of course, for the swollen ankles, perpetual bathroom breaks, acid reflux and stretch marks. But we'll get to that another time.
8 Dr. Huh?
As in, the doctor who uses so much jargon that you have to look up just what they were talking about when you get home. Of course having a doctor who knows what they're talking about is important and even necessary, but who are they trying to impress? You need someone who can answer your questions in words you can actually understand and make that co-pay worth every penny.
Hearing your doctor refer to the top of your uterus as your "fundus" doesn't actually sound very fun and actually makes one think of some sort of unwelcome fungi. And instead of them jotting down "LOA" (Left occipito anterior) in their notes for you to take home, how about just telling you that the back of your baby's head is positioned to the left?
7 Dr. Never There
It's a given that doctors are busy by nature. Call it a job hazard. And it's even understandable when you're waiting on the paper lined table as they go in and out of the other rooms before coming to yours. But when, time and time again, you go in for an appointment and a different doctor in the practice sees you each time, it gets to be a bit much.
The whole process of having a baby relies heavily on a successful doctor-patient relationship that is cultivated over those nine (ish) months. How can you do that with Dr. So and So and Dr. What's His Face?
What's the point in having a doctor if you can never see them?
On the one hand, it is almost reassuring to be in the hands of a doctor that is so in demand that they are always wanted and needed by another patient. But on the other end of things, being overworked does not a reliable and calm doctor make.
No, you may not be guaranteed your awesome doctor on the date you finally give birth to your little sprout, but at the very least, in the months and weeks leading up to it, you deserve to have them there with you instead of being faced with their overcrowded calendar and colleagues taking over your exams. Getting used to one OB down there was enough, let alone allowing a new visitor every appointment.
6 Dr. Condescending
This type of doc can make you feel pretty low in the blink of an eye. Or, however long your prenatal appointment is. They're knowledgeable and they know it. They also know that you are at their mercy when it comes to that specific knowledge. So to them, you should heed every bit of advice and refrain from asking too many questions. Because in their eyes, many of those questions are stupid ones.
Does "You are not going into labor, you really should have kept better track of your contraction times" sound familiar? Then, you guessed it, you have been blessed (read: cursed) with Dr. Condescending. Please, quick, ditch that doc.
You don't need to be treated like a child when you're expecting one
Now, don't confuse their condescending nature with pure rudeness or mean-spiritedness. For some doctors, it is a trait that comes naturally and isn't meant to be taken too personally. But whatever makes you uncomfortable or simply unhappy is a big no-no when you are settling on your OBGYN.
5 Dr. Newbie
While there is nothing wrong with an OBGYN fresh out of med school - hey, they have to start somewhere - for your first pregnancy at least, having a well-seasoned professional is best to keep you at ease. Nothing says "two-headed baby" like your fresh faced doctor hurrying out of the sonogram room in search of an elder doc.
Of course there are the upsides to having a usually optimistic newbie for a doctor. That is, they typically share in the wonder and excitement of your pregnancy as you are experiencing it and are almost learning along the way with you. Which would be swell if you and your precious little one weren't at the mercy of this formerly pimple-faced med school grad.
You don't want them to make a mistake with you
But since you're both at their mercy, if you'd rather someone more on the gray side, you'd better move along.
4 Dr. "If I Were You"
If you have a doctor who has children of their own, you may get that one who is just so secure in their own birthing story that they think everyone else should do it an identical way. While advice from more experienced parents is always something to welcome and learn from, no birth or pregnancy is the same and this doctor unfortunately refuses to believe that.
Well, you're not me!
Once you are far along enough in your pregnancy to be at the receiving end of all of your aunts and sisters and formerly pregnant friends, you're more than familiar with unsolicited gems of advice. So the last place that you need even more of that would be your gyno's office. In a way, it should be a safe space, free from the "should" and "shouldn'ts".
3 Dr. Firm Beliefs
Another version of Dr. If I Were You, Dr. Firm Beliefs takes it a step above that and feels the need to impart their strong ideas on you. I.e. the absolute necessity to breast feed no matter what, or the insistence on circumcision. And even though you have the right to make your own decisions regarding these factors in your baby's life, it's hard not to trust your doctor and mirror their advice. But with this doc, mimicking them won't necessarily be the outcome you envision.
There's nothing wrong with having strong opinions by any means, but as a doctor, it is their responsibility to leave it at the door and to show you more than just one side of things. Likewise, they should be hearing you and what you have to say, instead of waiting for any break in speaking to add in more of their heavy input.
Keep you beliefs to yourself!
Your OB is there to give you every option when it comes to your child's development and life. Instead, Dr. Firm Beliefs considers their place to be one which tries hard to sway you in one specific direction. Which, again, is not the best situation for you or baby.
2 Dr. Blasé
Almost too relaxed, this doctor is on the very far other end of the spectrum. They tend to be more laid back, which is all well and good until you turn to them for real advice and guidance with your pregnancy. Of course you don't want someone who only has one perspective - their own - but you also want someone who is a happy medium of the two.
As in, a doctor who can give you all of the options, instead of just one or none. Dr. Blasé feels as if you should just go with what you feel is right and stick to it, no big deal. Yeah, right. Because it's that easy during a pregnancy.
You want to feel like they care
It's bad enough that you will be facing the decision of what seems like a hundred different diaper brands, and scented or natural wipes, or bottles versus nipples. Those confusing decisions should be made later, on your own, but while you're pregnant, it is up to your doctor to give you guidance.
1 Dr. Pessimist
We're all for being realistic and getting the surefire facts, but Dr. Pessimist is your "worst case scenario" doc. They don't give you information intending to worry you by any means, but they are so meticulous in their medical knowledge that they are too quick to give you those scenarios you were trying to avoid finding online. Having a smart, all knowing doctor is a good thing. Having one who is all but a cold robot? Not so much.
Your baby seems a bit low. His feet are facing down. His movements are too quick. Her kicks are too infrequent. The comments go on and on and many times, they aren't with much merit. Regardless of what Dr. Pessimist's goal is, they tend to use scare tactics more often than necessary.
Finding a good OBGYN and maintaining a healthy relationship are both none too easy to come by. Sure, you may get lucky and get paired with your dream doctor to see you through your pregnancy and beyond. But there is always the possibility of going through a few duds first. And the important thing to remember is that you do indeed have a choice in who treats you and guides you through your 40 weeks of wonder - give or take.
If you have any doubts in your doctor, that is sign enough that they are no longer the doctor for you.
Don't get caught up in any pressure to stick with a doctor you feel anything less than comfortable with. And, chances are, they can take it if you need to move along to greener pastures. Nine (ish) months is a long time to spend under the care of a perpetually negative, overly opinionated, too lax, or too new doctor.