On the long list of to-dos that come with having a baby, finding a doctor for your pregnancy is pretty high up on the list. In this month’s installment of Chronicles of a First-Time Mom, moms-to-be Patrice King (due April 8), Nic Campbell (due April 30), and Rochelle Dorset (due May 10) tell us how they found the person who will serve such a major role on the big day.
How did you choose your doctor?
Patrice: Deciding [who] to use was a very long process. Before we started trying to get pregnant, I went for a preconception check-in January 2014, and then I spent weeks scouring Google and health grades, and reading people’s reviews. I watched a couple of birth documentaries and some of the doctors were based in New York City, so I thought maybe I should try looking up some of those people.
Then I started to look based on where I wanted to give birth. I initially wanted to give birth at a birth center. Unfortunately there’s only one birthing center in New York City; it’s in Brooklyn and I live in Upper Manhattan, so I figured if I were going into labor, it might be unrealistic to get all the way out [there]. The next closest birthing center was housed in a hospital on the West Side, but none of those doctors’ reviews blew me away. I gave up on my search for a little while. Then randomly—I must’ve gotten bored one day—I decided to try to find an OB again. The OB that I’m currently using had great reviews, and when I met her, I loved her.
Nicole Campbell: I found my doctor through a referral/recommendation from my regular OB/GYN. I then took a look at his online reviews and loved what I saw. My husband and I met him for the first time when I was about nine weeks along and he was everything the reviews said: friendly, knowledgable, and willing to answer all sorts of questions, particularly from a first-time mom.
Because I live in New Jersey and work in NYC—a couple of doors down from the doctor, actually—we started thinking about delivery and where exactly made the most sense for us to have the baby. We finally decided that fighting tunnel and crosstown traffic was not the best option and we would should explore options in New Jersey, closer to where we live. I did another set of searches and landed on a wonderful practice with very high reviews. I went in to meet the doctors and had the same experience with them as I did with the doctor in New York. It is a six doctor practice so any of those doctors may be present for the birth, but you are encouraged to meet with each doctor beforehand so that you are familiar with everyone. So far, all of the doctors I have met have been amazing.
Although the choice to switch was a difficult one, we are very happy that we were able to find a practice that fit us so perfectly. And now we do not have to worry about the tunnel or unpredictable crosstown traffic.
Rochelle Dorset: Choosing my doctor was easy. First I asked my general practitioner to give me her recommends for an OB/GYN, and I called her list and saw who took my insurance. Once I found a couple of them who did, I read a couple of reviews on Yelp and decided on [a] practice that had really good reviews.
I started going there before I was pregnant, but saw a different doctor than the one I see now. Once I became pregnant, I began to see my current doctor. She is awesome: very caring, accessible, and patient with my millions of questions.
Unfortunately, the practice she belongs to can’t guarantee that she will actually deliver the baby—it’s whoever is on call the day you go into labor. So at about 30 weeks, they put you on rotation to meet the other doctors. So far, I have been pleased with everyone I have met.
Have you decided where you’re going to give birth? How did you make your decision?
P: Once I found the OB that I liked, I’m just delivering out of the hospital that she practices out of, which is Mount Sinai. I’m scheduled to do a tour of the hospital—we’ll see how that goes. Hopefully I’ll like it.
N: I would rather be in a place where all options are available to me. I talked to a lot of friends who have had babies, and they really stressed having all available options. So the hospital seemed to me to be that place. Right now we’re trying to decide on the hospital, because I live in Jersey City, but I work in New York. The doctor I’ve been seeing is in New York, but I’ve been talking to some doctors in Jersey, because we have to make that decision pretty soon. The thing we’ve been worried about is to get to the city from where we are, you have to go through the Holland Tunnel. Some days you can get through it in a couple minutes, but during rush hour it can be a real wait, and you can’t predict when it’ll be. But we really love our doctor in the city, so we’ve just been doing a lot hospital tours to see which hospital we like the best.
R: I wanted to do it at a hospital. The practice where my obstetrician is has a midwife, so potentially, depending [on] whose available when you’re actually giving birth, you might have that person deliver. At this point I’ve only been seeing one doctor, but now they wanted me to see the other doctors just in case my doctor isn’t available that day. I’m open to it being a midwife, but I definitely want it to be in a hospital. I didn’t want to do the whole birthing center thing. I just wanted to keep it traditional, and stick with modern medicine. To each their own, but I’m just more comfortable with that setting.