It is important to be strategic when choosing an obstetrician before you become pregnant. Choosing the right obstetrician can help prevent birth injuries. It is okay to ask questions, do research, and interview doctors to pick the best doctor to work with. Here is a 5-point plan to discuss with potential obstetricians.

5 Steps to Choosing the Right Obstetrician 

  1. It is necessary to choose an obstetrician that is board certified; ask to see their credentials. Check their patient ratings on a reputable website.
  1. Ask if the obstetrician has hospital rights for the hospital you choose to deliver. You may also need to check that your insurance covers the your choice of obstetrician.
  1. Check the attendance rate for middle of the night and weekend deliveries. If it is important that your obstetrician be there for the delivery, check the rate of which the obstetrician relays emergency calls to on-call doctors.
  1. Ask if the obstetrician has a preferred method of delivery (vaginal or cesarean section) or other birthing options, (for example use of an epidural.) You want to make sure that you choose an obstetrician that is open to the method of delivery and birthing options that you, the patient and parent, prefer.
  1. Medical experience and opinion should be explored. Check to see what the obstetricians experience is in high risk pregnancies or emergencies. See that the obstetrician you choose is open to your post-delivery choices, such as breastfeeding and/or circumcision.

A woman and mother-to-be has the right to decide what kind of birth she wants. A well-researched and spelled-out birth plan can help provide a safe and desired outcome of delivery and ensure the health and happiness of mom and baby. Birth plans are meant to be a guide for hospital staff and patient, they are not necessarily legally binding. It is an opportunity to let your wants be known, and what to do if something unexpected happens. Here’s a 4-step plan to include in your birth plan, in chronological order.

4 Steps to a Personalized Birth Plan

  1.  Support Team:  This is where you can state who you would like to be in the delivery room (partner, family member, doula) or set limits on who can be in the delivery room and for how long.
  1. Labor Preferences: There are many different medical interventions possible for a delivery, you can state your favored methods and times and circumstances to use other options to ensure a safe and healthy delivery.
  1. Labor Practices:  These are stated to make the delivery a pleasurable as possible for the mom. This can include clothing worn, preferred position of delivery, music played, or use of recording devices.
  1. Post Delivery Options: This can include breastfeeding, circumcision, and bathing preferences, minimum amount of time for skin on skin contact, and when and who should cut the umbilical cord.

If you think your baby may have been injured during delivery, you must call me immediately. I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities. You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 877.944.4373.

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How to Choose an Obstetrician to Fit Your Birth Plan
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Taking simple steps to choosing the right obstetrician while creating a personal birth plans can increase the happiness and safety of labor and delivery for the mother and baby.
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