It’s been said hundreds of times, but it always bears repeating: it’s never too late to switch doctors. If you don’t feel 100% comfortable with your doctor, you can switch. It doesn’t matter how early or late into your pregnancy you are, whether you mostly feel all right with your current doctor, if you can’t put your finger on exactly why you don’t feel completely comfortable, or if you’re just curious to see what else is out there. It’s OK. Shop around. Meet with other doctors. Switch if that’s what, deep inside, you want to do: you’re not being unreasonable or hormonal. It’s what’s best for you, and you absolutely should do it.
When I first became pregnant, I was really nervous about doctors. My husband was fired up, watching documentaries like “The Business of Being Born.” I’d grown up hearing stories about good doctors versus bad, and I was anxious: how could I really trust my doctor? How could I really know that he or she was doing what was best for me, that any intervention was absolutely medically necessary and not just something that the doctor did because that’s the common/easy practice?
I had no idea what doctor to go to. When my primary care doctor confirmed my pregnancy, I asked her about obstetricians. She recommended the doctor she’d seen for all three of her pregnancies. If this OB was good enough for another doctor, I figured, she had to be good enough for me. Secretly, I wanted a midwife, but I didn’t think I’d get one. All of the national midwife registries indicated that the nearest ones were at least 90 minutes away. I heard rumors about one at a local practice, but my friend had gone to that practice, and had been given the impression that she’d have to go to Annapolis for a midwife.
I had my first two OB appointments with this doctor. I liked her well enough. She was nice, and made me feel more or less at ease. Whenever I asked her questions she always referred to the literature, which bothered me a bit, but I figured I wasn’t going to get any better, and I didn’t have any real problems with her anyway.
Still, I kept digging: I wanted a midwife or at least a doula, and it was so early in my pregnancy I figured it wouldn’t hurt to look. I ended up discovering that a local women’s health practice did employ two midwives; it was the same one my friend went to for her baby. I never discovered why she was led to believe that she couldn’t have a midwife; perhaps they were employed too recently, or perhaps the blood pressure issues she had with her pregnancy disqualified her for their care.
I set up an appointment with one of the midwives, just to see how I liked it. I loved it. Brooke was calming, cheerful, answered all my questions; she seemed genuinely interested in me, not just as a patient or a medical equation. Something clicked, and I knew this was the pregnancy care I wanted.
I found my midwife early, just at the end of my first trimester. A friend from my current childbirth class switched to midwife care with only one month to go. She asks if it’s too late. I tell her no. It’s never too late. There is a huge mental and emotional component to childbirth. You deserve to feel as happy, safe, and comfortable as possible when heading into it. Whatever it takes to achieve that, no matter how “late” the timing: do it.
*(The above image by Naypong is from freedigitalphotos.net).