Going private: How to choose an obstetrician for your pregnancy

If you are expecting a baby, it’s only natural to seek the highest quality of care for your growing family. There are various options available, and what is deemed ‘the best’ can vary from person to person.

One choice is to be cared for by an obstetrician for the entirety of your pregnancy and birth, whether you’re planning to have your baby in a private hospital or in a public hospital using your private health fund.

An obstetrician is a medical doctor who specialises in the care and management of pregnancies, childbirth, and the postpartum period. They provide medical care to pregnant women, manage labour and delivery, and monitor the health of the mother and baby.

Choosing the right obstetrician is an important decision for any expectant mother in Australia. It’s essential that you feel comfortable with yours and that they have the skills necessary to provide the best possible care to both you and your baby throughout your pregnancy and childbirth.

We know it can be quite a daunting decision, particularly if it’s your first baby, so here are some tips to help you choose the right obstetrician for your unique pregnancy.

How to choose an obstetrician for your pregnancy

1. Ask for recommendations

Ask your GP, or friends and family for recommendations for obstetricians in your area. You can also search for obstetricians online, but be sure to read reviews from other patients before deciding.

2. Make sure the obstetrician is a qualified specialist

In Australia, obstetricians need to be accredited through the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG). This credential ensures that the obstetrician is qualified and has the necessary experience.

3. Check for health insurance coverage

Understand what the costs are up-front. Make sure the obstetrician you choose is covered by your health insurance. This will help to keep your out-of-pocket costs down.

4. Ask about the obstetrician’s experience

Find out how long the obstetrician has been practising and how many births they have attended. This will give you an idea of their level of experience.

5. Consider the practice’s location and hours

Make sure the practice is conveniently located and that they have hours that are suitable for you. If you need to travel a long distance, you may want to look for an obstetrician closer to home.

6. Meet with the obstetrician

It’s very important to meet with the obstetrician before making your decision. This will give you an opportunity to ask questions and get a feel for the obstetrician’s approach to care. You should feel comfortable talking about any topics related to your body, the pregnancy, and the birth.

7. Consider the practice’s support staff

The practice’s support staff, such as midwives, should be available to you throughout your pregnancy. Make sure you are also comfortable with the staff at the practice before making your decision.

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