Why Switch Doctors Mid-Pregnancy?
Miriam Backes was in her sixth month of pregnancy before she began to feel uneasy about her obstetrician. Backes wanted a drug-free delivery, but her doctor specialized in high-risk births. While early on Backes had felt lucky to have a doctor who could handle tough births, as the weeks progressed, she was feeling increasingly mismatched.
"The doctor was doing ultrasound upon ultrasound and started talking about the baby being so big that I might have to be induced before my due date," says Backes, who lives in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. "The closer I got to delivering, the more medical the approach the doctor seemed to want."
So Backes changed doctors late in her sixth month. Even though her son Oscar was ultimately born by cesarean section, Backes has no regrets. "My labor went according to my wishes. It was allowed to progress slowly, without anyone's insisting on interventions."
Like Backes, many women unhappy with their obstetrical care face the tough decision of whether to switch doctors in the middle of pregnancy. When problems arise, is it better to find a new doctor? Or should you stay with your current physician to ensure continuity of care?
"There is no rule that says you need to switch by a certain number of weeks of gestation," says John E. White, MD, of Mount Auburn Ob/Gyn Associates, Inc., in Cincinnati, who will take patients anytime as long as he can meet them face-to-face at least once before their baby arrives. "If you have that "uh-oh!" feeling about the doctor, the office, the staff, or whatever, and you have a legitimate reason to switch, then you should."