Technically, you can switch doctors at any time during your pregnancy. But that’s obviously not an ideal situation, since it might be tough to find someone who’s available immediately to deliver baby.
Instead, resolve any issues you have with your care provider ASAP. It’s tough to know whether or not to break up with your OB if some things he does rub you the wrong way. So first, consider talking things over with him. Express your concerns and ask your doctor to explain his position. Maybe you misunderstood him, or you can find a way to see eye-to-eye on the issue.
But if the issue is something big, like, say, you find out your OB delivers most of his babies via c-section because he “just doesn’t get” natural birth—and you’ve been busy drawing up a birth plan for a quiet, unmedicated water birth—you might be better off parting ways.
In the end, it’s important to trust your practitioner completely, and if you don’t, you’re going to feel stressed throughout your pregnancy and maybe even during the birth. So if you just can’t get past the red flags you’re seeing, go ahead and find a new OB at any point in your pregnancy.
The trick is finding another doctor who will accept you as a patient. Up to 32 or 34 weeks, that shouldn’t be a problem. After that, things get a little tougher—but not impossible. If you ask around, you might be able to find a doctor to take you on, especially if you explain why you’re selecting his services. Just remember to keep your comments positive. Focus on why you think he’d be a great doctor for you, and keep the bad-mouthing of your previous OB to a minimum.
Breaking up with your old OB can be a bit awkward. (Ever switched hair stylists? This is even tougher.) If you have a long-standing relationship, you might want to send a note; otherwise, feel free to call his office and ask that your records be forwarded to your new doctor’s office. Don’t feel guilty about moving on. Plenty of women see the same ob-gyn for years but pick someone new when they become pregnant. Someone can be a great gynecologist and still not be quite what you’re looking for in the birth suite.
Expert source: Stuart Fischbein, MD, OB/GYN, coauthor of Fearless Pregnancy.
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