Importance of an OB/GYN during Pregnancy

The Importance of an OB/GYN during Pregnancy

An OB/GYN is a primary care doctor who practices both of the medical specialties obstetrics and gynecology. Combined, these two specialties deal with the female reproductive organs in their pregnant and non-pregnant state. Women should begin seeing an OB/GYN during their teenage years, as these doctors can help with a number of things including STD awareness and testing, contraceptives, family planning and more.

Many women who stick to one OB/GYN throughout their life find it easier and more comforting when pregnant. Finding an OB/GYN once you’re pregnant can be a daunting task, especially if you are unsure of the pregnancy, caught off-guard, or have not seen a gynecologist in recent years. The best way to find an OB/GYN is to get a referral from a family member or friend. These doctors can be male or female, so choosing which type of doctor is entirely up to you.

Benefits of an OB/GYN

While you’re pregnant, an OB/GYN can benefit you in the following ways:

  • Give you all prenatal testing (blood, urine, pap, etc.)
  • Fetal monitoring (ultrasounds, kick counts, electronic fetal monitoring)
  • Test for birth defects and/or genetic disorders
  • Can pinpoint problems early
  • Advise you on diet and health
  • Advise you on pains, complications or other concerns you may have
  • Prescribe medications
  • Have equipment and technology to treat any problems that may arise
  • Advise you on physical, emotional and mental changes that may occur to you
  • Be with you during labor and delivery
  • There to answer questions after delivery
  • Monitor you and baby after delivery
  • Open to follow your birth plan (in most cases)
  • Help you understand postpartum physical changes
  • Monitor you weeks, months, even years after birth of your baby

OB/GYN’s are great team members throughout your life, especially during your pregnancy. They are extremely important to women, regardless if they’re pregnant or not.

OB/GYN’s are also well trained and educated with all female reproductive organs. They are also extremely familiar with most conditions, diseases and disorders that can arise. They can sub-specialize in maternal-fetal monitoring, reproductive endocrinology and infertility, urogynecology and pelvic reconstructive surgery, family planning, and menopausal and geriatric gynecology. Females of all ages should see an OB/GYN on a regular basis.

When Choosing Your OB/GYN…

If you have not yet chosen an OB/GYN and believe you are pregnant, you need to make sure that the one you choose is able to meet all of your needs. Factors you might consider include:

  • Your budget, including the type of insurance they take
  • The OB/GYN’s availability
  • The OB/GYN’s personality
  • The clinic itself, including the location
  • The nurses and other staff
  • The OB/GYN’s experience with pregnant women
  • The OB/GYN’s sub-specialty

You may even consider writing down a few questions for your first interview with a potential OB/GYN. While on your interview or first visit, take a look around you. Do you feel comfortable? Are the rooms clean? Does the staff, nurses and OB/GYN seem to know what they are talking about? Do they stay busy with work-related things or do they find time for personal issues? What about the other patients? Do they seem like nice people or do they give you the creeps? Did you get a referral to use this person? Even if you have another type of doctor you see on a regular basis, you should ask for a referral. Don’t settle for the first, second or the one you’ve always used if you’re unhappy. Your pregnancy will be a very exciting time, as long as you are consistently surrounded by comfort, relaxation, peace and happiness (including when you’re at your appointments).

When Should I Get an OB/GYN?

Most people within the medical field believe it’s important to have an OB/GYN before you are pregnant. They can do more for you while you are not pregnant, such as helping you prepare your body for a future pregnancy. However, not all women have an OB/GYN they see on a regular basis, and don’t think to get one until they are already pregnant or until they are wondering if they are pregnant. The bottom line is it’s a personal choice as to when you should get an OB/GYN.

[Page updated February 2011]