How to select an OB/GYN or Midwife in Houston
Often, clients approach me either at the Motherhood Center, over the phone, or through an email asking if I can connect them with an OB/GYN or midwife. Being in the pregnancy and parenting business, I know many OB/GYN’s and midwives. Even though Motherhood Center is centrally located in Houston, many of our clients are in the surrounding metro area, so our list of physicians isn’t geographically limited to the medical center. Finding the right physician for a client can be a challenge – clients have many different reasons for seeking out a care provider and determining what qualifications and skills are most important to them is key in pointing them in the right direction.
Are you searching for a physician or midwife? Below are a few tips and pointers to guide you along during your search for the perfect provider.
Reasons for looking for a new OB/GYN or Midwife:
- Recently relocated to Houston and need to find a practitioner. A new city means new physician! Many of our international and out-of-state clients stop by Motherhood Center the day after they arrive in Houston for a maternity consultation in hopes to secure a great care provider.
- Just moved to a different area of Houston (Remember, Houston is huge!)
- Time for a change. Clients feel like the OB that delivered them into the world might not be the best one to deliver their baby.
- Seeing things differently. Many times clients begin to see pregnancy, childbirth, and delivery through a different lens and their needs and expectations have changed from what they had pre-pregnancy.
- Location, location, location. Sometimes the current doctor doesn’t have privileges at the hospital where the client wants to deliver their baby.
- Agree to disagree. The client’s partner doesn’t see eye to eye with the provider or they may want a fresh perspective on pregnancy from a new physician.
Of course, there are many reasons people choose to seek a new OB/GYN or midwife. After discussing a client’s needs and wishes, I’m better able to point them in the right direction and assist them with finding the perfect practitioner for their pregnancy.
When searching for a new OB/GYN or midwife
– remember these important factors:
- Location. Are you looking for a provider in close proximity to your house? Or are you willing to drive a bit further for the quality of care you’re seeking? Remember, you’ll be driving to a lot of appointments over these 9 months!
- Hospital or Birthing Center. Where do you want to have your baby? Do you envision a hospital birth with your favorite OB/GYN? Or are you looking for a different approach and want to try a birth center?
- Texas Medical Center? Is delivering in the Medical Center important to you and your birth plan? Some clients prefer to be in the medical center due to the wealth of resources at their fingertips in case of an emergency (such as NICU or women’s care). That doesn’t diminish the value of regional satellite locations. There is a huge expansion for the exceptional care that exists all over our city with Texas Children’s Hospital, The Methodist Hospital, CHI St. Luke’s, and Memorial Hermann servicing the greater Houston area. Many mothers love the comfort of delivering close to their home — as most women fear going into labor during rush hour traffic!
- Physician Demographics. Does having a male or female physician matter to you? Are you looking for an older or younger physician? Sometimes physician demographics play a role in deciding on a caregiver.
- Wellness Philosophy. Is a particular philosophy, c-section ratio, support of natural childbirth, VBAC experience, or a history of working closely with midwives or doulas important to you? Be sure to know what your doctor’s position is and if it falls in line with your specific needs.
- Practice size. The size of the practice can also be an important factor. Do you want to be with a large group or a small practice? This sometimes shapes the type of call and rotation of your physician’s availability when you deliver.
- Office Location. Do you want a physician in their own building or do you want them located in the hospital building where you will deliver?
- Physician availability. There are some Doctors that will only spend 5 minutes with you and some that will take 30 minutes to answer your questions. Again, this depends on what you expect from your physician and what aspects of your prenatal care are most important to you.
It is important to feel very comfortable with your provider and his/her staff. Feeling reassured, confident and at ease with your OB/GYN or midwife is the most important factor when choosing a provider. Pregnancy, childbirth, and of course, the “fourth trimester” are all crucial parts of a woman’s life – a time she will never forget!
Gabriela Gerhart provides one-on-one Maternity Consultations which may be either at the Motherhood Center or at your home for all of your pregnancy and newborn questions.