Daily dose – Choosing an OB/GYN for pregnancy care? Ask these questions

OB/GYN visits are always a bit… personal. But nothing beats prenatal visits, when you hear your baby’s heartbeat and see their little toes for the first time. If you’re pregnant, trying, or have hopes, it’s important to find a women’s care provider you trust and feel comfortable talking to.

Choosing an OB/GYN is one of the very first things you do for yourself and your baby. Here are some questions you can ask potential providers to help you find the right fit for your family, along with information about Atrium Health Women’s Care:

Where do you deliver?

Avoid the highway? Looking for amenities? Location and comfort are important, but peace of mind comes from knowing you and your baby can get advanced care if you need it.

For example, when you choose Atrium Health Women’s Care, you’re also choosing the region’s best care for moms and babies. Atrium Health is the only healthcare system in the region recognized by US News & World Report for maternity and newborn care. Our maternity care consistently meets high standards of safety and expertise, and we have more Newsweek-awarded maternity hospitals than anyone else in the region.

Will you deliver my baby?

OB/GYN practices often have a rotating schedule, where providers take turns being on call for deliveries. This means that the OB/GYN you see for prenatal visits may not be the same one who delivered your baby.

If you’re worried about not knowing the doctor on the day of delivery, you can ask to see different providers throughout your pregnancy. This allows you to meet all the obstetricians/gynecologists in your practice and ensures that you see a familiar face when your baby is born.

What is your experience with high risk pregnancies?

Every woman hopes for a stress-free pregnancy. But even in a routine pregnancy, you want a team that can handle complex situations. Knowing that your team has additional levels of care available, you can focus less on the “what ifs” and more on preparing your baby.

At Atrium Health Women’s Care, we have a state-of-the-art maternal-fetal medicine program with some of the best results in the country. Safe, high-quality care is so important to us that we are national leaders in reducing and managing certain complications, such as caesarean sections and maternal hypertension. So even if the unexpected happens, you’ll know you and your baby are exactly where you need to be.

What are your fertility results?

If you’re hoping to expand your family, you deserve a healthcare team with the knowledge, technology and proven results to help you achieve your dreams. Ask your doctor about their experience with fertility care, its results, and your treatment options.

For example, our obstetricians/gynecologists give you a direct link to the fertility specialists at Atrium Health Women’s Care. With the latest treatments and state-of-the-art results nationwide, they bring you one step closer to where you hope to be.

Are you available after hours?

You want a care team that’s always there for you, even for middle of the night questions. Not only does this help you avoid unnecessary trips to the ER, but it gives you peace of mind to get back to your day (or go back to sleep).

For your convenience, Atrium Health Women’s Care allows you to contact us after hours. If something is keeping you up at night, just call our 24/7 helpline or send a message through our patient portal, MyAtriumHealth.

How long can you see me after the first positive home test?

Ask about your doctor’s policies regarding pregnancy confirmation appointments and how soon they can see you after a positive home test. At Atrium Health Women’s Care, we don’t want you to wait to find out your family is growing. That’s why we offer pregnancy confirmation appointments within 24 hours.

Do you accept my insurance?

Before choosing a provider, make sure they are in-network with your health plan. This keeps your personal expenses as low as possible.

Who takes care of my baby after birth?

In addition to taking care of you, you also need a team that supports your baby. Ask your doctor who cares for your baby after birth and find out about neonatology services at your hospital.

Babies born at Atrium Health, for example, are cared for by Atrium Health Levine Children’s providers. They are supported by the only children’s hospital in the Charlotte area awarded by US News & World Report – with 8 nationally ranked specialties, including the most advanced neonatology program in the region.

Atrium Health Levine Children’s also takes care of your baby when he comes home, with neighborhood pediatricians, the only urgent children’s care in the area, and every other type of pediatric care imaginable.

Who is on my care team?

In addition to your OB/GYN, find out who you’ll see on visits and who’s there if you need them.

For example, Atrium Health Women’s Care’s certified nurse midwives are here to guide you and help you understand your options for the best childbirth experience.

Our lactation consultants are at the hospital and nearby medical practices to help you navigate breastfeeding after your baby is born.

And if there are any concerns along the way, it’s comforting to know that high-risk pregnancy specialists, pelvic health doctors, neonatologists and more are always available.

Do you offer maternity classes?

From birthing techniques to newborn care, maternity classes help you feel a little more prepared to meet your baby. (As prepared as possible, of course!) If your hospital offers maternity classes, this is also a fantastic opportunity to find out more about where you will be giving birth.

Atrium Health Women’s Care offers classes in everything from childbirth to breastfeeding to infant safety. And they’re not just for you – maternity classes can also be a fun and practical way to involve your partner and family in the journey.

How do you take care of me in the fourth trimester?

Maternity care is not limited to pregnancy and the day your baby is born. It’s all after too. Talk to your OB/GYN about the physical and emotional resources they provide during the fourth trimester. For example, Atrium Health Women’s Care offers pelvic health care, support groups for new moms, lactation counseling and more – all to make the transition to parenthood as easy as possible.

What is the delivery experience? What amenities do you offer?

Want to get out of your contractions? Prefer to stay in the same room for labor and delivery? In addition to exceptional clinical care, certain amenities may be important to you. Find out about hospital amenities early so you know what to expect and what’s available to you before you arrive.

From working tubs and mobile monitors to in-room streaming and room service, Atrium Health Women’s Care offers extra touches to help you have the experience you want.

We hope this has helped you learn more about what you are looking for in an OB/GYN for pregnancy care. To continue learning about Atrium Health Women’s Care or to schedule an appointment, visit AtriumHealth.org/EveryStep or call 704-468-8884.

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