Pre-pregnancy, I asked for obstetrician (OB/GYN) recommendations from my close friends and coworkers. I did all the research. So when my husband and I found out we were pregnant with our first baby, I patted myself on the back for finding the best of the best. My OB/GYN was intelligent, confident, and supportive. And at our first meeting, she revealed that she was also 7 months pregnant. After two prenatal visits, I was given an appointment with a new OB/GYN. A bit anxious about trusting someone new, I discovered that she also had the qualities I hoped for. We really connected. But the night I went into labor, she wasn’t on call. Another physician (a stranger!) entered my life mere moments before I gave birth. And she, too, was fantastic!
With my oldest starting kindergarten and my youngest turning two years old, I’ve been feeling nostalgic. In addition to celebrating their milestones, I’m showing my appreciation for the OB/GYNs who helped bring my miracles into the world. Here’s why OB/GYNs rock!
OB/GYNs are skilled in all aspects of obstetrics and gynecology.
After four years of medical school and another four years of residency training, an OB/GYN is not just someone who delivers babies. As both primary care physicians and surgeons, they specialize in all conditions and diseases related to the female reproductive system. Many OB/GYNs pursue additional training in sub-specialties like gynecologic oncology, infertility, and maternal-fetal medicine. So if they are running late or seem to be rushing through your appointment, give them a little grace. They might have just helped a new mom through a difficult delivery or have a sick patient in the emergency room who needs surgery as soon as possible.
They are always on call.
I take a fair amount of call in my medical practice, but I can’t imagine being on call when I’m not even scheduled for it. Many OB/GYNs love to deliver their own patients – no matter what day or time. They could be called in while on a date night or at their child’s piano recital. They might even change their vacation plans. That is an impressive amount of dedication.
In my case, the on-call OB/GYN delivered both my babies. And I appreciate them just as much as the one who saw me during every prenatal visit. Even with my second baby, I had the option of calling my OB in. But it was ten o’clock at night. I honestly didn’t mind having different OB/GYNs caring for me. I knew that they were there for me just as much as my own OB/GYN would be.
With the rise of physician burnout, there has been a shift towards valuing a balanced lifestyle. Many OB/GYNs are sharing call with partners in their group. So when they’re off, they’re really off. And they can relax during a family movie night or cheer for their kids playing an important baseball game… or just enjoy a glass of wine with dinner.
They know what to do in an OB emergency.
When your birth plan isn’t exactly going the way you anticipated, they formulate the best plan to deliver your baby safely.
There are many options when planning a birth, from midwives, birthing centers, and doulas. Midwives and doulas provide extra emotional and physical support to new moms from the first prenatal visit to the postpartum period. But if your previously low risk pregnancy becomes more complicated, you’ll want the education and experience of a OB/GYN.
They are pioneers and advocates of women’s health.
Unlike any other medical speciality, OB/GYNs dedicate their practice solely to women. I might be biased, but that’s pretty awesome. They chose their profession because women’s health is important to them.
I’m lucky to be in good health, so my OB/GYN is the only doctor I see on a regular basis. From routine exams to prenatal care and the safe deliveries of my children, I’m so grateful for what they do every day.