How can I tell my gynecologist I don’t want her to be part of my pregnancy without hurting her feelings?

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My husband and I just decided we wanted to start planning for a family (we are both 28 and healthy, active people). However, I have an IUD and my next gynecologist appointment isn’t for four months, so we figure that is when we will start actually trying.

We moved to our current city three years ago and I basically picked a gynecologist at random for my annual exams. She is nice enough but I think I want to go with a midwife, home birth, or birthing center. I am the kind of person who doesn’t like to hurt feelings and I am basically afraid that if I go to my regular doctor for the preconception checkup, I’ll get talked into going through the whole pregnancy with her and end up doing the hospital thing.

Is it weird to see my regular doctor for a preconception checkup knowing I don’t necessarily want her to be my OB? Do birthing centers do those kinds of checkups and should I find one prior to getting pregnant to avoid the above awkwardness? Do most couples pick an OB/midwife before getting pregnant, or am I putting the cart before the horse? — Andromeda22

Comments on How can I tell my gynecologist I don’t want her to be part of my pregnancy without hurting her feelings?

  1. I’m not sure if this was mentioned before but it doesn’t hurt to continue seeing a doctor for a few appts during your pregnancy whilst seeing your midwife regularly. I was going to discontinue care with my obgyn after 20 weeks and solely see my midwife but was advised that it might be wise to continue (infrequent) care at the hospital. That way if for any reason a transport is necessary ( or pre-term labor etc) then they have more of a medical history for me on file. It’s completely up to you but it might be nice to have both kinds of care if you can swing it financially so you feel fully prepared for any outcome. But definitely make sure your obgyn is on board with your medically unassisted birth…you want extra support, not someone you need to convince of your choices.

  2. I interviewed and settled on a homebirth CNM (nurse midwife) before we even started trying to conceive our 3rd baby. After my first two miserable OB experiences, I wanted to make absolutely certain that I was going to find a provider that I gelled with before we got pregnant (and railroaded) again. My midwife does all the well-woman care I’d need as a low-risk mom, so I didn’t feel the need to see an OB at all. She ordered labs, ordered ultrasounds, etc, etc. Unless I need gynecological surgery, I can’t imagine needing an obstetrician for the rest of my life.

    I have known lots of moms who use a midwife for prenatal care, and also keep their OB as a backup just-in-case. Unfortunately, in all of those cases I’ve always seen the OB wag their finger at them for using midwifery care at all. If you can find an OB who’s not a douche (and knows they work for YOU, and not the other way around) then by all means, use both when necessary.

  3. I did this exact thing. Actually, my IUD removal ended up being with the nurse practitioner in the practice so I didn’t have to see my regular OB before switching. Once I became pregnant, I made appointments with two hospitals with midwifery practices affiliated and one birth center. I was planning a (successful!) VBAC so I went with the hospital. The records were transferred and I was all setup with midwifery care for my prenatal visits. Unfortunately, my water broke at 35 weeks so the midwives had to hand me off to the OBs at that hospital at the last minute, but they still checked in on me to make sure I was being treated nicely and they are doing my post-partum care and IUD insertion.

    Just know that it really shouldn’t be a problem as long as your new care provider takes your insurance and stuff. Good luck finding a care provider that you love! And I hope you have a healthy and awesome pregnancy!

    Can I also interject- look into hiring a doula in case you do have to transfer care to an OB, mine was really awesome, especially considering the huge change in plans. I also lucked out on getting a really awesome nurse who totally respected my wishes to go au naturel as much as the preterm labor situation would allow. She never asked once about my pain level or epidural desires during active labor, she asked my preference when we first met and knew i wasn’t into that.

  4. I agree with lots of previous comments- this is the perfect time to switch to a midwife. MOST midwives do well-woman care (in the US) and a certified midwife is certified to do well-woman care. Plus, it can be super-awesome for your prenatal care for your care provider (midwife) to know you before you become pregnant. Lots of benefits. Plus, a certified midwife has a relationship with a hospital in case of emergencies. That is part of their job.

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