Choosing the right obstetrician to guide you through one of life’s most important events can be challenging. For expats in Singapore, maternity costs are often covered by corporate health insurance, so we give birth in private hospitals and see obstetricians for our prenatal checkups.
Obstetricians usually only work at one hospital, occasionally two (one private, one public), so if your health insurance doesn’t cover all hospitals, then your choice of obstetrician will be limited to those who work with a particular hospital. Every woman has different preferences for childbirth, so you should do plenty of research and visit a number of obstetricians if possible. It’s important that you feel comfortable, because you will be sharing intimate and personal details with them. There’s a lot to think about, but to make the most of the short nine months of pregnancy and have a positive experience of labour, you need to feel confident that you are in the right hands.
What to Ask
Here’s a list of useful questions you may want to ask before choosing your obstetrician:
- Which hospitals do you attend?
- Are you available around my estimated due date?
- What are your philosophies and beliefs about birth? Is it a medical process that needs to be monitored continuously and controlled, or a natural process where nature should take its course before intervening?
- How informed and involved will I be in the decision-making process during pregnancy and labour?
- What are your thoughts on pain relief during labour? Do you assume that everyone will have medical pain relief, or do you support and encourage natural pain relief methods?
- Will you and the hospital staff respect my birth plan but provide guidance if and when it needs to be changed?
- What are your thoughts on electronic foetal monitoring during labour, and when do you think it should be used?
- What is your induction rate, and at what point do you feel induction of labour should be considered?
- What do you think about time limits for labouring?
- What is your caesarean section rate, and in what situations will you recommend a C-section?
There are more questions you can ask in the full article, which you can find in our 2017 Kids Guide