10 Things Women Want In A Prenatal Doctor And 10 Red Flags To Screen For

Medical attention is one of the most important aspects of being a human. Some argue it should be mandatory that everyone has routine checkups so that they have the opportunity to treat sickness, cure diseases and catch things like cancer before it's too late. Pregnant women, fortunately, are encouraged to see doctors or midwives at least a couple of times before giving birth to make sure that both mom and baby are healthy.

It is crucial for moms—especially first-time ones—to find a provider they like and trust.

The birth of a child is such a fine and rewarding experience in which a lot of work goes into, and there should be no room for a potentially lousy provider to ruin such a particular time. Although there are many good and bad doctors in the world, there are ways for mothers to screen them to figure out which one is perfect for her and her situation.

Below is a list of what moms should be looking for while searching for a provider, and whether or not they should keep or drop a midwife or doctor based on the qualities listed below. It’s imperative that everyone has a good experience when dealing with a medical provider, so they will continue to seek out the medical attention that they need when they need it.

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20 Are They Up To Date?

University of Washington

According to, Reader's Digest, if anybody needs to pay attention in school, it would be doctors. Once they graduate and find jobs outside of school, as doctors, our lives are ultimately in their hands.

The art of practicing medicine can be tricky; new and updated treatments, medications and practices pop up all the time. Thus, doctors should be required to stay up to date at all times, but they don't always do such.

Obstetricians are in charge of two lives—that of the mother and the baby. Because there is so much life at stake, it is so important that these doctors be enforcing up-to-date practices. If there are any signs that your doctor is practicing outdated methods—for example, if they are recommending recalled medications—it is best to find a new doctor immediately.

19 Knowledge Is Spot On

Via: Shorthand

As reported by Reader's Digest, doctors who use outdated practices usually rely on those specific practices and nothing more. Doctors worthy of caring for any patients make it clear that they know their stuff.

Not only do they inform people of old traditions and why they worked, but also of newer procedures based on current research and each specific situation. Pregnant moms are not just any patient though. They are working hard to grow another life and want what is best for that little one.

Choosing a doctor is a critical decision and moms need to research before making any decision. A doctor should make their patients feel as though they are in safe hands, with a provider who knows what he or she is doing.

18 Why Aren’t You Answering My Questions?


Doctors who are not that good at what they do can seem very nervous. He or she may avoid answering patient questions—sometimes because they do not feel confident about the answer. Patients should take this as a huge red flag.

How can someone—especially a pregnant mother—feel safe if their provider cannot even answer the most basic of questions? Patients ask questions specifically to feel secure about their concerns, which means It is imperative that doctors respond to every query that expectant moms pose.

Pregnant mothers are so wrapped up caring for their growing baby and preparing to welcome it into the world. Extra hormones cause emotions to run rampant in expectant moms, which means having answers to their questions to give them comfort and relief is essential. According to KevinMD, don’t be afraid to confront your doctor about answering questions in a way you will understand. Remember, they work for you—not the other way around.

17 Understands And Listens To Your Concerns

Medical News Today

According to WebMD, it is essential to make yourself heard; don’t be afraid to share your opinions, questions, and concerns. A good provider will take all of these into consideration and do their very best to make you feel comfortable, as their patient.

Often, doctors and midwives may feel as though they have done a sufficient job in easing their patient's worries, but in reality, a lot of patients still feel skeptical.

Pregnancy is different with every baby. Even if a mom has had a baby before, they are going to have questions about new symptoms or a different birth plan. Mothers have so much to worry about when they fall pregnant. So, having a doctor who makes you feel comfortable and listens to you is necessary.

16 C-Section - The Only Option?

The Bump WA

Most mothers, according to Consumer Reports, prefer to give birth vaginally. Interestingly enough, 1.3 million children are delivered by C-section.

The problem seems to be, the busier the hospital, the more doctors recommend C-sections. Labor is a long process, taking anywhere between a few hours and a few days. Meanwhile, a Cesarean would take about an hour.

C-sections are only necessary when life-threatening problems arise like, the placenta blocking the OS of the uterus, if the baby is in immediate distress, or if the mother has a medical condition that would be unsafe to deliver vaginally. If there are no unusual circumstances like this present and your doctor is recommending a C-section, you have every right to be concerned.

15 Delivering Babies For Years!


Reader's Digest recommends finding a provider based off your needs as a pregnant mother. If you have gestational diabetes or preeclampsia, the best plan of action is to choose a doctor who is skilled in those areas.

Mothers with complications will most likely want a doctor who has been delivering babies for a long time. Still, many with low-risk pregnancies are comfortable seeing newer providers if they are more flexible and up to date on today's science.

You can find most providers' patient reviewing them online, and this will tell you how popular they are and how long they have been doing what they do. If you ask, a good provider will tell you their specialties, including what they may or may not be skilled in. If your chosen provider is open and honest with you and has a lot of experience, that is a good sign.

14 No Eye Contact?!


Eye contact is so important when it comes to finding a provider who will take care of you throughout your pregnancy. Pregnancy has a lot of components; mothers are already dealing with so much and to worry about a doctor on the side is too much.

During an appointment, if there is no eye contact made between yourself and the doctor, will you feel comfortable? There are some docs out there who are good at what they do and have communication issues, but for the most part, if a doctor isn’t making eye contact and you don’t feel comfortable, there is a problem.

Dynamic Chiropractic, reports that patients will feel as though their doctor cares if there is something as simple as eye contact. Bedside manner truly matters, mama.

13 Compassion Is Key

The Boston Globe

There are some doctors out there who get through their long hours by being rude to patients. When you’re pregnant and growing another life in your tummy, that is the last thing you want to deal with.

Doctors work with thousands of people; it may be hard to show compassion when you have so many other patients to think about, but even just a simple smile or a second to listen to a patient's concerns and questions,  will make a patient feel that much more comfortable.

It can be rare to find a provider who truly listens and genuinely seems to care about you as an individual rather than just another patient.

Sometimes, they truly are at the mercy of those 15-minute time slots the insurance companies impose upon them—though midwives generally don't stick to that kind of schedule. If you've seen a doctor like this, they are a keeper!

12 Race To The Finish Line

Hello Foros

Every patient deserves one-on-one time with their doctor to address concerns, but new moms need it that much more. Growing a life can come with a lot of complications: randomly bleeding, cramping, feeling a certain way, and more. Moms are going to be frightened when things like this happen.

If this is their first time being pregnant, they might need someone there to help them through a lot of it. Being accessible throughout an entire pregnancy is what prenatal doctors are well-liked for, and they should be giving each patient their direct attention during an appointment and when she goes into labor.

There are times when emergencies arise, and other doctors can step in, but rushing something so delicate could lead to a bad experience for mother. You don't have to settle for that. As reported by USA Today, doctors are cutting routine exams and patient concern appointments down to less than 10 minutes if they can!

11 Focuses On You And Your Needs


If you are at an appointment or in labor, the focus should be on you—at all times. Too many times, women have had complications and either suffered greatly or even passed away because some doctors are not paying close enough attention.

Mistakes don't always mean the doctor is stupid or careless, but it does sometimes mean they may just be overworked. 

Fox News recently reported a pregnant woman whose sepsis went unnoticed by her doctor. If your doctor takes the time to sit with you and run down a list of possible complications to make sure you are as healthy and as safe as you can be, keep them!

10 There Should Be No Shame In This Game


Pain is pain—no matter how you put it.

Everybody as a different pain threshold. WebMD supports that notion noting, there are different levels of pain tolerance. Some individuals can barely handle a pinprick, while others can keep a straight face with broken bones. If your doctor doesn’t recognize this and shames you for expressing you are in pain at all, it’s time to drop them.

Pain may not even mean that you're a wimp; it could potentially mean that something is wrong if you are not supposed to be hurting at all. Doctors frequently dismiss pain with the belief that people want pain meds and nothing more.

Although there are people like that in the world, each patient should be adequately assessed and not shamed for being in distress and asking for help from the person who is supposed to be helping them.

9 A Gentle Touch

NY Mag

Sometimes a doctor can seem a little rough when they are performing routine procedures, but there is no reason for this.

Being gentle might take a bit more time, and—as previously mentioned—doctors are often trying to finish as quick as possible.

Whether or not a doctor is kind goes along with rushing through an appointment or procedure. It is essential for physicians to take their time and be gentle with patients to not give them the wrong impression.

Reader’s Digest suggests that gentle doctors are more well-liked and will find patients who keep coming back to their trusted physician. Soft examinations are much more important to pregnant women being that a lot of their exams have to do with their lady parts.

8 How Rude Can You Be?

Inner Space Counseling

Medical Bag talks a lot about how to deal with extra rude and even condescending doctors.

Some are crass because they feel so high and mighty and as if they should be considered gold.

Others are rude by making a patient feel dumb when voicing questions and concerns. There are certainly times when patients sound uneducated or think they know it all when they don’t know what they’re talking about, but a good provider won’t point those times out unnecessarily.

Their job is to listen and to correct misconceptions about the topic of the appointment. Being rude is never the answer. If your doctor is mouthing off, don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself—and find another doctor.

7 Cool, Calm And Collected


Pregnancy can sometimes lead to a lot of complications and even emergencies. According to Very Well Family, “75% of fertilized eggs, do not make it to full term,” and this results in a lot of miscarriages that doctors get to handle.

Miscarriages can be scary and sometimes emergent to make sure the mother is safe; this means doctors have to be prepared for things of this nature and must be able to keep calm. When a mother is grieving the loss of her child or going through any other kind of emergency while pregnant, the last thing she needs is a provider who is freaking out.

Otherwise, she's probably going to freak out, too! Patients are only as calm as their medical teams in many cases, and if the team shows distress, the parents can certainly mirror that.

6 My Doctor Lives Where?!

Daily Mail

There is some leeway when dealing with how far away a doctor is when it comes to most patients. But for a pregnant mother, it’s best to find care as close to home as possible.

Things arise during pregnancy all the time—whether it be questions or emergent situations—and mothers should be able to get ahold of their midwife or doctor whenever they need to.

This is especially true if a mother goes into labor—early or not; they would want their physician close. The reasoning behind this is that mothers spend nine months getting used to one provider; they put together their birth plan with one provider.

If they are not available to come at the time mom goes into labor, there is the chance a new provider on call will show up, making mom feel uncomfortable being that everything she prepared for included the provider she had bonded with and learned to trust.

5 Has A Child And Totally Gets It


This goes more for female physicians and not so much males. If a pregnant mother finds a doctor who also has kids, there is a good chance that the doctor-patient bond will be that much stronger.

They will be able to engage and talk about experiences that the patient is going through, and maybe some the doctor had in the past when she had her kids. Pregnant mothers often find comfort in talking to other moms about what they are going through.

So, being able to connect with the provider in charge of taking care of you is perfect. Comfort is key and will make any pregnant mom happy with her choice of doctor.

4 Who Did You See When You Were Pregnant?

Birth Boot Camp

Similar to looking up reviews online, there are websites like HealthGrades, according to WebMD, that can be used to find specific doctors that fit with what you need and are well-liked by the public.

That said, sometimes we want to hear it straight from the mother's mouth. Birth support groups and classes can be the perfect place to meet other moms and network with them.

This is a great time to ask about their birth experiences and hone in on the names of providers who match up with your desired birth preferences.

3 Agrees You Should Do What You Think Is Best For You

Kaiser Permanente

Although it can be tricky, it is okay to disagree with a midwife or doctor on things such as your care or birth plan. The best way to go about this, according to US News, is to stay calm and voice your opinions in a friendly and educated way.

Trying to express concerns and ideas like a hot-head will only make a provider shut down and not want to listen. It is impossible for providers to know everything there is to know about you. In other words, you know yourself best.

If there is something your physician is recommending that you don’t think is going to jive with you, let it be known. State the facts though; don’t just disagree. Be sure to have an open conversation and go over all possible options. That way, the two of you can come to the best conclusion possible.

2 I Don’t Want That Test!

Connect the Dots Ginger

According to BellyBelly, there is a long list of tests and procedures that moms should avoid while they are pregnant. Some of these tests or procedures include unnecessary ultrasounds, C-sections just because you’ve had one before, inductions without evidence one is warranted, and more.

It is essential for moms to do as much research as possible on these topics during pregnancy so that if a provider recommends one, she will know whether or not that test or procedure is something she truly needs.

Many prenatal tests and procedures can potentially be harmful, especially if they are not required. Therefore, research before this is essential. If your provider is recommending any of these without an evidence-based explanation, find a new one—STAT!

1 I’m In Good Hands

Crain's New York Business

You know you have a good doctor when the only thought in your mind is, “I’m in good hands.” Every patient should feel as if their doctor is personalized to them and them only, even if they aren’t.

Good doctors can balance all the patients they have and still give each one enough attention to make them feel secure. Professionals should know to only take on the number of patients they can handle without sacrificing any attention being spread across them.

Too many people have lousy birth experiences at the hands of providers they felt had pressured them into experiences they didn't want. This often makes them never want to deal with them again, which can be dangerous. Likewise, it turns some moms off from even wanting any more kids.

That's no way to come out of a birth experience.

References: ReadersDigest, KevinMD, Consumer Reports, Dynamic Chiropractic, USA Today, Fox News, WebMD, Medical Bag, Very Well Family

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