Choosing the right Obstetrician for you
Finding the right obstetrician to take care of you and your baby during pregnancy is a highly personal and emotional choice. Whether you are trying for a baby or are already pregnant, there are a number of things to consider when choosing the best maternity care provider for you. Keep reading to learn more: At O&GCG, we’re here to help you make the right choice for you and your growing family.
01 Public or Private?
In Australia, we are blessed with some great public hospitals. The OGCG Obstetricians maintain sessions in public hospitals to keep themselves up to date, connect with other colleagues, teach a new generation of doctors and simply because they believe that the public system should be supported. If you are happy with your local public hospital offering maternity services, this is certainly an option. OGCG have shared care arrangements at these public hospitals;The Royal Women’s Hospital, The Mercy Heidelberg, The Northern Epping and Sunshine. Whilst we can care for you throughout your pregnancy and postnatally at a public hospital your delivery will not be performed by a O&GCG Obstetrician.
Private patients at OGCG are delivered by our obstetricians at Frances Perry House. Your obstetrician will be available to see you at mutually convenient schedule of appointments (usually 13 on average) during your pregnancy. In between these appointments, in case you have any concerns you can call the rooms and speak to our experienced Midwives Lorraine, Kaye or Jenni. At O&GCG, our obstetricians offer a comprehensive suite of services in our rooms, including CTG and ultrasound scans.
02 Finding an Obstetrician
There are approximately 200 obstetricians in Victoria as of June 2021. There are various ways of finding an obstetrician. Perhaps you have used one before that you like and trust, your family or your friends may have had a good experience, your GP or gynaecologist may recommend one, you can search the RANZCOG list, you know the hospital you would like to deliver at, or you may have even seen glowing comments on the internet.
While you can be assured that every obstetrician will have a base level of competence, finding an obstetrician is a personal decision – There are lots of factors for to consider, you may prefer one that also practices in a public hospital, you may prefer a group practice where you know your Dr is supported by a team of other Dr’s, you may prefer a female one, or you may prefer one that specialises with certain issues, such as high-risk pregnancies.
There are increasing birth rates and demand for obstetric services, which is why we encourage you to think about finding an obstetrician early in your pregnancy or even booking an appointment with your preferred Obstetrician for a pre-pregnancy guidance sesion where you can meet your Doctor and begin to form your relationship. This will also enable you to get informed answers to the questions that you have in trying to conceive or now you have found out you are pregnant.
03 Skills and Experience
Fortunately, this is an easy one to check. All people entitled to call themselves obstetricians in Australia must be accredited by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG). “The primary role of the RANZCOG is to train and accredit doctors throughout Australia and New Zealand in the specialities of obstetrics and gynaecology so that they are capable – professionally and psychologically – of providing the highest quality health care for women” (Source: RANZCOG website).
It takes at least 13 years of study to become a member of RANZCOG, including seven years of specialist training. A RANZCOG obstetrician must complete basic medical training at a university and teaching hospital (usually six years), which entitles them to be called a doctor, and then pass the exam to enter the field of obstetrics and gynaecology (usually another six years).
There is also an ongoing training and professional development process that RANZCOG members must meet to maintain accreditation. To check whether your chosen obstetrician is currently registered to practice, you can check via the Medical Board. By the time a typical obstetrician enters private practice, they will have helped over 1000 babies into the world using various methods. At O&GCG, our five female specialist obstetricians are all RANZCOG members.
Perhaps being close for consultations and check-ups (for example, close to your work, home or relative) or close to the hospital where you will have your baby is important to you? Having an obstetrician’s practice close to the hospital they deliver at is actually quite important – it reduces the time that the doctor is in transit and increases the chance that when you need them most, they will be available quickly. At O&GCG, our obstetricians deliver privately at Frances Perry House which is located across the road from our consulting suites.
05 The Hospital Stay
You can expect to be in hospital for around four to seven days after the birth (only one to two days in the public system, after a standard delivery). If you deliver at Frances Perry House you will spend most of this time in your own room getting to know your baby and how to feed and care for him or her, letting your body heal and seeing friends and family if you wish.
06 Accessibility and Method of Practice
Some obstetricians practise independently, although recently, there has been a move to shared practices where two or more obstetricians share responsibility for patients after hours, particularly when the obstetricians have their own families. It is simply not physically possible for someone to provide 365 days, 24/7 care on their own. At some point, your obstetrician needs to sleep, see their family and live their life.
It is worthwhile understanding what arrangements the obstetrician puts in place when they are not available. After all, there is always the possibility that your obstetrician may not be available, particularly if you have an unscheduled arrival. In this scenario you may end up being delivered by a Doctor you don’t know.
At O&GCG, our group philosophy supports your choice of primary obstetrician and ensures that you are familiar with our other doctors within our practice who may cover shifts overnight or on the weekend. In fact, we encourage you to meet them throughout the duration of your pregnancy, so you will never be faced with an unfamiliar doctor.
07 Confidence Talking to Your Obstetrician
It is important that you have confidence in your obstetrician’s judgment and advice and that you feel open and relaxed talking to them about your preferences around your pregnancy care and delivery. You should feel comfortable raising issues about your body, state of mind, and preferences and expectations regarding the birth. Having a baby is one of the most important events in your life, and we are here to provide personalised care to each individual patient.
Why choose O&GCG for your pregnancy
At Obstetrics and Gynaecology Consulting Group, our goal is to deliver your baby into the world, happy and healthy, and to provide ongoing personalised care for you. Below are some of the reasons why you should choose us to care for you during your pregnancy:
- Five female specialist obstetricians: As Dr Jean Wong, Dr Leah Xu, Dr Natalia Khomko, Dr Perri Dyson and Dr Robin Thurman each specialist obstetricians, we offer personalised services to every expectant mother.
- Ongoing care throughout pregnancy and beyond: At O&GCG, your obstetrician is with you throughout your entire pregnancy journey, through delivery and beyond.
- Superior support services: In addition to our obstetricians, O&GCG offer a fantastic support team, including Dr Amber Hart (Lactation Consultant & Infant Sleep/settling Consultant), Robyn Compton (Maternal & Paediatric Dietician) and Aminee Dickenson (Counsellor).
See a O&GCG Obstetrician
At O&GCG, our obstetricians are here for you through every step of your pregnancy and beyond. If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to get in touch.