With any luck, your pregnancy begins with a doctor or midwife you feel comfortable with and can trust. If things don't work out, you may be wondering if you can (or should) switch to a different practitioner for the remainder of your pregnancy. If you are considering switching doctors mid-pregnancy, here's what you should know.
Set realistic expectations for your prenatal care.
It's absolutely important to set realistic expectations for your prenatal care. Before switching doctors, you may want to be sure your partner, spouse, or close friend or family member attends an appointment with you. While you should trust your instincts, it can help to have another opinion before deciding to switch doctors during your pregnancy. If your spouse supports your decision, you'll feel more confident to when you begin your quest for a new doctor.
Contact your insurance company.
It's important to contact your insurance company before initiating a change to your healthcare provider, especially during a pregnancy. Some insurance companies pay doctors a lump sum for your medical care during pregnancy, and they'll need to be aware of the switch in order to keep your records straight. They may also have additional guidelines or paperwork required, depending on your specific plan. You also want to make sure the doctor you are intending to use is covered by your insurance.
Be straightforward when contacting a new doctor or midwife.
Be honest with a new practitioner about your decision to switch doctors mid-pregnancy. Let them know why you decided to change and what you are looking for in a doctor, midwife, or overall pregnancy experience. Disclose any and all medical concerns, questions, and be sure they are able to get your medical records from your old doctor or midwife. Be sure not to leave a practice until you have found a new doctor or midwife who will accept you as a patient.
Let your previous practice know why you decided to leave.
Did you decided to leave your doctor because of his bedside manner? Did he want a more medicalized birth than you were interested in? Was the office staff inattentive or cold? After you have found a new doctor, you may want to (politely) let the doctor or midwife know why you decided to find new prenatal care. Whether you simply weren't a good fit for one another or you had genuine concerns, letting the practitioner know may help future patients.