Can I Change Care Providers While Pregnant?
On the About.com Pregnancy and Birth blog, Robin Elise Weiss posted an article about changing care providers while pregnant.
The decision to change doctors or midwives is never easy, particularly during pregnancy. Though sometimes there comes a point when you realize that neither you nor your practitioner are happy and that you need to find someone who can provide you with the care that you need and deserve in pregnancy.
We asked the women on our Facebook page to raise their hand if they changed providers whle pregnant. Here are the many replies:
I switched at 37 weeks. Best decision ever!
At 34 weeks pregnant with my 3rd, from hospital midwives to out-of-hospital midwives. Scary at the time, but one of the best decisions I ever made.
i switched from an o.b./midwife at a hospital to a natural birthing center.
I did with my last baby that I just had on the 9th of March. I switched Dr’s back in December when I was just past 20 weeks. Best decision I have ever made. Even though I ended up having an emergency c-section because my uterus was on the verge of rupturing, it was an amazing birth. My Dr was so supportive and she made me feel totally comfortable in the midst of an emergency. I have no regrets changing providers or hospitals.
I switched at 35 weeks to a doc who really supported my vba2c - SOOO glad I did!
I switched at 34 or 35 weeks; but I should have just switched to another one within the same hospital.
I switched around 18 weeks.
Switched at 30 weeks with #2 from OB to midwife who was MUCH more supportive of my choice to VBAC
I switched at 25 weeks during my third pregnancy!
I switched in my first trimester and it was the best thing I did!
I second every word of what Terra said - and got my VBAC! :)
switched from a hospital CNM to a homebirth CNM at 33 weeks!
I switched at 28 weeks during my second pregnancy.
My old OB had told me, over the phone, that I have Hepatitis C antibodies in my blood. At the time, I didn’t realize what the difference between antibodies and antigens were. When I asked her what that meant, she simply replied “It could be bad, you’ll need to find out at your next appointment.
I called back 10 times within the next month to try and figure out what they meant and if it meant I had Hepatitis B or not. I was breastfeeding my toddler at the time so that put HIM at risk, as well.
I finally changed OB’s and *they* explained the difference between antibodies and antigens. Something that could have EASILY been done by my first OB, but they were just trying to get me to keep coming in.
If I dont get the answers I want at my next appt Ill be demanding a referral to switch (Im 34 weeks lol). Tired of the runaround with this military hospital!
i switched at 32 weeks during my 1st
I switched at 38 weeks because my baby was breech. My first OB would only do a c-section. It was a mad rush to find an OB who would allow me to have a vaginal breech birth!
I did @ 28 weeks
I switched at 20 weeks when my first doc treated me like I was stupid for wanting a vbac
I did with my first, I switched to dr wonderful lol
Yup! And so glad I did. I would have had a caesarian if I’d labored in a hospital with my original OB. Instead I labored at home with the intention of birthing at home, but transferred to the hospital after 18 hours including 5 hours of pushing. (No OB would permit 5 hours of pushing.) A run down 3 flights of stairs changed babe’s position, and he was born right after arriving at the hospital. I liked my midwife, but with another we might have had a homebirth. It all worked out for the best, though. We were all just happy to have DS in our arms.
I switched at the beginning of my second trimester and was able to deliver naturally. Best decision.
I switched after a subchorionic hemorrhage sealed. Left this lousy OB practice that made people sign forms saying they wouldn’t use doulas or The Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth and ran to the arms of my beloved midwives to birth at home!
I switched at 20wks from a hospital CNM practice to a birth center after finding out how induction-happy the CNMs were. Ironically enough, I was transferred out to another hospital at 39wks to be induced…for Pre-E and HELLP
I switched around 33 weeks. The OB had already scheduled a repeat C, even though I had not consented. A wonderful midwife worked with me and my VBAC baby is now 30 days old :-)
Last week, at 13 weeks, I decided to break up with my midwife for the same reason as Eden. She matter-of-factly said that if I tried for a VBAC, that my “uterus could rip apart”, with no further explanation. Yeah, real supportive. I haven’t been to my new practitioner yet, but based on the treatment I got at the old place, anything is better.
I changed from a doctor to a midwife. I was seeing all 3 health care professionals at my OB office and became unsatisfied with things after watching a documentary, Birthing from Within. It changed a lot of my views about birth and I called a home birth midwife on a whim. She was fantastic and my husband and I were very satisfied with her. I made the switch at about 30 weeks pregnant and went on to have a beautiful home birth. It was the most amazing thing and so was my midwife. I would recommend it to anyone with a healthy pregnancy. =)
The OB told me i read the wrong books and talked to the wrong people as i was going over points in the birth plan at around 30 weeks. I went home and immediately called a midwife whom i knew from a local birthing group in Syracuse NY and planned a home birth . I really need to thank this man for trying to reneg on points he had originally agreed to because i then knew early enough that i had to make changes. I would have faced battles at the hospital and who knows what might have ensued. My beautiful baby girl was born at home with wonderful midwives present and everything went smoothly, naturally and lovingly. If you don’t “feel” right about things, change!
I did, and so glad. My 1st provider was awful! Switched to a CNM who worked under the best OB in town who’d very supportive of natural birth. And so glad I did, b/c I had the midwife model of care & best OB when I needed a c-section…by Dr who reminded me over & over it didn’t mean I couldn’t have a vaginal birth next time.
Just switched from a CNM to a CPM (home birth) for my second birth when I found out that I “risked out” of the birth center automatically if I went past 41 weeks.
I wish I had! Ever since the time my OB said he’d do a CS after 12 hours, set alarm bells off but I did nothing about it. I was too scared to say anything and then after 12 hours, guess what happened ….
I did because I moved from NJ to PA. My old doctor (that I did really like) was going to be 1 1/2 hours away from my new home. I wish that he could have helped deliver my baby! My PA doc got me with the induction to c-section slippery slope. :(
I switched at 36 weeks and drove 500 miles to go back to my Dr the delivered my other children. While I didn’t get the VBA2C I wanted…I couldn’t get a midwife to touch me for a VBA2C and the hospital only offered VBAC…all in all I had to have another section, but it was with a Dr who I loved and trusted.
I just switched at 30 weeks. I just didn’t feel comfortable with the doctors there and they weren’t supportive of me wanting a VBAC.
switched twice for insurance change reasons, and once again at 36 weeks from hospital midwives to homebirth midwife
I switched…best decision ever. Went from going to be forced into a repeat c-section with an OB, to an amazing HBA3C with a wonderful midwife ♥ It was very late in my pregnancy as well.
Yes, ma’am. I switched during my 2nd pg with twins - once, and I tried to switch a 2nd time. The first time was because they’d been diagnosed with a severe condition and the OB wanted to get all up in my junk with invasive, heroic procedures that I wasn’t convinced had been proven to increase the possibility of a positive outcome. I found another high risk practice that was willing to sit back & watch & tolerate my experiments with using high protein as therapy, and then I hoped to switch to a midwifery practice at 35 weeks if all remained well - but it didn’t. With my last pregnancy, I switched from a freestanding birth center that has (in my opinion) too many midwives and takes too many patients and has a transfer rate that is too high for my comfort to a solo practice midwife who delivered in a hospital but kept totally hands-off and even managed to keep our RN from getting in there too much with the monitor.
Switched from a hospital-based group midwifery practice to a home birth midwife in my first pregnancy…best decision of my life! The hospital midwives were nice, but I saw a different one at every appointment and didn’t know who I would get for my birth, whereas I saw the same home birth midwife for over an hour at every prenatal and my birth. I will always be grateful to the hospital midwife who pointed me in the direction of the Birthing from Within midwives on Albuquerque, NM. Do not be afraid to switch, if your intuition tells you to!
I switched at nearly 37 weeks. It’s easy for me to look back on this and see it as a moment of courage (and really, it was), but it also showed just how much I was ignoring my intuition throughout my entire pregnancy. I knew there was a more supportive VBAC OB/midwife group in town. I knew that my OB was wavering on his VBAC support as my pregnancy went on. But it had to get to the point where he literally pulled a bait and switch before I did my own switch.
I had to switch for the birth itself, because my OB gave birth to her baby six minutes before I did, in the next room. The same OB delivered both of us!
*Raises hand* Fired OB at 29 weeks for calling me “negligent and irresponsible” for considering homebirth with future pregnancy and suggesting that I wanted a natural birth for my first. Whatever! I had a wonderful CNM take me and had a beautiful natural childbirth for my first, followed by a MW assisted homebirth for my second.
hand raised. switched from ob to midwife at around 21 weeks
Switched from a high risk OB to a homebirth CPM in the fifth month of my second pregnancy. To say that the decision changed my life would be a dramatic understatement. Eleven years later, I am a birth doula and a midwifery apprentice.
switched at 34 weeks from HORRIBLE OB in hospital to husband and home—had an excellent unassisted home birth! hubby was a champ. best decision EVER.
I regret not switching everyday. I had a bad feeling throughout the pregnancy but, being considered high risk, I felt that I didn’t have many options and that it would be the same elsewhere. Now in retrospect I can’t understand why I kept going back to a place where I was constantly bullied. The bad outcome was written in the sky and instead of reading it I remained hopeful. I sure paid the price.
Switched early in pregnancy #2 from birthing center (most popular/loved in my town) to home birth midwife. I just had a bad feeling, some thing not right. Turns out, within the year, the midwife I saw there (and the owner of the center) was sanctioned for practicing w/o a license. I also saw her in action at a birth where I was serving as the doula. Terrible bedside manner and, at one point, had my client erroneously pushing at 8 cm! Thankfully another midwife came in and caught the error. Once the owner left the room, the environment became much more conducive to a peaceful birth. I could never have known all that when I walked out of her office as a pregnant mom a few years before, it was just a little voice that said, ‘you don’t have to birth here’, when I listened I became an active part of my birth team.
I did, and it was a great decision. My original OB felt like a baby factory - very busy and fast. They immediately labeled me “high risk” for being overweight, forgot my name, and dismissed my husband completely. I switched to a midwife/OB team at a small hospital 45 minutes from my house who treated me like a person, not just a patient.
at 40w3d last Tuesday. I’m now holding my beautiful newborn, born in our van on our way to the hospital to have the VBAC my old OB didn’t think I could do. Despite my first birth being uncomplicated vag delivery after 24min of pushing on an epidural and 2nd birth was c/s ONLY because she was double footling breech. Baby #3 came after only 3 hr in labor and in 1.5 pushes! Yep that elusive VBAC…rolls eyes. Good thing old OB put me through so much aggravation for almost two months.
I switched because the OB practice I chose for my second birth/VBAC attempt gave me the bait-and-switch! I transferred care to the “famous” Dr. Tate at 37.5 weeks, and had an all-natural VBAC exactly one week later.
3rd time was the charm!
I just switched at 26 wks, for my doctor flipped out whe I said I wanted a doula. It was insane.
Hand raised. Switched at 22 weeks from midwife to OB when we found twins.
I did! Went from an ob @ hospital to midwife @ birthcenter at 30 weeks. Best decision ever
My message to mommas who have tinges of doubt to leave…YOU CAN DO IT! I went through many pregnancies with OB’s who missed the births and didn’t listen to me, didn’t stay in the room for pete’s sake. Even after I’d had one as the OB walked in and two whose births were missed (though I’d been at the hospital for over two hours), I still had an OB miss a third birth. It causes a lot of scrambling by the nurses. Also, nurses in charge of my care, and I had one very bad nurse. Having a CNM who agreed to stay with me and advocate for me made a big difference. I had already decided with baby #7 to get away from OB and went to a family doctor, but when she made me uncomfortable with her answers, I switched at 30 weeks to a midwife. YOU CAN DO IT! Don’t wait for the next birth.
I switched after my very first appointment with my OB/GYN- he’d been my GYN for years and I hadn’t expected to hear “let’s schedule your c-section” at 8 wks pregnant… I asked what was wring that I needed a c-section and the nurse said “oh, nothing, it’s just our policy to schedule one just in case.” I walked out and found a midwife.
TWO HANDS UP! I switched twice this pregnancy. Ended up going with a group of 6 midwifes and 2 OBs at 25 weeks. My daughter was born March 7th, 1 week late, and I had an amazing and intence natural labor experence with the midwives and my SUPER Doula.The Hospital was amazing and the main reason I found these midwives. Jacuzzi in every birth room, nurses were just amazing, no IV or constant monitoring. Just sad after 4 hours of pushing a psterier baby I signed for the C-section. My VBAC dreams crushed but at least I got to breastfeed her in the OR and have skin to skin for a few hours, give her first bath inh our room all before they took her for weight and height.
I switched from a big OB practice when I was about 16 weeks pregnant because they were very dismissive of my wishes to try a natural birth. I found a wonderful midwife and had a beautiful, natural homebirth. This is my first baby.
yup, in the first trimester. the first one told me midwives were only in it for the money, that I needed to understand that his absolute first priority was the child *then* the mother, that birth plans were fantasies, and at 8 wks told me I’d be having a c-section. Oh and he argued with me about when I had conceived, as if LMP method is never wrong.
I switched at 36 weeks with my third baby (made the decision around 32-33 weeks, but my first appointment was at 36 wks). I’d had a great (induction, medicated, but no c/s) experience with my first two, and really loved my OB, but decided late in the game to go the natural route with my third, feeling it’s better for all involved (except maybe labor partners, LOL). I switched to a midwife at a very natural-friendly hospital, and had a very positive experience.
I switched from my OB to a homebirth midwife. I ended up with the wrong midwife and should have switched again. It has to be the right care provider regardless of OB, Hospital Midwife or Homebirth. Know what you want and ask the tough questions!
I was without an OB (no midwife available in our area at that time) for most of my second pregnancy. My OB moved 3,000 miles away 5 weeks after I found out I was pregnant, and the new one didn’t come until I was almost 28 weeks.
Switched at 5 months and got my VBAC! Should have ran from my first dr, probably wouldn’t have ended up with a section if I did. Oh and, when I spoke to my doctor about switching, she listened to me and said, “it does sound like you’d prefer a midwife, I will call her and we can make a smooth transition. I’d like a picture when the baby is born.” She was a sweetheart about the switch. She’s my family doctor, so we have gone to her for well baby visits.
I did with the second kid!
I switched from the OB we’d used with the birth of our son (c-section) to a midwife group at around 24 weeks. The OB told me she’d support a VBAC, but also recommended an epidural as soon as I was in labor (why???). When I said I really wanted a natural birth this time, she said she’d support me, but it would be a lot riskier and I’d have to sign papers saying that I understood the risks.
I decided I didn’t want to be scared more than I already was scared, so I started looking for a doula, and ended up with a doula and a midwife. (When I mentioned a doula to the OB, she said it was fine to have one there, but that doulas were “really expensive”. Again, ???) Changing to the midwives was the best thing I could have done. I just wish I’d done it sooner! Our daughter was born last June with our doula and midwife, in the hospital, all natural VBAC. My husband thought it was wonderful, and he said he wished we could have had that experience the first time around, with the birth of our son. If you’re not feeling thoroughly supported, switch! (I had spoken with an ICAN leader prior to switching, and she said to really think about our provider and, if something happened to me and I couldn’t speak, whether that provider would do everything in his/her power to carry out our wishes. I decided I didn’t fully trust the OB, and we switched!)
I switched at 38 weeks! I had been planning a homebirth, but a medical issue came up that made me too nervous to stay at home.
I switched at 38 weeks and got the Vbac! …mostly the way I wanted…hoping for a homebirth next time!:)
2nd baby switched 4 times, still wound up with a CBAC. 3rd baby due in August & have already switched and am keeping this one :)
I did, with my first.
My first son was born at 29weeks so I needed a hospital and ob for my next pregnancy. But now I am days away from hitting 37 weeks so I have an appointment with a midwife and tour of a birthing center on Wednesday. I’m really hoping I’ll be able to make the switch.
I switched at 34 weeks after being put on bed-rest. My OB went out early for a scheduled C-section, and after weeks of asking, I still didn’t know another doctor in her practice. Getting an appointment was a joke to say the least. She (and her practice / hospital) were never supportive of natural birth. Her comment was, “Everyone tries, but nobody can actually do it.” I switched to a midwife and delivered at home. I did a quick series of Bradley classes (private session) but missed the last class when I delivered at 36 weeks and a day. My instructor joked that I passed the final :-) Our second was delivered at a hospital in Houston WITH A MIDWIFE. It is the only hospital in Houston that lets midwives deliver in the hospital. I had a retained placenta with the first that turned scary after having to transport to the hospital. My husband wanted to be in a hospital in case it happened again (and it did). Nonetheless, the delivery was absolutely a midwife delivery without nurses and doctors. I never changed to a gown until they had to deal with the second retained placenta. Even still, I was away from my baby for 45 minutes (my husband had him the whole time). Before the surgery for the placenta, I held him up until they started wheeling the bed. They also worked with me so I would be able to breastfeed immediately after surgery. My midwife was with me the whole time in the operating room. To anyone thinking of switching - DO IT! If you are uncomfortable now, imagine how you will feel when he/she delivers your baby!
I did—I went through three OBs and finally found a midwife practice that my insurance would cover. I drove over an hour to go to my appointments and to give birth at the birthing center but it was worth it!
I switched at 32 weeks because I didn’t like the bedside manner of my 1st OB. The new one was so nice that I barely noticed that he was ordering a cascade of interventions that resulted in a C-section. I wish I had stayed with the one I loathed. Good bedside manner does NOT equal good doctor.
I did! I had just moved to the area and was on the hunt for a homebirth midwife, so I saw a number of military midwives getting all the routine tests done while I searched out my homebirth midwife. I never told them why I never came back, just stopped making appts. (I’ve heard horror stories of military spouses being threatened if a command finds out a homebirth is being planned, no thanks!)
For my first baby, I switched from an intervention-oriented OB to a CNM/OB practice at a hospital birth center at 12 weeks. When the OB at the birth center started pushing induction or an elective c-section as I passed my due date, I started looking elsewhere. I found a homebirth midwife through my SIL and hired her at 41 weeks.
In my first pregnancy, I switched from an OB to a group of CNMs because I read Henci Goer’s The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth and asked the OB some questions (some of his responses are on the “My OB said WHAT?!?” website) and figured out his philosophy of care was not what I wanted. At all.
Switched to homebirth midwife at 30 weeks after OB told me if I wanted a natural birth then I shouldn’t go to the hospital.
I fired my OB at 37 weeks, three days before Christmas and called every single midwife in the city until I found one that would take me on.
For my first pregnancy I switched from on OB/Gyn to a midwife sometime in the 2nd trimester. After paying nearly $1,000 for unnecessary blood tests, I remembered that I had been interested in natural childbirth and set about finding a birth center. One of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
::hand raised:: I switched doctors twice and settled on a home birth midwife :)
I switched but it was late in the game and as I was pregnant with twins/liabilities, I had many providers turn me away. Ended up with someone not as hateful as the first one was, but not on my side either. Ended up with the c-section the first one had threatened me with - combination of not knowing my rights and not wanting to be a “bad” patient & really “bad” mommy before I even had them in my arms. Cliche’ warning: If I only knew then what I know now…
I switched 36+ wks with my 5th , from a HB with 2 wonderful midwives to an OB, a personal referral from my GP. My BP was rising and I was showing polyhydraminos. I called the most obvious, midwife friendly Drs, but got no call backs :/ I was treated so poorly, so disrespectfully. I considered a UC , but something went wrong (abruption???) I called for transport to ER and suffered the humiliation of a ‘botched homebirth’. It was quite the spectacle. They outright thought I was on rec drugs (because they had never seen an unmed quiet birth) and treated us as such. My daughter didn’t get out with out battle wounds. My skin crawls when I think about the indecency of the care we received. We needed care and we got kicked in the face.
I switched from my ob to a homebirth mw at 35 weeks. I am proud to say my ob was supportive and encouraging regarding my switch!
switched at 39 weeks with my first. still ended up with an uneccesarean at the end of it, but my labour was very peaceful and positive.
I switched at 32 wks from OB to midwives at a birthing center. I had that *feeling* and knew that there was a notorious “cutter” in that OB’s practice. At the time I really didn’t know a lot about birth and virtually nothing about midwives or natural childbirth. All I knew was that it had to be better for mother and baby and that I definitely didn’t want a C-section. The nurses at the hospital said in their childbirth class that they encouraged natural childbirth and lots of moving around during labor but their section rates are the same as the nat’l average. We were nervous about the birthing center but it still felt right. Looking back I’m glad I went with my gut even though I didn’t know much… Anybody else turn into a *birth junkie* after having a good birth experience??? Yeah that’s me now! Can’t stop reading and learning about birth…. Next time will be a homebirth!
don’t be afraid to do it!
I’m in the process of switching right now. If all goes well, I’ll have a new back-up (shhhhh!) OB at 29 weeks.
I switched 3 times. The third doctor being the one that would do a VBAC. Proud to say that my VBAC was a success AND it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life! Oh and BTW, I switched doctors when I was 7 1/2 months pregnant. I went from another routine second c-section to a VBAC!
Raising my hand- I was about 37 weeks when I changed from a really wonderful midwife (the OB got rid of her when I was 36weeks) to a homebirth midwife. I had a wonderful homebirth, am happy I made that decision, and am happy to be planning another one!
I switched at 27 weeks from a mainstream medical practice masquerading as a birth center to an amazing homebirth midwife and had a beautiful 9lb 14oz baby after 50 hours of back labor and it was the best thing I’ve ever done! (… would’ve been a cesarean for sure.)
I switched at something like.. 36 or 38 weeks when the hospital told me they would not waive the mandatory nursery visit after birth the way my provider had promised.