One of the questions commonly asked among girlfriends is "Do you have a good OB?" Prior to being pregnant, I was more open to a variety of OB types even to the one that is very knowledgeable but somewhat cold. It didn't matter so much since I would only see her once maybe twice a year. But as soon as that pink line showed up last October, finding another OB at Kaiser Oakland became top priority. I immediately knew that I wanted it all: expertise, warmth, encouragement, humor, and approachability. Why did I make the switch? Well, when I emailed my original doctor with the news. Her response was short without a congratulations and the text of the email simply contained the phone number to the appointment line. In that moment, I knew it wasn't going to work, so I officially "broke up" with that OB, and began my search for a new one.
Luckily I came across Dr. Ivy Yu. Her bio and photo popped with excitement and warmth. So, I sent the exact email to Dr. Yu as I did to my previous OB. Her response was from the opposite end of the spectrum. "Congratulations on your pregnancy! How excited you must be. I would be glad to care for you throughout this pregnancy. I look forward to meeting you." Two weeks later I was in her office. It was patient bliss. Looking back after over a dozen appointments and emails, Dr. Yu is a keeper. She's believes communication between the patient and doctor is key, " I think communication style is very important. Who cares if you have the smartest doctor in the world, but you either cannot get a hold of them, or cannot understand what they are telling you?"
However at larger hospitals, the good OB's aren't always taking new patients. It seems that the next best alternative is find a nurse practioner (NP). Dr. Yu can reassure patients that with clinical care "there is minimal difference between an MD and an NP. Both are clinically competent to follow a normal pregnancy." Of course, an NP won't deliver the baby, but nowadays at a large institution your OB won't necessarily deliver your baby either. Bottom line is that a good NP is a gem as well.
The above painting is titled "Dancing in the Womb of Papaya" by Mara Friedman. This will be my visual focus during labor.