Changing Providers at 35 Weeks

QUESTION

Dear Midwife,
Hi. I am 35 weeks pregnant. Is it too late to change prenatal care providers? I go to an OB/GYN, and lately I've been feeling rushed whenever I attend my appointments. This week I feel severe pain on the left side of my pubic bone and reported to my provider that I've secreted a clear-whitish mucous about 3 days ago. I asked if I should see her and she said it is not necessary.

Furthermore I called back and left messages asking her if I can get some letter for my job, excusing me due to the fact that walking, sitting and getting up and around makes the pain worse. I teach and I have to take four trains and go up and down stairs both to transfer trains and at work. She hasn't gotten back to me yet. I am thinking of getting a mid-wife instead. Please advise.

ANSWER

It is never too late to change providers, you are the one who decides. It is hard on us providers when you change late in your pregnancy, and there is no way that we can have the same relationship with you as we would with someone we have known for months.

But it is very important that you feel like you are important to your care provider, and that you feel like you are listened to. After all, you are putting the life of your child and possibly even your own life in the hands of this person -- literally. You need to be able to trust what your provider tells you.

I would suggest that now is the time (I mean today!) to "shop" for an alternative care provider, something I wish every woman would do when she is first pregnant. Try to see several before you choose. See if there is someone who you feel more comfortable with and who has room to care for you. If so, that person will take care of all the arrangements to transfer your records.

-- Cynthia, CNM. PhD.

Cynthia Flynn

Cynthia Flynn, CNM. PhD, is the General Director of the Family Health and Birth Center which provides prenatal, birth, postnatal, gynecological and primary health care to underserved women and their families in Washington, D.C. Recently Cynthia served as Associate Professor of Nursing at Seattle University. There she not only taught, but remained in full scope clinical midwifery practice at Valley Medical Center where she cared for pregnant and birthing women, and practices well-woman gynecology, family planning, and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.

Cynthia founded Columbia Women's Clinic and Birth Center, where she took care of pregnant women and infants up to two weeks of age and attended both birth center and hospital births. Before Cynthia earned her CNM, she worked as a registered nurse in labor and delivery and postpartum and is a certified Doula and Doula trainer.