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Honestly - I have worked in a labor and delivery unit before and have seen both FP MDs and OB as well as OB Midwives at work. Nothing against FP docs, but I just feel that OB obviously are the experts and in this area and things just ran much more smoothly in deliveries with OBs.
For me it wasn't a question, I had always gone to my family practice doc for paps, etc, but once I decided to get pregnant, I knew I wanted to go with an OB. I went with a midwife my first pregnancy and had a great experience. I just ended up with a c section so my second time around I stuck with an OB MD.
I went with a Family Practice doc for my care during both my pregnancies.
During my quest to get pregnant, I met two wonderful OB/Gyn's. One did 30+ deliveries per month during his on-call week and the other did 10-15 during her on-call week. Only in rare cases did either deliver their own patients (unless you happened to go into labor when they were on-call). Both OB clinics also required their patients to meet each Dr in the practice at least once during their pregnancy. So, especially in the case of the one clinic, I would have had a different doc just about every visit of my pregnancy. In an effort to help calm my first-time mom anxieties, it was important to develop a relationship with my Dr. I chose the family practice route.
I went to the HealthEast Vadnais Hts clinic and chose the same Dr I had been seeing for my annual exams and sick visits, for my prenatal care. She also delivered my babies, rounded at the hospital after my deliveries and is currently both DDs doctor. On average, she does 6-8 deliveries a month, can handle any delivery (including VBACs) except for c-sections and partners with two OB groups for c-sections and pregnancies with multiples. I know her and her clinic nurse and trust that when she's reached the limit(s) of her experience and knowledge (which has happened a couple times), she'll refer me to a specialist. The HealthEast care system really encourages the family practice model of care.
Ultimately, I think it's a personal decision based on your personality, the personality of your Dr, as well as, your comfort level. If you'd like to see one Dr for everything, including your pregnancy and well-child visits, I strongly encourage you to look into a family practice doctor.
My first pregnancy I went with my FP doctor. During labor she ended up calling in an OB after 4 hours of pushing because my daughter was sunny side up. This time around I went with an OB from the start of my pregnancy. Make sure you're comfortable with your doctor, the OB that came in during my 1st delivery almost killed my baby because of her carelessness. I went to 3 different OB's before I found the one I have now. They specialize in women's health and birthing, I just figured why not start out with the expert?
It's much like trying to decide between doctor and mid-wife. Most of it is personal preference and availability. If something was high-risk or the practitioner was feeling uncomfortable with their abilities, they'll refer you out.
I grew up in a small town and I've seen some WONDERFUL family practice doctors. And I'm met some horrible specialists, so don't fall into the idea that because they specialize in an area, that they are actually more capable medical professionals because that isn't always the case and sometimes they're more black and white about things, but the body lives in grey. But I've also seen some not so capable family practice doctors, too.
I do my paps with a nurse practitioner. I'm seeing a mid-wife. Through my experiences with doctors and nurses in my hometown and area, I don't believe that you need to have the highest or the "best" doctor, unless things get complicated or serious. But that makes many other people nervous and I'm sure there are those who think I"m too laid-back about my health.