Switch doctor at 22 weeks? — The Bump
2nd Trimester

Switch doctor at 22 weeks?

I recently moved from one state to another and have had 2 prenatal appointments with my new doctor(s). The doctors are friendly but the office isn't very clean and I found out they don't have a NICU at the hospital I would be delivering at (a Level 1 nursery equipped for births 35+ weeks... says I would go to different hospital if premature or baby in a helicopter to get intensive treatment if needed but that they are ready to handle these situations). There is a hospital at a similar distance from me with a Level II NICU that is equipped for births 32+ weeks. However, when I called a doctor affiliated with the hospital to make an appointment, they said they can't accept me because they are full and 22 weeks is late to transfer. Should I keep looking and go to a doctor with less favorable reviews who is associated with the hospital with better NICU? It is hard to find a doctor with consistently good reviews associated with this hospital.

Re: Switch doctor at 22 weeks?

  • Is there a reason to suspect you would even need a NICU? Is that the only reason you would be switching doctors? 
    paytonpedroharpseal135
  • nike0828 said:
    I recently moved from one state to another and have had 2 prenatal appointments with my new doctor(s). The doctors are friendly but the office isn't very clean and I found out they don't have a NICU at the hospital I would be delivering at (a Level 1 nursery equipped for births 35+ weeks... says I would go to different hospital if premature or baby in a helicopter to get intensive treatment if needed but that they are ready to handle these situations). There is a hospital at a similar distance from me with a Level II NICU that is equipped for births 32+ weeks. However, when I called a doctor affiliated with the hospital to make an appointment, they said they can't accept me because they are full and 22 weeks is late to transfer. Should I keep looking and go to a doctor with less favorable reviews who is associated with the hospital with better NICU? It is hard to find a doctor with consistently good reviews associated with this hospital.
    Soooo, I have never given birth in a hospital, so the NICU thing would not sway me personally. Are you high risk? Do you think you’ll need a NICU? 

    I’m a big believer in women needing to be where they are comfortable and supported and trust their providers, so if you’re not comfortable where you’re at, yes, I would suggest continuing to look. 22 weeks is not to late to switch, but I’m also not surprised that they are full. 
    paytonpedro
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  • No I'm low risk and everything is fine so far... It just sort of freaked me out to hear that if  baby was having trouble and needed more help that she would be put in a helicopter, maybe without me. The dr. office is just different than what I'm used to... older equipment (standard weight scale instead of electronic, no 3D ultrasound options); the bathroom they ask you to use for urine samples has been a bit dirty twice; the staff and doctors aren't wearing masks; and they put everyone on a payment plan to be depositing money ahead of time before birth instead of getting billed as I go. It's just a different feel. The positive is that the doctors seem to have the best reviews on Google and HealthGrades  and I've seen that they are friendly, really take their time getting to know medical history and talking about concerns, do ultrasounds every time I visit, etc. It's hard moving somewhere brand new and not knowing where is best to go!
  • nike0828 said:
    No I'm low risk and everything is fine so far... It just sort of freaked me out to hear that if  baby was having trouble and needed more help that she would be put in a helicopter, maybe without me. The dr. office is just different than what I'm used to... older equipment (standard weight scale instead of electronic, no 3D ultrasound options); the bathroom they ask you to use for urine samples has been a bit dirty twice; the staff and doctors aren't wearing masks; and they put everyone on a payment plan to be depositing money ahead of time before birth instead of getting billed as I go. It's just a different feel. The positive is that the doctors seem to have the best reviews on Google and HealthGrades  and I've seen that they are friendly, really take their time getting to know medical history and talking about concerns, do ultrasounds every time I visit, etc. It's hard moving somewhere brand new and not knowing where is best to go!
    What you are describing w/ payments is standard in today's world of medical billing.

    I've been in state of the art buildings where the bathrooms were not as clean - I had to empty my bladder before a test and there was urine on the seat and a urine catcher in the trash.  It happens, just mention it and they will take care of it w/ proper protection.  

    Who cares if the scale is not electronic - it still gives accurate (if not MORE ACCURATE) weight.  3D ultrasounds are not a necessity unless you need level 2 care.  A standard ultrasound machine is perfectly fine.

    Sorry, but in the grand scheme of things - those are very minor.  If you are more comfortable w/ your provider to wear a mask, just ask.  

    It sounds like there is no worry about a need for NICU.  If you were high risk then I would be more concerned.  You need to do what you feel is best, but honestly just because some place is more "updated" doesn't necessarily mean that the care is better. 
  •  nike0828 said:
    No I'm low risk and everything is fine so far... It just sort of freaked me out to hear that if  baby was having trouble and needed more help that she would be put in a helicopter, maybe without me. The dr. office is just different than what I'm used to... older equipment (standard weight scale instead of electronic, no 3D ultrasound options); the bathroom they ask you to use for urine samples has been a bit dirty twice; the staff and doctors aren't wearing masks; and they put everyone on a payment plan to be depositing money ahead of time before birth instead of getting billed as I go. It's just a different feel. The positive is that the doctors seem to have the best reviews on Google and HealthGrades  and I've seen that they are friendly, really take their time getting to know medical history and talking about concerns, do ultrasounds every time I visit, etc. It's hard moving somewhere brand new and not knowing where is best to go!
    With the exception of the dirty bathrooms, this all sounds very similar to my practice. They have digital scales for infants, but analog for adults. My providers didn’t always wear masks, and the last time I saw them was last year. Presumably they are vaccinated and not required to. My practice didn’t even do anatomy scans in house until the last year or so. The payment plans are very normal. It’d be very unusual nowadays to pay as you go. Maternity care is typically billed with global billing after the birth. 
  • @nike0828 The bathroom thing is gross but...it’s a bathroom. I’d be more concerned about the exam room being cleaned properly. You have to think about it as a business, coming off the pandemic. some docs take insurances that don’t pay out a ton, payment plans make sense so that people don’t dip after the baby is born & everything goes to collections. 3D ultrasounds are nice but not required. As long as they can see the baby’s heart/brain and other organs. And can measure everything properly, that’s all you really need for the anatomy scan. Which I’m assuming you’ve had already since you’re 22 weeks? I didn’t get another scan after 19 weeks until I was in the hospital during my induction to check baby’s position.
    i would rather take a friendly doc with good reviews over someone with brand new equipment and sh*tty bedside manner.
    FWIW, I moved states around 21 weeks and didn’t see my new midwife until 26 weeks. So it’s possible, but they can have whatever policies in place that work for them. 
    I also wouldn’t worry about masks if they’re fully vaxxed. And if you’re low risk, of course there’s a chance of premature birth or complications, but again, I wouldn’t worry too much, you can always just go to the other hospital if your water breaks early? 

    Possible TW?
    I saw multiple different midwives for my prenatal care and had different ones while I was being induced (took two full days). And then in the end needed a high risk OB to deliver my son last minute because he was stuck and I developed an infection. So I didn’t really care who was taking care of us as long as they knew what they were doing 🤷🏻‍♀️
  • Take this from someone who had 3 very high risk pregnancies and gave birth to preemies, you don't want to have to worry about NICU. Most preemies, if you even have one, are late term preemies (34-36 weeks) in which your current hospital is fully capable of caring for your baby. That is IF, and it's a big if, you go into preterm labor and deliver early. Based on your description of your practice, I would say you landed in an awesome place! Take it from someone who has had a literal TEAM of doctors and not all of them were nice, even tho their offices were completely state of the art. With you being low risk, I wouldn't go borrow the trouble of needing a NICU, worrying about it etc. Also, if your baby is transferred, you can make it. You can survive. My second boy was transferred at less than hour old. He was 3 days old before I could see him because I wasn't released from my hospital. It sucks, but it is doable. 

    I honestly just feel like you need to relax and enjoy the best part of your pregnancy. If you aren't comfortable find somewhere else, but if the only reason you want to transfer is the very slim reason your baby may need NICU, then I would recommend you evaluate why you're so anxious about it. 
    Knottie1463199522
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