It's only natural to start thinking about everything from names to nursery decor after learning you're pregnant. In all the excitement, however, don't forget another big decision — selecting an obstetrician.
At his offices located in Cranston and Smithfield, Rhode Island, Dr. A. Michael Coppa brings over 25 years of OB/GYN experience to pregnancy care, as well as overall women's health and wellness concerns. Known for his personalized bedside manner, Dr. Coppa provides one-on-one care in a supportive environment.
Often parents-to-be interview a potential OB/GYN to make sure the doctor's philosophy and practice logistics are a good match with their vision of their baby's birth. Some questions to consider include the following:
Experience and training
Knowledge of a potential obstetrician's background and training is key. For example:
- How long have they been practicing obstetrics?
- Are they board-certified?
- Do they handle high-risk pregnancies, and if so, have they had additional training or certifications?
- Approximately how many babies have they delivered?
Once the doctor's qualifications have been vetted, it's also important to learn details about the practice. Some questions include:
- Is it a solo or group practice, and if solo, who covers births when they are unavailable?
- Does the doctor limit the number of women they take on who are due in the same month?
- At what hospitals do they enjoy privileges?
- How can they be reached in an emergency?
- What insurances do they accept?
It's easy to see why labor and delivery get all the attention, but it's important to understand what to expect during the months leading up to the baby's birth. For example:
- How often are prenatal appointments scheduled and how much time is allotted for them?
- What does the doctor focus on during this time?
- Which prenatal tests are recommended?
- How are questions in between appointments handled?
Making sure everyone is on the same page during pregnancy, labor, and delivery can go a long way toward an emotionally satisfying experience. Some questions to ask are:
- What is the doctor's general philosophy when it comes to pregnancy, labor, and delivery?
- What do they see as their role during these different phases?
- Will they help create a birthing plan?
- Are they ok with having family, etc., in the labor room?
- Would they be open to having a doula present?
- What is their opinion on inducing labor and under what circumstances?
- What is their philosophy on pain relief? Can they suggest drug-free ways to help with labor pain?
- How many of their patients do not use pain medications? How many have epidurals?
Labor and birth
So many issues can come up during labor and delivery, it's a good idea to research the answers ahead of time so there are no surprises. For example:
- How much freedom is available to walk around, drink, eat, etc?
- What sort of things should be expected, such as continuous fetal monitoring, IV, etc?
- At what point in the labor process does the doctor arrive?
- What happens if dilation is slow or labor stalls? Is there a time limit before moving to a medical intervention?
- Do they use vacuum extraction or forceps? If so, in what percentage of deliveries?
- What is their percentage of C-section deliveries?
- Do they perform episiotomies?
Having a baby is one of life's most amazing experiences. Call or click to book an appointment with Dr. Coppa today and join the thousands of new parents he has helped on this journey.