MARRIAGE: WHAT ABOUT RELIGION?
From the moment you believe you may be pregnant, it becomes necessary to decide on a visit to the doctor. This immediately raises certain questions. The decision you make will depend to a large extent on where you live, in the city or the country, or in what land, such as Australia, America, England or some other country. Every place has its own set of situations. But generally speaking, you must see a doctor.
Very often, this will be the doctor you attend for your usual small illnesses. He may be a "family doctor" or "general practitioner." Maybe you and the family have been attending him for years past.
It is often convenient to check with him in the first instance, irrespective of what eventuates. He can often do the initial checking, and give you a definite "yes" or "no" answer as to whether you are pregnant or otherwise.
Many family doctors still carry out their own practice of obstetrics. If this is the case, the doctor will forthwith book you into the hospital he attends, and take over the prenatal care from that moment. You will then attend him regularly, at the specified times, and he will finally deliver the baby and care for you while you are in hospital.
Specialist Obstetrician the Ideal
However, more and more family doctors in the Western world are choosing to leave obstetrics to specialists in that field. As more information and practices are involved, the whole matter of obstetrics is tending to fall completely in to the hands of the specialist obstetrician. Many doctors believe this is a good thing, and are glad to see this trend, believing it to be for the greater welfare of the mother and the baby.
In recent years, increasing numbers of new techniques and procedures have become available. Many are very sophisticated, and constant experience is necessary for the doctor to remain facile in these procedures. The more the obstetrician carries these out, the more adept he becomes. Therefore, many doctors feel their patients are much better cared for in the hands of experts such as this.
Obstetricians are usually closely associated with certain hospitals in which they have complete faith. They will usually select a hospital which they know is geared to cope with any emergency that may arise.
There is absolutely no doubt that many small hospitals are ill-equipped to cope with some of the serious complications that can arise suddenly and without warning. This means there is a high risk to the mother and the infant at the time of birth.
Why take risks? It is not worth it. Enough problems lie in store under normal circumstances, so "only the best" is the most plausible advice that can be offered.
Listen to Your Family Doctor
So, if your own family doctor suggests a specialist obstetrician, then go along with his advice. He will most likely refer you to an individual specialist in whom he has special confidence. So, if your doctor suggests you see Dr. X, then happily make an appointment to see Dr. X. You will then remain with him for the remainder of the prenatal period. The doctor will deliver your baby, and will care for you while you are in hospital. Finally, he will see you once or twice, or more if necessary, after you have ultimately left hospital and are back home again after confinement is over.
In Australia and New Zealand the medical picture is rapidly changing. It changes from state to state and from month to month. There is much talk of patients attending specialists becoming linked to the hospital they will ultimately attend rather than to a specific specialist. But the basic principle remains the same. Attending a specialist for a confinement is considered the ideal thing in many instances for many women.
In the overall picture, be guided by your own doctor from the first visit, and go along with his recommendations. He will have your interests at heart at all times.