From the moment the pink lines shined positive on my pregnancy test my journey of motherhood began. I knew I would adjust my diet, take prenatal vitamins, folic acid supplements and be saying goodbye to sushi dinners for nine months. I would do all these things to ensure that my baby was born healthy-plump pink and full of life. But first I would need to find my physician who would lead me through a healthy pregnancy.
Step 1: Start with the basics
I had just moved to a new city so I needed to find an OB, but if you are already seeing a gynecologist you like who practices obstetrics as well, ask what hospital they attend births.  Then consider them as an option to care for you during your pregnancy. You can also ask one of your healthcare providers to recommend someone. You can also go to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ website to find an ob/gyn in your area. While most babies born in the U.S. are delivered by obstetricians, there are other options including certified nurse-midwives and family physicians too.
Step 2: Use Social Media to begin your search
I started with Twitter and Facebook and local listings to see what former patients were saying about their doctors visits. I put out a call for help and used social media as a key networking tool. Between status updates, tweets, message boards on the Bump and Baby Center, group messages on Mommy websites and friend referrals, I had a big list and all the information I needed to assess and make a decision.
Step 3: Get to know them first
After my online research, I had quite the robust list. I would suggest calling each office asking for some more information and get to know the practice. You may be able to trim down your list by obtaining more specific information.  For example, a few offices I called you had to rotate and see all the doctors, you were not guaranteed to see your doctor. That was a deal breaker for me, I knew I wanted to develop a connection with my doctor who would be delivering my first baby. There were other offices I called that were not accepting any new patients, so obviously I eliminated them from my list too. I was open to either a female or male doctor but my suggestion would be to go with whoever makes you feel more comfortable. Make sure the doctor’s office accepts your insurance!
Step 4: Are you compatible?  
My list had dwindled down to three lucky candidates. I made an appointment to get to know each of the doctors. When I met with my three possibilities, they were all cordial, knowledgeable, and took the time to speak to me. There was one doctor that was more clinical and the other two were more personable.  One of the doctors even offered to check my baby’s heartbeat. You want to make sure your doctor is someone you feel comfortable with and communicate with easily. Ask yourselves these questions. Does my doctor make me feel comfortable? Am I able to ask him or her questions easily? Does the doctor seem interested in me personally? Or is it all business? There are many obstetricians, all certified to deliver babies but you decide what kind of experience you want it to be. Bottom line make sure you click with your doctor. So who did I choose?
Step 5: Create a patient and physician partnership
I ended up choosing a doctor who engaged me and allowed me to have an active part in my care. My daughter Abby flipped at 38 weeks gestation and was sitting breech. My doctor and discussed with me all the possibilities and he really made me feel included in the decision-making process. As exciting as pregnancy can be it can also be at times stressful, you want to make sure you have a doctor you can collaborate with about your care. Because after all who knows your body better than you.