Choosing a private obstetrician
In the course of a regular pregnancy via the NHS, a woman will usually be seen by one or a team of midwives during her check-ups. At some point during her pregnancy she might see the consultant obstetrician who is in charge of her case, but more often, if she has appointments to see the obstetrician during her pregnancy for any reason, she will attend a session where junior doctors are seeing the patients under the supervision of the main consultant.
Why choose a private obstetrician?
Many private obstetricians also work within the NHS for part of their week, though some are fully private. Having your baby through a private clinic is expensive and will cost several thousands if you use a private obstetrician throughout your pregnancy. However some couples choose this route for differing reasons:
Away from busy NHS antenatal clinics where waiting times for appointments can take half a day (particularly in London).
• Medical concern
If there are reasons which make a pregnancy ‘high risk’, a couple may choose to opt for a private obstetrician as this offers continuity of care, with the obstetrician present even for routine check-ups that would usually be carried out by a midwife.
• Care from start to finish
In the NHS many regions are so busy with that you might not see the same midwife or doctor twice. This does not necessarily reflect in a negative way on the quality of your care, but it can give some women cause for concern. Especially if they have anxieties about pregnancy that they do not wish to go through each time they meet a new member of the team.
How to choose a private obstetrician
If you have friends who can recommend a consultant, this makes a huge difference in putting your mind at ease. However, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists have some excellent advice on their website for those patients looking for private care.
At www.rcog.org.uk you can find the latest information on how to understand a doctor’s professional qualifications. And at www.drfosterhealth.co.uk you can find a list of consultants who specialise in Obstetrics and Gynaecology that are local to you.
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