Before getting pregnant with my son, I ended up switching healthcare providers, from a doctor I wasn't thrilled with (but at least felt OK about), to an obstetrician I quickly began to dread. I understand that doctors working within America's notoriously problematic healthcare system are dealing with intense time constraints and other less-than-ideal circumstances, so I tried to give her the benefit of the doubt. But over the course of several months, there were too many ways my OB-GYN made me feel scared that I couldn't ignore, especially once I got pregnant and started considering who would be by my side while I gave birth to my baby.
Every profession has its stars and its duds, and obstetrics is no different. But as people who examine our most intimate body parts and care for us during some of the most vulnerable moments of our lives, it's especially important that an OB be honest, empathetic, and supportive. In the end, I knew that I wouldn't be able to trust this OB to support me or make credible recommendations during labor and birth, so I examined my local options. After careful consideration, I switched to a midwife-led practice, and was thrilled with my care and my birth experience.
If any of the following things I found scary make you think of your OB (or any other care provider), say something to them about it or switch to a new provider if you can. Your experiences in pregnancy and childbirth matter, and this time in your life is too important (and has too much of an impact on your long-term health and happiness) to entrust to just anyone. Your provider will come and go, but you and your family will have to live with the consequences of their actions forever.
If you are an OB reading this, please don't get defensive. Do better. I was lucky enough to have a low-risk pregnancy and had multiple options available to me when my first provider failed me. But regardless of their conditions or anything else, people shouldn't have to choose between high-quality, professional medical care and being treated with the respect and dignity any human being deserves.