When Men Go to the Gynecologist

Being an expectant father brings you many new experiences. For example....

If you're like most men, you've never had any reason to visit a gynecologist. You also probably have no experience finding reliable day care providers or deciding the merits of a midwife versus an obstetrician.

When it comes to pregnancy and birth, you've probably never seen a baby born before, and terms such as "amniocentesis" and "chorionic villus sampling" are most likely not in your regular vocabulary.

Picking an OB/GYN, Certified Nurse Midwife, doula, or other professional requires careful thought and consideration. These folks are key players in a successful birth and will be on your mind a lot over the next few months. Therefore, you must be able to communicate and work together.

Some expectant couples are comfortable following the professional's lead—confident that the doctor knows best, they don't feel the need to question her recommendations. They view the doctor as the captain, not a colleague, on the pregnancy voyage.

Other couples want a more collegial relationship with their pregnancy professionals. They want to ask many questions, probe the doctor's reasoning, make suggestions, and explore alternatives. After all, the mom will be doing most of the work, with the dad by her side. Why shouldn't both have substantial input?

Each approach is perfectly legitimate, as are any approaches that fall somewhere in the middle. The key is to find someone who's compatible with the plan you and your partner have for the pregnancy and delivery of your baby.

Adapted from Idiot's Guides: Pregnancy for Dads by Joe Kelly, copyright 2014 Alpha Books and used by permission.

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