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How to break up with your doctor or midwife

Ami is a writer who is also a childbirth educator and former doula. In addition to her love of all things birth and babies, she is addicted to celebrity news and isn't ashamed to admit it. Ami lives in Chicago with her husband and her te...

If you don't like your midwife, there's still time to switch

Breaking up is hard to do, especially when you're pregnant and feel you need a different doctor or midwife. Moms share tips for saying "bye" and finding the best provider for you and your baby.

For many moms-to-be, the relationship with a doctor or midwife is an important part of prenatal care. Sometimes, moms-to-be decide that "breaking up" is the right thing to do. It's not always easy — it's also typically never too late. Some practices have a cutoff date for taking new patients, but not all. It's worth checking if you feel strongly that you need to break up.

A breakup due to VBAC

Tiffany F. wanted a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) and while her OB initially seemed on board, she says things changed. "As my pregnancy progressed and we started talking birth plans, she was insistent that I would likely have the same issues this time around as my first child, that I should just schedule a C-section... I didn't like these answers and her attitude towards the process so at 36 weeks pregnant, I switched to another practice where I would be assisted by midwives."

Learn more about choosing between doctors or midwives for your birth >>

She says switching practices is one of the best things she ever did. "I had my second daughter at 39 weeks, exclusively with the midwives, with no issues or complications and a vaginal birth."

What you need to know about cesarean birth >>

The "best" doctor may not be best for you

Aimee G.'s friend recommended her first OB. It turns out that doctor was a great fit for her friend, but not for her. "She was just a bad fit for my personality, not necessarily unskilled," she says. "During the pregnancy she seemed both aloof and unconcerned, and she also did not provide the type of confident, definitive advice I was craving."

Aimee switched to a new OB she loved. She explains, "She was strong, confident, definitive and opinionated, which worked well for me as a nervous, anxious first-timer looking to be told what to do."

Tips for breaking up amicably

Breaking up can be as simple as asking your new doctor or midwife to request your records from the old practice. Or, it may involve a phone call or email. Remember, maternity care is a business, and if you're not happy, don't hesitate to tell the practice why you're leaving.

Tiffany says, "I told them that I wanted a second opinion on the VBAC likelihood because I didn't like the answers I was getting so I asked for my records to date. There really wasn't a reaction. I received my records and took them to the new doctor. Once I decided I liked the new doctor, I cancelled my future appointments with my old doctor and told them I was switching practices."

Aimee G. offers this tip, "You should not be afraid to look for and find exactly who you need and feel most comfortable with. Do not feel like you have to stay with the same doctor you started with, and be willing to meet a few doctors if necessary to find the right fit."

Whether this is your first pregnancy, or you've already given birth, each experience is unique and you deserve to work with a doctor or midwife who is right for you.

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