Who is the best OBGYN in Memphis?

As a doula, I am frequently asked or am privy to some variation of the question, “Who is the best OBGYN in Memphis?” Variations include: What do you know about Dr. XYZ? Has anyone had a totally intervention-free birth with Dr. XYZ? Does Dr. XYZ induce at 41 weeks like my current OB? Can anyone tell me who their favorite OB is and why? Have any of you had a VBAC in Memphis with Dr. XYZ? I’m new in town and need a new OB. Who do you recommend? Have you ever worked with Dr. XYZ? What are they like? Then come the responses. ALL of the responses. The asker soon finds themselves inundated with options, choices, and opinions, and may be left feeling more confused than before she asked. The truth is, it’s a loaded question. People choose their OBGYNs for a variety of reasons, some of which they may or may not disclose, and their answers don’t tell you what that doctor-patient relationship would look like for you.

best obgyn in memphis

Where crowdsourcing falls short

Although crowdsourcing can be a great way to procure a list of options, there isn’t one single best OBGYN in Memphis. When you see an OBGYN for your pregnancy and birth, you are receiving care that is highly individualized. Your doctor is looking at your individual pregnancy and health history and drawing from their knowledge and experience to give you the best care they can. Perhaps you consulted with that doctor people are raving about and left feeling underwhelmed- the doctor who was perfect for your sister or best friend may not be what you need at all, and that’s okay!

How to find the best OBGYN in Memphis...for you

Aside from insurance considerations, the top three things to consider when choosing an OBGYN are personal connection, communication style, and similar values surrounding pregnancy and birth. Let’s break it down:

Personal connection: This isn’t priority #1 for everyone, but it’s something to consider. If you value one-on-one care, a solo or smaller practice may better suit your needs than a larger group with a rotating call schedule. If you choose a larger group, do you feel comfortable with each doctor in the practice?

Communication style: Does the doctor you choose take the time to listen and understand your questions and concerns, or do you feel like you’re talking past each other? Do you know that you can always get the answers you need to make important decisions about your care? Finding an OB who speaks your language is important!

Similar values: Think about the things that are most important to you for this pregnancy and birth. Write them down if you feel the need. Different doctors have different passions, strengths, and perspectives. Ask them how they typically handle things that matter to you, like freedom of movement, inductions, post dates, pushing and delivery positions, TOLAC, modesty, cervical checks, monitoring, fluids, cord clamping, skin-to-skin, any health conditions you already have, cesareans, postpartum depression and anxiety...their answers will tell you a lot about their individual practice style and can inform your choices.

There’s no magic formula for choosing an OBGYN, but finding one that you are comfortable with, speaks your language, and shares your values? That’s where the magic happens.

If only I had a doula while dealing with infertility (a ProDoula challenge)

This is part 2 of a two-part blog series titled, “If only I had a doula.” ProDoula, the certification agency used by Doulas of Memphis, issued a blog challenge to write about a time where we could have used the support of a doula. Today, our own Lindsey Hanna talks about her struggle with infertility. Lindsey and Thor, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G. First comes love. Then comes marriage. Then comes the baby in the baby carriage... I remember singing that song as a child, don’t you? That’s how I expected life to go, but as things often happen that’s not how my life worked out.

infertility, baby carriage

Infertility

Even the sight of the word hurts my heart. I vividly remember every negative pregnancy test, every office visit, and every question as to why we hadn’t had kids yet. Every month my heart would break as the period didn’t come but the tests screamed NEGATIVE. I was barely keeping it together as everyone told me to “just relax” or to start the adoption paperwork and it would all work out.

In it for the long haul

After two years of trying, I was finally referred to a Reproductive Endocrinologist. Numerous tests later I finally got a diagnosis: PCOS. It explained everything, the lack of periods, the extra weight around the middle, and most of all the infertility. I thought getting the answer would fix it, and it did help that I knew what was wrong, but even then the treatments weren’t working. I felt like my body had failed me. Another test, you need to try IUI… failed. Another IUI...failed. Another test, you need surgery…

I was ready to give up

Thankfully my husband wasn’t ready to throw in the towel quite yet. IUI number three worked. It had taken another 8 months to finally see this...

pregnant after infertility

 

If I’d only had a doula

My husband tried to understand the best he could, but he never really understood how deeply it cut me each month. My mom even tried to step in and help. They both spent many an hour with me as I cried. I needed a doula to get me through not only the months, but the hours. A doula would have recommended a reproductive endocrinologist long before I thought to see one two years in. She would have sat with me as I cried so I wasn’t alone on the floor of my bathroom each month. She would have reminded me that I wasn’t alone, even though more than anything that’s how I felt. My doula would have reminded me that just because I couldn’t have a baby it didn’t mean I was a horrible wife and worthless woman. Oh, how I wish I’d known a doula for my infertility journey!

My journey through infertility was one of the hardest things I have ever had to go though and it’s still not over. A part of me wishes that I didn’t have that in my past, but another part is glad I do, because it has helped to make me the person I am. Because of my experience with infertility, I have so much more compassion for other women, no matter their situation. I’ve learned to be more careful of the words I speak, because you never know what the person on the other end of those words is dealing with.

Authored by Lindsey Hanna

If you are dealing with infertility, please know that you are not alone. Doulas of Memphis is here for you if you’d like to reach out for support and/or resources.