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Should my gynaecologist also be my obstetrician?

23 May 2018 Blog
Finding the right obstetrician is a very important part of pregnancy and a personal decision based on your own experience, recommendations from others (including your GP, friends and relatives), your particular needs and often 'gut instinct'.

Dr Chris Gunnell suggests selecting your obstetrician as soon as possible to ensure that your first choice is not booked out and also likely to be available around the due date.

What is the difference between obstetrics and gynaecology?

Gynaecology is the specialty focused on caring for women's reproductive organs, when they are not pregnant or are trying to get pregnant.

Obstetrics relates to the care of a pregnant woman and her unborn child.

During their training, all obstetricians and gynaecologists study both specialties. However, many will branch off into one or the other discipline. So, while you may already have a gynaecologist, he or she may not also be practising as an obstetrician. It is important to ask this question.

Should my existing gynaecologist guide me through the pregnancy?

If your current gynaecologist is also an obstetrician, you could have the option of continuing with them during the pregnancy.

You may have already built up a good relationship and feel at ease.

On the other hand, it is not necessary to do this and very acceptable for you to book in with a different obstetrician.

One of the big advantages of private health insurance is having the ability to choose whichever doctor you wish.

It is important to find someone who you trust and feel comfortable communicating with.

There are many factors involved in this decision and it is a very personal choice for you and your partner.

The bottom line - it is up to you

The bottom line is that you should select someone you believe will be the right person to share your personal pregnancy journey.

Your obstetrician needs to be someone you can trust and communicate with.

Maybe your gynaecologist fits the criteria, or maybe you will need to find another obstetrician.

Do your research - ask around for recommendations, talk to your GP, visit our hospital or see our Find a doctor search to find a doctor to suit your needs. 

Dr Christopher Gunnell - Obstetrician and Gynaecologist

Dr Gunnell is a Perth trained obstetrician and gynaecologist who has been in private practice since 1998 and practices at St John of God Murdoch Hospital.  He has a particular interest in normal childbirth, but also has the experience and expertise to manage high-risk and complicated pregnancies and births. He provides a wide range of general gynaecological services, with a special interest in the management of menstrual issues and menopause.