What to ask a Midwife or OBGYN when meeting them for the first time?

Because I believe it is so important to make sure the provider you are hiring for your pregnancy and birth is the right provider for you, I firmly believe asking questions that are important to you is so vital when you do your first consultation.

Below you'll find a list of questions to ask a midwife or OBGYN during your prenatal visits (if you have already hired them) or at your very first visit or consultation appointment. You'll also find a list of questions below to ask when you're closer to your third trimester. 

 Birth Preferences List created by and printed by Lisa Raynor Doula... you can contact her here for a birth preferences consultation. http://coralspringsdoula.com

Birth Preferences List created by and printed by Lisa Raynor Doula... you can contact her here for a birth preferences consultation. http://coralspringsdoula.com

You can print this list by going to File > Print

MIDWIFE/OBGYN CONSULTATION INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

INITIAL CONSULTATION

1. To Yourself: Do you feel supported, respected, do they listen and answer your questions patiently?

2. Are they open to birth plans? What if you have a birth preferences list?

3. What hospitals do they have privileges at?

4. How many vaginal checks do they do during pregnancy and during labor? Should I get them, how necessary are they, what are the benefits/downsides and when do I need to have them done?

5. Under what circumstances during pregnancy would you recommend an induction? How can an induction affect the outcome of my birth (vaginal / cesarean) What type of inductions do you do?

6. What is your opinion of doulas? What percentage of your patients use a doula? What doulas do you recommend?

7. Under what circumstances during labor would you recommend to administer medications such as cervidil or pitocin?

8. How do you handle past due dates? (Over 40 weeks, over 41 weeks)

9. What is your percentage of your patients get an epidural, What percentage have vaginal births? / percentage of c-sections? Under what circumstances during pregnancy would you recommend a scheduled cesarean?

10. Who is your backup Midwife or OB? Who is the OB covering doctor? How is he/she during labor? When can I meet them?

11. What are your feelings about delayed cord clamping? How long do you delay for? Can you do cord blood banking AND delayed cord clamping?

12. Are you planning any vacations, trips, major surgeries, or other events 3-4 weeks before my due date, or up to 2 weeks after my due date that would interfere with your attendance at the birth?

What positions do you feel comfortable delivering in? (on back, squatting (using a squat bar), on all fours (knees and elbows)?

13. Is your practice VBAC friendly?

 

CLOSER TO THIRD TRIMESTER

1. What are your feelings on the dad catching the baby, or me catching my own baby? Will you deliver the baby? Or will you assist me in birthing him/her/them?

2. How do you feel about hypnobirthing? Are you experienced with delivering babies for moms who are using hypnobirthing?

3. How does it work if I am GBS positive - how often do you administer antibiotics during labor and do you do specific procedures with the baby after birth

4. Do you do IV/Heplock? Are you ok with laboring tubs, (or hydrotherapy by standing in the hospital shower), eating small snacks during labor?

5. What are the pros and cons of vitamin K shot and eye ointment

6. Do you offer or suggest taking specific childbirth preparation courses?

7. During labor, how close together should my contractions be before I head to the hospital?

8. If my water breaks before labor (contractions) even begins, how long can I labor at home for before I am required to go to the hospital?

9. What happens in the event of pre-term labor before 38 weeks?

10. Under what circumstances, if any, do you perform episiotomies? Do you recommend doing perineum massages throughout pregnancy leading up to birth?

11. How long will you and/or your support team stay with mom and baby after the birth?

12. Is breastfeeding support offered?

13. Do you deliver breech? [Most babies will move into delivery position a few weeks prior to birth, with the head moving closer to the birth canal. When this fails to happen, the baby's buttocks and/or feet will be positioned to be delivered first. This is referred to as “breech presentation.”] Do you recommend trying to turn the baby if the baby is in breech position during labor or in the last few weeks of pregnancy or do you recommend a cesarean birth?

Why Every Pregnant Woman should consider a Midwife for her Birth

The first time I attended a hospital birth with a midwife I was very surprised what I saw. I had attended so many births with OBGYNs that I almost wasn't sure what a Midwife does.

 Midwife Christine Hackshaw of Midwifery Women's Care, applying pressure to first time mom Emily's lower back during a contraction.

Midwife Christine Hackshaw of Midwifery Women's Care, applying pressure to first time mom Emily's lower back during a contraction.

Last March, I hosted a "Match Your Midwife" event at the Women's Center at Boca Raton Regional Hospital. Midwife Courtney McMillian from Boca Midwifery spoke about the different kinds of midwives that there are.

For hospital births, there are two types of midwives:

Nurse-midwives, who are educated and licensed as nurses first, then complete additional education in midwifery. They are known as Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs). CNMs are licensed to practice in all 50 states. They are usually licensed in individual states as Nurse Practitioners (NPs).(source

The other type of midwife is known as a Direct-entry midwife. They are educated or trained as midwives without having to become nurses first. They may be Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) or Certified Midwives (CMs). (source

Direct-entry midwives are trained to provide the Midwives Model of Care to healthy women and newborns primarily in out-of-hospital settings. They do not have nursing education as a prerequisite for midwifery education. (source)

Certified Midwife (CM): Certified Midwives are individuals who have or receive a background in a health related field other than nursing, then graduate from a masters level midwifery education program. They have similar training to CNMs, conform to the same standards as CNMs, but are not required to have the nursing component.

Certified Professional Midwife (CPM): The vast majority of direct-entry midwives in the United States are Certified Professional Midwives. The CPM is the only midwifery credential that requires knowledge about and experience in out-of-hospital settings. Their education and clinical training focuses on providing midwifery model care in homes and freestanding birth centers. In some states, CPMs may also practice in clinics and doctors offices providing well-woman and maternity care.

florida certified nurse midwife.jpg

What I learned and observed at my very first birth with a midwife was that most women who choose a midwife for their prenatal care, labor and delivery are looking to have a less medical intervention approach to their entire prenatal and birthing experience.

Midwives generally work with low risk pregnancies, but they also can serve as a woman's gynecologist. As an example, I see a midwife as my gynecologist. Midwives also work with their patients regarding family planning, monitoring pregnancy, labor and delivery, postpartum and newborn care. But they do so much more than that. Many of our local midwives in Boca Raton in addition to obstetrics and gynecology, also care for women in the fields of menopause, adolescence and teenager care.

At births, often times I will see a midwife help with the delivery of baby for mom, help with the delivery of the placenta, the cutting of the cord and any stitches mom may need in the case of tearing, and then help mom get baby latched on for breastfeeding.

los angeles leslie stewart catherine williams licensed midwives.jpg

What I have seen from the distance as a birth photographer on my client's birth team, sometimes in the case that a pregnancy (or a labor) may become high-risk, an OBGYN who works closely with the midwife will step in to assist with prenatal care or in the case of birth, to assist in the delivery of the baby. However, depending on the practice, I have seen midwives (such as Midwifery Women's Care and Boca Midwifery) successfully helping mommies with vbacs (vaginal birth after c-section) and I even recently attended a vba2c (vaginal birth after two c-sections) with Courtney McMillian at Boca Midwifery. 

In the case of a cesarean section, OB doctors will step in to do the surgery. What I personally have loved about working with Boca Midwifery when it comes to a mom needing a c-section is that their midwives tend to attend the csections in the operating room for their own patients who they have seen throughout their pregnancy who may have become high-risk due to a developed medical issue in pregnancy, or if they needed a cesarean during labor. For me this is everything. I am a huge proponent of supporting birthing women in all stages of their journey, and to have the midwife who you've trusted your entire pregnancy journey, go with you into the operating room when your birth unexpectedly calls for it, means everything. So much fear fades and so much trust grows in its place. 

When working with an OBGYN, I have personally experienced them typically heading to the hospital (they are usually about 5-15 minutes from the hospital here in Boca Raton) when the nurses update them that the mom is around 8 - 9 centimeters dilated. They usually arrive and wait for mom to get to 10 centimeters dilated and then help mom with pushing. I have seen this common practice at most hospitals throughout south Florida from Miramar/Pembroke Pines all the way through Jupiter, FL. Even in the case where generations of women have used a specific OB (mom, daughter), I cannot recall a single birth in one month shy of four years of birth photography where an OBGYN came and sat with a mom for 4-6 hours of her active labor prior to delivery, (with the exception of retired OBGYNS who are the fathers of my laboring client, attending their birth as a support part of their birth team, not as the delivering OB).

And so why does this matter, when your provider gets to your laboring? Read on...

birth tubs orchid nest doula florida.jpg

Many first time moms (and even second and third time moms) will be in labor anywhere from 10 - 24 hours). And you only get to 10 centimeters dilated at the very tail end of that labor process. The first few hours may be manageable, but once things pick up, many women find themselves needing pain management techniques as well as someone to keep them focused, empowered and encouraged.

So it is not ideal to only rely on your OBGYN and labor and delivery nurses for support and encouragement, as they will not be spending 90% of your earlier labor with you. I do not say that to dissuade you from using an OBGYN for pregnancy and delivery though. As there are many benefits and pros of using and staying with an OBGYN. I personally used an OBGYN for the first 20 weeks of my second pregnancy (Dr. Jane Rudolph from Women's Health Partners off of SW 18th Street in Boca Raton, FL) and I absolutely adored every waking minute of my time spent during prenatal visits with her. She was patient, kind, incredibly sweet and warm and compassionate. She'd take the time to ask about my questions and concerns and go through them all. She spoke to me on a personal level about her own kids and pregnancy journeys. She'd end every visit with an exceptionally warm and tight hug. I trusted her completely and felt so warm and safe under her care. And staying under that type of care for a woman's entire pregnancy is definitely an incredible plus. However, it is important to consider what is your individual need for labor support. For women who know they will need a professional who is well educated on pregnancy, labor, birth and post partum to be at their side through labor, who will not have to run off because they are working with other patients (as labor and delivery nurses are often called to do), a highly hospital natural birth experienced labor doula maybe an important consideration. I encourage moms to make a list of their personal needs and expectations for their pregnancy, their labor, their post partum, and evaluate if a labor doula, a midwife, a post partum doula or a registered baby nurse could fit in those needs.

labor support boca raton.jpg

In contrast, in my personal experience having worked with a few hospital midwives, I have witnessed midwives from Boca Midwifery (Courtney McMillian and Polina Goldenberg) and Laurie Gibbons from Women's Health Partners, Kathy Fair and Christine Hackshaw from Midwifery Women's Care and Kathleen Philbin from Select Women's Healthcare sitting for hours with mom, often times on the foot of her bed, sharing positive words of support, advice on how to breathe through contractions, suggestions on position changes to alleviate some pressure / getting baby in a better position, and I have often times seen these midwives provide touch-support to mom. Touch support I would say can range anywhere from applying pressure to the hips or lower back during contractions to running fingers along mom's arms and shoulders along with light pressure for a soft massage. And even applying cold compresses to mom's neck and forehead. This form of extensive support during active labor and end stages of labor can be so crucial and encouraging to laboring moms. 

(all of the above midwives deliver at Boca Raton Regional Hospital in Boca Raton, FL (off of I-95 and Glades Road in East Boca) which is my favorite hospital to work in as a birth photographer but also as a mother with the exception of Kathleen Philbin who works up north at Good Samaritan Medical Center in West Palm Beach, FL) 

Below, you'll find a list of questions to ask a midwife or OBGYN during your first consultation with them to make sure they are the right provider to suit your personal needs and expectations, as well as questions to ask closer to the third trimester. If you'd like to go to a page where you can more easily print them, click here.

MIDWIFE/OBGYN CONSULTATION INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

INITIAL CONSULTATION

1. To Yourself: Do you feel supported, respected, do they listen and answer your questions patiently?

2. Are they open to birth plans? What if you have a birth preferences list?

3. What hospitals do they have privileges at?

4. How many vaginal checks do they do during pregnancy and during labor? Should I get them, how necessary are they, what are the benefits/downsides and when do I need to have them done?

5. Under what circumstances during pregnancy would you recommend an induction? How can an induction affect the outcome of my birth (vaginal / cesarean) What type of inductions do you do?

6. What is your opinion of doulas? What percentage of your patients use a doula? What doulas do you recommend?

7. Under what circumstances during labor would you recommend to administer medications such as cervidil or pitocin?

8. How do you handle past due dates? (Over 40 weeks, over 41 weeks)

9. What is your percentage of your patients get an epidural, What percentage have vaginal births? / percentage of c-sections? Under what circumstances during pregnancy would you recommend a scheduled cesarean?

10. Who is your backup Midwife or OB? Who is the OB covering doctor? How is he/she during labor? When can I meet them?

11. What are your feelings about delayed cord clamping? How long do you delay for? Can you do cord blood banking AND delayed cord clamping?

12. Are you planning any vacations, trips, major surgeries, or other events 3-4 weeks before my due date, or up to 2 weeks after my due date that would interfere with your attendance at the birth?

What positions do you feel comfortable delivering in? (on back, squatting (using a squat bar), on all fours (knees and elbows)?

13. Is your practice VBAC friendly?

CLOSER TO THIRD TRIMESTER

1. What are your feelings on the dad catching the baby, or me catching my own baby? Will you deliver the baby? Or will you assist me in birthing him/her/them?

2. How do you feel about hypnobirthing? Are you experienced with delivering babies for moms who are using hypnobirthing?

3. How does it work if I am GBS positive - how often do you administer antibiotics during labor and do you do specific procedures with the baby after birth

4. Do you do IV/Heplock? Are you ok with laboring tubs, (or hydrotherapy by standing in the hospital shower), eating small snacks during labor?

5. What are the pros and cons of vitamin K shot and eye ointment

6. Do you offer or suggest taking specific childbirth preparation courses?

7. During labor, how close together should my contractions be before I head to the hospital?

8. If my water breaks before labor (contractions) even begins, how long can I labor at home for before I am required to go to the hospital?

9. What happens in the event of pre-term labor before 38 weeks?

10. Under what circumstances, if any, do you perform episiotomies? Do you recommend doing perineum massages throughout pregnancy leading up to birth?

11. How long will you and/or your support team stay with mom and baby after the birth?

12. Is breastfeeding support offered?

13. Do you deliver breech? [Most babies will move into delivery position a few weeks prior to birth, with the head moving closer to the birth canal. When this fails to happen, the baby's buttocks and/or feet will be positioned to be delivered first. This is referred to as “breech presentation.”] Do you recommend trying to turn the baby if the baby is in breech position during labor or in the last few weeks of pregnancy or do you recommend a cesarean birth?

Tips on How to Choose a Photographer to Document Your Birth

I am a mom of two girls under five. I missed out on the opportunity to have either of my births documented, and with that comes the loss of not knowing what reaction my husband had to becoming a daddy for the first time when Kate was born, and if he cried, smiled, laughed or was surprised the second time I gave birth, when Emma was born.

My births were complicated, so it was difficult for me to focus on anything but meeting my girls for the first time. I think this rings true to most moms, whether they have a complicated or fairly straightforward birth, the moment your child is born, mommies and daddies tend to have tunnel vision, and are memorized by this little life they've been waiting to meet for the last 9 months.

I have been photographing birth now for four years, and there are certainly many times when I am editing birth stories that I daydream about having a third. However, with the changes in health I've experienced with age and over two pregnancies, despite my dream of having three children, our family is complete.

Having thought this through so many times, I've prepared a list for you on tips you can consider when deciding who and/or what kind of photographer you'd like to hire to document your birth story.

There are many choices to make, so let me lay them out for you below

 

1. Daddy takes the pictures

Pros:

Definitely the simplest way to save money when you're on a budget is to have your partner or spouse take the pictures. They'll be proud of themselves for having captured what will become some of your most treasured memories.

 

Cons:

I could never be a doula, because doulas need to be incredibly resilient to emotions because their job is to support moms emotionally and physically during labor and birth. is When I put my camera down, I get emotional, I may cry, I may feel my hands shaking a bit.

Consider the emotions you may want your partner or spouse to feel as they are emotionally (or physically) supporting you during your labor, and how emotionally invested you may want them to be as they meet your baby for the first time.

Do you want your partner/spouse to be completely vulnerable and experience the raw and real emotions of becoming a parent for the first time ever to this little baby?

Holding a camera or phone and focusing on taking pictures that aren't blurry creates a degree of separation between the parent and the experience.

The focus on taking pictures helps me keep my composure during a birth so that I don't cry, so that I feel more like I am watching a movie rather than experience the birth in person. Do you want your partner or spouse to experience a degree of separation?

 

When daddy holds the camera, you would miss pictures of his emotional reaction to meeting your baby... like these:

 

2. Okay, so not daddy. How about best friend (or sister or aunt) takes the pictures?

Screen Shot 2018-01-28 at 1.04.25 PM.png

Pros:

Having a close friend, sibling, grandparent or doula photograph during your birth helps take the pressure off your partner and spouse. But the cons can leave parents heart broken, so be sure to read on...

 

Cons:

If I had a dollar for every time parents came to me an told me they wish they hadn't let their friend/sister/doula/parent take the pictures at their last birth. The results can sometimes be great! But when you had your expectations set to having these moments documented and end up with blurry pictures, blown out pictures (too bright) or too dark pictures, or no pictures at all, it can be heart breaking.

south florida birth photography

If you're lucky, you may get a picture of the delivery - but you may never see his face because your photographer was very focused on taking pictures of your newly born baby

boca raton birth photography

And sometimes, the one person who was suppose to take pictures didn't during moments that you realize afterwards, truly mattered to you.

and sometimes, that person becomes too nervous to take pictures. 

maybe because they've never attended a birth before and had no idea they would react this way, and sometimes, even to those women who have had several of their own children and attended births before, friends/family who are doulas, paramedics, doctors, they never realized they'd be so emotional when it was their baby sister giving birth.

Pictures captured by family and friends and other inexperienced people who haven't been trained in capturing artistically beautiful angles during even the most complicated labors and births, tend to look more like they were from the birth chapter of an anatomy textbook. 

boca raton birth photographer

3. So how about our family photographer? Or our wedding photographer?

Pros:

You'll probably feel more comfortable working with a photographer you've known for a while now. Plus they will probably either charge you very little or not at all, this being their first birth

Cons:

One of the number one drawbacks of hiring a photographer who's never photographed a birth before, is that most likely, they haven't been educated on the birth process and what to expect. They aren't aware of the very quick and totally unexpected changes in lighting, staff, space that all happen last minute. 

Most photographers are trained to photograph in the best lighting conditions (and most wedding photographers use an external flash for dark receptions). But what most photographers are not trained in is to photograph gorgeous artwork when there is a lack of lighting to work with. A lack of space, a lack of timeline and everything is unexpected.

Circumstances surrounding how unpredictable birth is can cause very capable and experienced family, portrait and wedding photographers to very suddenly question their capability.

You also may realize you actually don't feel more comfortable using a photographer who takes your family pictures (or who photographed your wedding) because you're not comfortable with that person seeing you give birth, seeing you naked, and then doing future family pictures with them.

 

 

What to look for in an experienced, professional birth photographer 

 
boca raton regional hospital photographer

1. The first thing I would look for in an experienced, professional birth photographer is if I love their work. How many births have I seen from them? 1? 5? 20? What does an entire birth story look like? 

2. Depending on the type of birth you plan to have (hospital hypnobirth, induction, cesarean, home birth,  birth center) the photographer should be able to show you samples of previous similar births they have captured. Those proofs should be all of the same high quality and they should impact you emotionally. 

3. Depending on when you are due, you should find out if your birth photographer has any prior commitments during that time. Do they already have 8 other birth clients or 10 photoshoots scheduled two weeks before and after your due date? Do they have an anniversary or a family or child's birthday during that time? Is there a major holiday (like Thanksgiving or Christmas) occurring during that time? It's okay if there is a schedule conflict. What matters is how your photographer approaches that conflict. Are they ok with missing their child's birthday party or Christmas with their family. Their answer to that is what's important.

4. Does your birth photographer work with a reliable back up? Emergencies do happen and if your photographer is unable to be present at your birth, you want to be sure they have a very talented and reliable photographer who serves as their back up. You also want to be sure your photographer defines the parameters of what constitutes an emergency worth missing your birth for.

5. How professional your birth photographer seems to you. If you're having a hospital birth, (or end up needing a transfer to the hospital during labor at home), are high risk or have any medical conditions that can result in extra medical intervention and even a cesarean birth, you want to know how your birth photographer will handle themselves around the most esteemed medical professionals in a hospital setting. If your photographer is inexperienced with working along side of medical professionals ranging from nurses to OBGYNS, NICU nurses, neonatologists and anesthesiologists, it can affect how much of your birth story they are allowed to photograph

6. How many births your photographer has been paid to photograph. Lets get real for a moment. I am proud of the work I did photographing my very first five paid births. I had older, less capable equipment to handle darkly lit rooms back then, and I had less experience, but the work was good. But to be real with you, as an artist, I don't think its as good as the work I capture now, four years later, over one hundred births later. The more births your photographer attends, the more experience they gain working with lighting, unexpected last minute changes, lack of room. You basically learn to expect more things not going your way at a birth as a birth photographer so you condition yourself to expect everything going wrong all at once and plan in advance how you will handle those situations. 

7. Privacy. How much does your photographer honor your privacy and confidentiality? 70% of the births I have documented over four years will never be seen by the public eye Why? because 70% of the birth clients I have had over four years have asked me not to share their photos or films with anyone. I can completely empathize with this. I have a few cell phone pictures from my two births, of which maybe 3 have ever been shared publicly. I feel particularly guarded about my two complicated and emotional births and wish for these images to never be shared with anyone. Your photographer who value your privacy over their own publicity/brand awareness at all times. 

8. Relationship. You should love your birth photographer. They should not feel like a stranger paparazzi the day of your birth but like an old friend who makes you feel safer and more supported because they are there for you. I don't believe in photographing births for families who don't feel comfortable having me in the labor room with them. So I go above and beyond to get to know my families better during their pregnancies by meeting with them in person and getting to know each member of the family before my clients ever go into labor. 


I hope this list of tips on how to choose a photographer to document your birth has been helpful to you. Feel free to print it out by going to the top left of your browser, clicking File > Print. 

If you're interested in learning about what kind of questions you should ask your OBGYN or hospital Midwife before you hire them and before you go into labor... you can find that here

For questions to ask during a hospital tour... you can find those here

 

Questions to Ask on a Hospital Tour

The facility you choose to birth in can be as important as the provider you hire for your birth.

As a mommy, I have experience birthing at two different hospitals in two different counties in Florida. There were pluses and minuses about my experiences and I have learned that so much to do with my minuses has to do with the birth team I selected for my births. So if you are on the fence about your provider, be sure you check out my list of questions to ask an OBGYN or Midwife before you give birth here

Below I am including a list of questions that as an expecting couple, you should read through to see which questions are important to you, print and highlight and ask when you go on a tour of the hospitals you are considering birthing in.

The first thing I suggest is calling the hospital you hope to birth in and requesting a private tour. Private tours may not be offered at every hospital, but what I like about the hospitals that do offer private tours are, the person giving the tour usually has more experience to answer your questions with more accuracy and more current information and they usually have more time to show you around and talk to you.

 Paulina Splechta capturing a December 2017 birth in a labor and delivery room at Boca Raton Regional Hospital.

Paulina Splechta capturing a December 2017 birth in a labor and delivery room at Boca Raton Regional Hospital.

 

QUESTIONS TO ASK DURING A HOSPITAL TOUR

 

HOSPITAL AND ROOM INFORMATION

 

1. Are L&D rooms shared or private? What about post partum rooms? Is there the option for a private room (and if so, is there a fee?) Are the bathrooms private or shared?

2. Will I stay in the same room from labor through post partum?

3. When I arrive and I am in labor, do I get admitted to a labor and delivery room immediately or do I go to a triage area first to be assessed? What happens during an assessment? And how long before I can be admitted to my own L&D room?

4. Are all the rooms the same as the one we’re being shown? Are some smaller or larger, less renovated, does every room have a window?

5. Does each room offer a TV? With how many channels?

6. Is there wireless internet access?

7. How many births take place at this hospital on average each day?

8. What happens if all of the labor and delivery rooms are full? How often does that happen?

9. How many operating rooms do you have in the event that I need a c-section?

10. How many people am I able to have as part of my birth team in the room while I'm in labor and during delivery? How many people are able to come with me into the operating room in the event of a C-section?

11. Is there a waiting area for friends and family? (Can I see it?)

12. Will I have access to hydrotherapy to help with pain management during labor via a shower or a laboring tub?

13. Is there a couch/bed for my partner/spouse to spend the night with me while I'm in the hospital?

14. Is this a teaching hospital? If so, can I expect interns or students to be present during my delivery? Can I request that they not attend if I don’t feel comfortable with them there?

15. Where should I park when I arrive in labor? Where should my birth team or guests park when I am in labor / post partum?

16. Does the hospital offer pregnancy and birth classes? And what kind? (If so, is there a fee?)

17. When and where do I go to register myself for the hospital?

18. What are your maternal and infant mortality rates at this hospital?

 Orchid Nest doula Samara supporting a mom during her labor at Boca Raton Regional Hospital.

Orchid Nest doula Samara supporting a mom during her labor at Boca Raton Regional Hospital.

 

LABOR AND DELIVERY QUESTIONS

 

1. (If you plan on it) I intend on walking during labor am I restricted to my room?

2. When will I get an IV line when I arrive to the hospital? Does the hospital offer hep-locks?

3. Does the hospital offer intermittent fetal monitoring during labor?

4. What is your approach on pelvic exams during labor and how frequently do nurses do them?

5. What positions can I give birth in? Ie. pushing on side, on hands and knees, squatting.

6. What labor and birthing equipment does the hospital offer? Ie. birthing/laboring balls, peanut balls, squat/birthing bars, showers, laboring tubs, rocking chair, birthing stool.

7. What's the hospital's C-section rate? How familiar is the hospital with gentle cesareans (clear drape replaced blue drape once baby is born, immediate skin to skin, breastfeeding all in the OR) and how frequently do you do them?

8. How comfortable is the hospital with working with doulas? How comfortable is the hospital and L&D nurses with unmedicated births and hypnobirthing?

9. Are there any situations that my birth partner/spouse won't be able to be with me (such as getting an epidural or preparing for a c/section)?

10. Is there a policy regarding videos or photos during labor and delivery?

11. Can I eat and/or drink while in labor? Can I bring honey sticks or popsicles for labor?

12. Can I wear my own labor gown during labor as long as it has buttons everywhere and access to fetal monitoring belts/epidural if needed?

13. What is the hospital position on placenta encapsulation?

14. How long can the baby exam be delayed for, how long am I able to do the initial skin to skin bonding with my baby immediately following labor before any procedures are done with my baby (vitamin K, eye ointment, baby exam).

 Dad catching baby along with Dr. Lauren Feingold of Women's Health Partners during parents second birth at Boca Raton Regional Hospital.

Dad catching baby along with Dr. Lauren Feingold of Women's Health Partners during parents second birth at Boca Raton Regional Hospital.

 

postpartum questions

 

1. What is the hospital's policy on washing the baby following birth?

2. What is the hospital's position on immediate skin to skin?

3. What is the hospital's position with delayed cord clamping and cord blood banking? Am I able to request for my partner to cut the cord?

4. Is there a newborn intensive care unit (NICU)? What floor is it located on? Is it easy to access from the postpartum rooms?

5. Does the hospital have a nursery? How often can I request for my baby to be taken to the nursery if I need to rest? Will my baby be brought to me for feedings?

6. Does the hospital offer a lactation consultant? How soon after birth can I meet with one?

7. Does the hospital have a breast pump I can use during my stay?

8. How long will I stay in the hospital post-delivery?

9. Does the hospital offer a special meal for new parents? Are we able to use our own delivery services for post-birth meals?

10. What are the visiting hours and policies once the baby is born? Are children allowed to visit during early labor and after birth?

11. What security measures does the hospital have in place to insure the safety of Mom and Baby?

12. Does the hospital offer infant CPR classes for new parents before discharge?

13. Does the hospital offer breastfeeding support classes?

14. Does the hospital offer whooping cough vaccinations for parents and caregivers?
 15. Do we need to have a car seat installed in our car before we can take the baby home?

 

 Big sister meeting her baby brother at Boca Raton Regional Hospital

Big sister meeting her baby brother at Boca Raton Regional Hospital

 

Read the Questions to ask an OBGYN or Midwife before you give birth here

 

Birth of a Second Baby Boy! | Boca Raton Regional Hospital

I met this extraordinary mom when we were both pregnant a couple of years ago.

exclusively breastfeeding after birth.jpg

Our friendship and connection through our previous pregnancies together made it so special when she and her husband reached out to me to capture the birth of their second son. 

Tears welled up in my eyes when I sat with this sweet family talking about their hopes and dreams for meeting their second little boy. It moved me so much to see how excited (and a little nervous) they were, but most of all, you could see the love in their eyes, their faces, the way they looked at each other in eagerness and joy. 

And it made me so happy to hear that they would be meeting their little boy at my favorite hospital in Florida (Boca Raton Regional Hospital) with one of my favorite practices too - Women's Health Partners.

I cannot wait for you to view and enjoy the images from this incredibly sweet and beautiful birth story below. I hope you love them as much as I do!

boca raton regional hospital labor delivery.jpg
boca newborn photographer
family pictures in the hospital boca raton.jpg
new baby pictures in the hospital boca raton.jpg
dr rudolph womens health partners.jpg
top newborn photograpehrs in boca raton.jpg
best newborn photographers boca raton.jpg
best baby photographer boca raton florida.jpg
best IVF doctor in boca raton florida.jpg
dad catching the baby at a birth boca raton florida.jpg
boca community hospital.jpg
dad and baby hospital.jpg
having a baby in boca raton florida.jpg
newborn photos boca raton.jpg
boca east hospital.jpg
boca raton labor and delivery.jpg

Deployment During Birth | Broward General Hospital Fort Lauderdale

Time didn't exist for them.. and despite them between on opposite sides of the globe (daddy serving our country during her labor) they were totally there together, not an ocean apart. And he will always remember how happy she was to have him with her. Because I didn't miss a single moment of it.

*limited 2018 birth story availability

dr ty swartzlander from boca babes vbac.jpg

Follow this link to view their entire birth story with Dr. Skeete in Broward General Hospital in Fort Lauderdale

click here to view