When I was pregnant with my second child, I realized I wanted a different experience from my first birth.
I wanted to be educated about my pregnancy and the stages of labor, to be informed and confident in my preferences for my birth.
I never felt like I had good communication with the OB I hired for my first birth.
When you have great communication with your doctor/midwife and trust them, it is easier to trust their recommendations during your labor, especially should your birth take an unforeseen turn.
But if you did not establish a good foundation for communication with your provider during your pregnancy or don't feel supported in the way you need, it may be difficult for you to trust your provider during birth.
Based on what is important to you and what your birth preferences are, it is vital to ask your provider some of the recommended questions below during your pregnancy, to make sure you are with the right provider who you will trust during birth:
26 QUESTIONS TO ASK AN OBGYN OR HOSPITAL MIDWIFE BEFORE YOU HAVE YOUR BABY:
The most important question is going to be the Question to Yourself.
No matter how recommend a medical provider is, they won't be the right provider for you unless they meet your personal criteria.
How does your provider make you feel?
Do you feel supported, respected, do they listen and answer your questions patiently?
Are you open to birth plans?
What hospitals do you have privileges at?
How many vaginal checks do you 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?
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?
What is your opinion of doulas? What percentage of your patients use a doula? What doulas do you recommend?
Under what circumstances during labor would you recommend to administer medications such as cervidil or pitocin?
How do you handle past due dates? (Over 40 weeks, over 41 weeks)
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?
How many people are in the practice?
Who is your back up Midwife or OB?
Who is the OB covering doctor? How is he/she during labor? When can I meet them?
What are your feelings about delayed cord clamping? How long do you delay for? Can you do cord blood banking AND delayed cord clamping?
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?
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?
How do you feel about hypnobirthing? Are you experienced with delivering babies for moms who are using hypnobirthing?
What positions do you feel comfortable delivering in? (on back, squatting (using a squat bar), on all fours (knees and elbows)?
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
Do you do IV/Heplock? Are you ok with laboring tubs, (or hydrotherapy by standing in the hospital shower), eating small snacks during labor?
What are the pros and cons of vitamin K shot and eye ointment
Do you offer or suggest taking specific childbirth preparation courses?
During labor, how close together should my contractions be before I head to the hospital?
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?
What happens in the event of pre-term labor before 38 weeks?
Under what circumstances, if any, do you perform episiotomies? Do you recommend doing perineum massages throughout pregnancy leading up to birth?
How long will you and/or your support team stay with mom and baby after the birth?
Is breastfeeding support offered?
Is your practice VBAC friendly?
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?
Follow this link to read 20 Questions to Ask a Doula