How Do I Prepare for Hiring a Midwife or OBGYN for My Prenatal Care and Birth?
Purpose of this list:
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 provider and you trust them, you'll trust their recommendations during your labor, especially if your birth takes 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, when you go into labor, you might discover that it may be difficult for you to trust and feel supported by them during your birth.
How to use this list of questions:
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 for you, who you will trust during your birth.
Read through this list, to Print, Go to the top left of your browser window, click File > Print
Highlight all the questions that are important to you
Ask the 'deal breaker' questions at your consultation meeting
(Deal Breaker Questions: Questions that if the answer is unfavorable to you, you would not work with this practice)
And ask any remaining important questions to you through out your prenatal visits
Remember: A good provider who respects you and values you, will take the time to answer these questions.
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 many people recommended a medical provider to you, 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?
Questions to Ask at a Consultation:
Print this list and highlight the questions that are important for you to know the answers to before you hire the provider for your pregnancy and birth:
Are you open to birth plans? What if I have a birth preferences list?
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?
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)?
Is your practice VBAC friendly?
Questions to ask during your prenatal care, closer to your third trimester:
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?
How do you feel about hypnobirthing? Are you experienced with delivering babies for moms who are using hypnobirthing?
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?
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