Questions to Ask Your Provider
Be Empowered Birth Series
The provider you choose for your pregnancy and birth is such a crucial choice. Who you choose will be a really large factor in determining if you are satisfied with your birth experience. We want to talk today about some questions that you can ask your providers as you begin your search for who will be your midwife/OB. These questions will give you a good idea about their view on pregnancy, labor, and birth. There are a lot of different views, as well as a wide range of normal practices when it comes to labor and birth. Depending upon their answers to your questions, you will find out if their views and practices line up with what you believe. If you are choosing to birth in a hospital, it’s important to ask about hospital policies as well. If your provider's philosophy on birth is unlike your own, you should know that sooner rather than later so that you can find a provider whose views are more similar to yours.
So, let's discuss some questions that you can ask your provider to give yourself a good idea on where they stand.
What is your philosophy on pregnancy, labor, birth, and postpartum?
What routine policies do you recommend?
Does the hospital you deliver at have policies that change how you manage births? (i.e. IV fluids, fetal monitoring, induction, etc.)
When do you require continuous fetal monitoring?
Will you be there for the birth?
If you have partners, how many are there and are their practices similar to yours? If they are different, in what way?
When do you suggest to go to the hospital/birth center?
For what reasons would induction become necessary?
What are my options if induction becomes needed?
If there are no complications, would you be okay if I go until 42 weeks before induction?
How many people can be in the delivery room with me? Is there a limit?
Can I have a water birth?
How do you handle a "stalled labor"?
Can I eat and drink in labor?
Can I have a saline lock?
Can I push in a different position other than on my back? For example, on hands and knees or squatting.
Do you work with birth doulas often?
Do you deliver breech babies?
What if there are complications in labor?
What pain relief options do you most often recommend?
Under what circumstances would you recommend a cesarean section?
What is your C - Section rate?
How often do you perform an episiotomy? Under what circumstances do you find them necessary?
When do we discuss my birth plan?
Do you offer VBACS?
If I am trying for a VBAC, are there extra stipulations for me? Will you use pitocin for VBACs?
What are my delivery options if I am having twins?
How long can we do delayed cord clamping? Can we wait for longer than 1 minute?
How do you handle a postpartum hemorrhage?
What would be reasons for NICU to be present during delivery?
Though these questions do not cover everything, we hope that they will help guide you in conversations with midwives and OBs as you search for a provider. This is such a significant and special journey you're on, and it is imperative that you can trust your provider. So that if and when complications arise, you know you can trust their recommendations for you and your baby.
There is a lot that goes in to the process of labor and birth, and your birth team holds a great impact on your birth. As we bring you the Be Empowered Birth Blog Series, you are able to learn about many of your options. But if you would like to dive deeper and be informed for your birth, sign up for childbirth education classes that dive further into the information needed to prepare you for the birth you desire.