Inside: 15 important questions to when choosing a health care provider to ensure you have the best birth possible.
When you’re choosing a doctor or midwife during pregnancy, it’s crucial that you’re both on the same page with your approach towards pregnancy and childbirth.
Doctors and midwives have their own beliefs and ways that they practice that they’re most comfortable with, and they aren’t all going to align with your beliefs regarding pregnancy and birth.
If you’re going the natural route, you don’t want a doctor that’s going to push induction or c-sections.
If you do want medical interventions, you’re not going to want a doctor who discourages using them.
So how do you know if your healthcare provider is right for you?
Well, first you have to think about what your goals are for your pregnancy and childbirth. For example, you want to go into labor on your own if possible, you don’t want medical interventions, you don’t want a lot of ultrasounds, and the list goes on.
Once you have a clear idea of how you want your pregnancy and delivery to go, you can come up with a list of questions to find out if a particular healthcare provider meshes well with you.
Then you’ll want to interview them. Don’t be afraid to interview as many doctors or midwives as you need to, until you find the one who suits you the best.
It may sound weird that you can interview health care providers. I know when I was first pregnant, I didn’t realize you could choose who you wanted. I thought you had to see the specific doctor you’re assigned to through insurance.
However, after interviewing a few doctors within the practice I was assigned to, (and getting the side eye from them when I talked about wanting a drug-free, intervention-free birth) I realized they didn’t have the same goals as I did when it came to my pregnancy and birth.
I ended up going with a midwife I interviewed, because she supported everything I wanted for my birth and was also qualified to handle a lot of issues that could arise during labor and delivery.
Asking these questions can also tell you a lot about a healthcare providers personality, (are they short with you, do they seem irritated you’re asking so many questions, do they tell you it’s great that you’re asking questions, do they seem warm/cold, etc.). This is important because you want to be comfortable and open with them.
If you’re not comfortable with them or their personality turns you off, that’s going to impact you! I truly believe it’s vital to feel comfortable with your provider because the last thing you want is to feel judged!
Plus, if they’re going to be in the room with you during delivery, you’re definitely going to want to feel trust and comfort with them!
If you aren’t sure what questions to ask when choosing a health care provider, this list can get you started!
1. Who can be with me during labor and birth?
2. What happens during a normal labor and birth in your setting?
3. Do you allow for differences in culture and beliefs?
4. Can I walk and move around during labor? What positions do you suggest for birth?
5. How do you make sure everything goes smoothly when my nurse, doctor, midwife, or agency need to work with each other? Can my doctor or midwife come with me if I have to be moved to another place during labor?
6. What things, (tests, procedures) do you normally do to a woman in labor?
7. How do you help mothers stay as comfortable as they can be? Besides drugs, how do you help women relieve the pain of labor?
8. What if my baby is born early or has special problems?
9. Do you perform circumcisions or can you refer me to someone who does?
10. How do you help mothers who want to breastfeed?
11. Can I eat in labor?
12. Can I labor and/or give birth in the water?
13. If I don’t go into labor by 40 weeks, will you induce me? If the baby and I are fine, how far past 40 weeks can I go?
Related: How To Induce Labor Naturally
14. If I don’t consent to a procedure, what will happen?
15. How many people can be in the room with me?
Getting to know your health care provider is crucial because you need to trust them and feel comfortable with them. Plus if you guys aren’t on the same page, you can end up having a pregnancy or birth you aren’t happy with.
You don’t want to feel pressured into making decisions, you want to feel supported in your journey through pregnancy and childbirth.
The best way to get that support, is by using this list of questions to ask when choosing your health care provider, to ensure you have the best birth experience possible!