I recently saw a blog post titled "5 million questions to ask your OB or midwife". Okay, not really 5 million but it was a huge number of questions. Some people might be thinking "sure, that sounds great". But it is not possible or even necessary for everyone to ask their doctor two hours worth of questions. So I decided to make a list of, in my opinion, the real honest to goodness important things to ask a midwife or OB before you "hire" them. Let's get started, shall we?
15) "What is your philosophy regarding pregnancy and birth and your role in it?"
14) "What is your hospital transfer rate?" (for midwifes or out-of-hospital OBs).
13) "How often do you perform amniotomies (breaking the bag of water)? Why do you do them?"
12) "Do you routinely use an IV or hep-lock during labor?"
11) "Are you comfortable with your patients delivering past 40 weeks? What about past 42 weeks?"
10) "Are you comfortable with moms pushing in positions other than lying on her back or semi-sitting?"
9) "Do you work with doulas? Can you recommend any for me?"
8) "Are you comfortable with me declining infant bathing, vitamin K, heel poke, eye ointment, or vaccinations?"
7) "What is your induction rate? Do you support induction methods other than Pitocin (such as a nipple stimulation, blue cohosh, evening primose oil, foley catheter, sweeping the membranes, etc...)?"
6) "How long can your patients labor without induction? What about if their water has already broken?"
5) "Do you have any concerns about big babies being birthed naturally?"
4) "What type of monitoring do you do during labor? How often? For how long?"
3) "Is water birth available? Would I be able to push in the tub at all?"
2) "What percentage of your deliveries include episiotomies, forceps, vacuum assistance, or end in C-sections?"
1) "Do you support ______ births?" Okay, here's the catch: you fill in the blank with whatever type of birth you want. For example: "do you support un-medicated births?" Or "do you support water births" or "do you support delayed cord clamping?" You get the idea. This can, of course, be more than question but it is important to include whatever type of birth you desire.
The Right Answers
Here's the deal people: there are no right answers. Not for everyone anyway. The right answers are the ones that you are looking for. There is no one right way to birth, but there is a right way for you. Find a care provider that supports you and your wishes.