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Questions to Ask Your Care Provider

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Choosing a care provider and birth location that aligns with your vision for the type of birth you want to have and care you want to receive is essential. This list of questions can help you discern if your provider/location is right for you and your new family. 

Choose the top 10 questions that you feel are most important and bring those to your next provider visit. If your provider does not have time to answer those during your official visit, please request that they call you at the end of the day. If they direct you to ask those questions during a hospital tour, please note that tour guides are not able to answer those questions from the reality of a provider perspective. You are better off asking a doula who has attended dozens of births with that provider or at that location. The experienced doula may have a realistic perspective if your provider is not able to give you the time to answer those questions… and that, in and of itself, may be the answer you need in terms of having access to a provider who is able to answer your questions.

  1. What​ ​is​ ​your​ ​philosophy​ ​on​ ​natural​ ​birth?
  2. ​What​ ​do​ ​you​ ​think​ ​of​ ​women​ ​who​ ​want​ ​to​ ​give​ ​birth​ ​without​ ​any​ ​intervention?
  3. ​What​ ​can​ ​you​ ​do/recommend​ ​to​ ​help​ ​me​ ​have​ ​as​ ​low​ ​intervention​ ​a​ ​birth​ ​a​ ​possible?
  4. ​Do​ ​you​ ​practice​ ​in​ ​a​ ​group?​ ​Will​ ​I​ ​have​ ​a​ ​choice​ ​of​ ​practitioner?​ ​How​ ​many​ ​others​ ​do​ ​you share​ ​“call”​ ​with?​ ​What​ ​are​ ​the​ ​birth​ ​philosophies​ ​of​ ​the​ ​others​ ​on​ ​your​ ​team?
  5. ​What​ ​percentage​ ​of​ ​your​ ​own​ ​patients​ ​births​ ​do​ ​you​ ​attend?
  6. ​Will​ ​you​ ​be​ ​away​ ​for​ ​any​ ​period​ ​of​ ​time​ ​around​ ​my​ ​due​ ​date?
  7. ​What​ ​are​ ​your​ ​routine​ ​procedures/interventions?
  8. ​What​ ​percentage​ ​of​ ​your​ ​patients​ ​have​ ​natural​ ​birth?​ ​Epidural​ ​birth?​ ​Cesarean​ ​birth?​ ​Induced birth?​ ​vacuum/forceps​ ​birth?​ ​Episiotomy?
  9. ​Do​ ​you​ ​know​ ​anything​ ​about​ ​Hypnosis-based​ ​birth?
  10. ​Are​ ​you​ ​willing​ ​to​ ​have​ ​a​ ​conversation​ ​with​ ​me​ ​about​ ​what​ ​I​ ​will​ ​need​ ​to​ ​support​ ​me​ ​in having​ ​a​ ​hypnosis-based​ ​birth?
  11. ​Under​ ​what​ ​conditions​ ​do​ ​you​ ​recommend​ ​having​ ​an​ ​amniocentesis​ ​or​ ​ultrasound?
  12. ​Do​ ​you​ ​tend​ ​to​ ​lean​ ​more​ ​towards​ ​“management​ ​of​ ​labor”​ ​or​ ​“mother​ ​directed​ ​birth”.
  13. ​How​ ​much​ ​of​ ​my​ ​labor​ ​will​ ​you​ ​attend?
  14. ​What​ ​is​ ​your​ ​view​ ​on​ ​doulas?
  15. ​In​ ​the​ ​event​ ​that​ ​I​ ​need​ ​to​ ​give​ ​birth​ ​in​ ​an​ ​operating​ ​room,​ ​what​ ​will​ ​you​ ​do​ ​to​ ​support​ ​me​ ​in having​ ​my​ ​partner​ ​and​ ​doula​ ​in​ ​the​ ​operating​ ​and​ ​recovery​ ​room​ ​with​ ​me.
  16. ​I​ ​may​ ​request​ ​that​ ​non-urgent​ ​medical​ ​providers​ ​be​ ​restricted.​ ​Do​ ​you​ ​support​ ​that?
  17. ​What​ ​is​ ​your​ ​policy​ ​about​ ​fetal​ ​monitoring?​ ​Under​ ​what​ ​circumstances​ ​is​ ​a​ ​fetal​ ​scalp electrode​ ​used?​ ​18.​ ​What​ ​is​ ​your​ ​policy​ ​on​ ​my​ ​eating​ ​and​ ​drinking​ ​during​ ​labor?
  18. Under​ ​what​ ​circumstances​ ​will​ ​you​ ​want​ ​to​ ​induce​ ​or​ ​augment​ ​my​ ​labor?
  19. ​What​ ​percentage​ ​of​ ​your​ ​patients​ ​receive​ ​pitocin​ ​to​ ​stimulate​ ​labor?
  20. ​What​ ​are​ ​your​ ​thoughts​ ​on​ ​artificial​ ​rupture​ ​of​ ​membranes?
  21. ​If​ ​labor​ ​begins​ ​with​ ​spontaneous​ ​rupture​ ​of​ ​membranes,​ ​how​ ​long​ ​do​ ​you​ ​routinely​ ​wait before​ ​starting​ ​pitocin?​ ​What​ ​is​ ​the​ ​time​ ​limit​ ​in​ ​which​ ​you​ ​think​ ​my​ ​baby​ ​needs​ ​to​ ​be​ ​born?
  22. ​When​ ​do​ ​you​ ​routinely​ ​suggest​ ​induction​ ​for​ ​reasons​ ​related​ ​to​ ​due​ ​dates?
  23. ​I​ ​will​ ​want​ ​to​ ​give​ ​birth​ ​in​ ​my​ ​position​ ​of​ ​choice.​ ​Will​ ​you​ ​support​ ​that?
  24. ​I​ ​will​ ​want​ ​to​ ​decline​ ​vaginal​ ​exams​ ​unless​ ​if​ ​I​ ​have​ ​a​ ​medical​ ​decision​ ​to​ ​make​ ​based​ ​on that​ ​information.​ ​Will​ ​you​ ​support​ ​that?
  25. ​Will​ ​you​ ​support​ ​me​ ​in​ ​my​ ​decision​ ​about​ ​when​ ​to​ ​clamp​ ​the​ ​cord​ ​and​ ​when​ ​to​ ​cut​ ​the​ ​cord? 27.​ ​Will​ ​you​ ​support​ ​me​ ​in​ ​my​ ​desire​ ​to​ ​breastfeed​ ​my​ ​baby​ ​before​ ​any​ ​stitching​ ​is​ ​done.
  26. ​How​ ​do​ ​you​ ​feel​ ​about​ ​me​ ​declining​ ​some​ ​of​ ​the​ ​newborn​ ​procedures?
  27. ​Will​ ​you​ ​support​ ​me​ ​in​ ​delaying​ ​procedures?
  28. ​What’s​ ​your​ ​opinion​ ​about​ ​circumcision?
  29. ​How​ ​do​ ​you​ ​handle​ ​complications​ ​in​ ​labor​ ​such​ ​as​ ​“failure​ ​to​ ​progress.”
  30. ​How​ ​do​ ​you​ ​handle​ ​breech​ ​birth?​ ​IF​ ​my​ ​baby​ ​were​ ​to​ ​be​ ​in​ ​a​ ​frank-breech​ ​position,​ ​would you​ ​support​ ​me​ ​in​ ​waiting​ ​until​ ​my​ ​labor​ ​starts​ ​and​ ​then​ ​having​ ​a​ ​cesarean?
  31. ​Do​ ​you​ ​do​ ​VBACs?
  32. ​If​ ​my​ ​baby​ ​needs​ ​to​ ​be​ ​born​ ​by​ ​cesarean,​ ​what​ ​is​ ​the​ ​policy​ ​about​ ​baby​ ​leaving​ ​the​ ​OR​ ​or staying​ ​with​ ​me​ ​and​ ​my​ ​partner​ ​in​ ​the​ ​OR?


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