Questions to Ask Your Care Provider
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.
- What is your philosophy on natural birth?
- What do you think of women who want to give birth without any intervention?
- What can you do/recommend to help me have as low intervention a birth a possible?
- 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?
- What percentage of your own patients births do you attend?
- Will you be away for any period of time around my due date?
- What are your routine procedures/interventions?
- What percentage of your patients have natural birth? Epidural birth? Cesarean birth? Induced birth? vacuum/forceps birth? Episiotomy?
- Do you know anything about Hypnosis-based birth?
- Are you willing to have a conversation with me about what I will need to support me in having a hypnosis-based birth?
- Under what conditions do you recommend having an amniocentesis or ultrasound?
- Do you tend to lean more towards “management of labor” or “mother directed birth”.
- How much of my labor will you attend?
- What is your view on doulas?
- 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.
- I may request that non-urgent medical providers be restricted. Do you support that?
- 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?
- Under what circumstances will you want to induce or augment my labor?
- What percentage of your patients receive pitocin to stimulate labor?
- What are your thoughts on artificial rupture of membranes?
- 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?
- When do you routinely suggest induction for reasons related to due dates?
- I will want to give birth in my position of choice. Will you support that?
- I will want to decline vaginal exams unless if I have a medical decision to make based on that information. Will you support that?
- 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.
- How do you feel about me declining some of the newborn procedures?
- Will you support me in delaying procedures?
- What’s your opinion about circumcision?
- How do you handle complications in labor such as “failure to progress.”
- 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?
- Do you do VBACs?
- 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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