Many pregnant women are pretty happy with their obstetrician- until it comes to giving birth. Once it’s getting to the “birth talk” around 36 weeks some obstetricians show a very different side to what the mom-to-be had in mind for her birth experience. Starting from the right time for induction to discussing the position how the mother prefers to give birth – make sure to ask your obstetrician or midwife early on in pregnancy what you would like to know.
Here are 5 important questions to ask:
What is your c-section rate? What is the hospitals c-section rate?
The average c-section rate in the US is 30%; some doctors in NY go up to 47%. Ask your OB/midwife what their number is and why.
Will you be attending my birth? If not, how many colleagues are in your team and will I meet them during my pregnancy?
Most OB’s and midwifes work in teams of 4-6. One of the doctors in the team will be actually at the birth; most likely it won’t be your own OB. However, some work as a solo practitioners. If it’s important to you to have constant support during your birth by someone familiar consider hiring a Birth Doula.
Am I allowed to eat and drink during labor?
Most hospitals don’t allow a mother in labor to eat or drink. However, some OB’s are more relaxed about it.
What comfort measures besides the epidural (PDA) do you recommend?
While the epidural is the standard pain medication many OB’s also recommend other comfort measures like moving around, massage or aroma therapy.
At what point do you usually induce labor? How much over my due date can I go?
Some OB’s recommend an induction on the actual expected due date while others let you go up to 10 days over. Make sure you feel comfortable with your OB’s protocol and practices.
If those questions are not answered with patience and consideration during your regular visit make another appointment to only discuss these topics or consider changing your care provider. After all, you should feel comfortable with your birth team.