QUESTIONS FOR YOUR OB-GYNE/MIDWIFE

*photo from http://obgynmiami.com/obstetrician-in-kendall/

When preparing for your birth, it is important that you’re on the same page as your main healthcare provider (Obstetrician-Gynecologist or Midwife) in terms of philosophies and expectations.

Here are the questions I asked my OB-Gyne during one of our checkup sessions. These questions helped me get to know my OB more – and to manage my expectations (as well as hers) for our upcoming work: which is my birth.

Asking these questions and hearing my OB out was an important process in deciding whether or not we continue our sessions with her.

If you’re eyeing for a natural (unmedicated), normal (vaginal) delivery, these questions might help you. Just remember that the point of asking these is to learn more about your provider, know what to expect on the day of your labor and delivery, and come up with a birth plan with him/her that matches and incorporates all you’ve talked about here should you decide to keep him/her as your primary healthcare provider.

QUESTIONS:

  1. How likely is it that you’ll be there when I give birth? At what stage of labor do you usually come in? If you don’t make it, who will be there?
  2. What forms of pain relief do you recommend?
  3. How many women in your practice give birth without pain relief?
  4. How many women in your practice give birth via c-section?
  5. How often do I see you during labor?
  6. What labor procedures do you do as part of your routine?
  7. What prenatal tests do you ask your patients to take?
  8. Can I eat and/or drink during labor?
  9. Will you allow me to go home from the hospital should my labor slow down?
  10. What is your stand on induced labor? When do you suggest / recommend this? How do you perform this? Which products do you use?
  11. Can I walk during labor?
  12. Can I have the following in the labor room: room temp not chilled/ dim lights/ music on/ all-female birthing team/ minimal number of staff/ doula and husband?
  13. What is your time limit before you perform an emergency CS?
  14. Do you have a time limit for each stage of labor (early/ active/ transition)? If yes, what is your time limit for each stage?
  15. Do you thoroughly follow the UNANG YAKAP protocol of the Department of Health?
  16. How long can I hold it before the umbilical cord is cut?
  17. Will you allow me to give birth in any position I feel at that time?
  18. How long will you allow me to push? Would you allow for a mother-directed push before asking me to push at your cue?
  19. Should I go into emergency CS, how many layers of sutures do you perform? Bikini or vertical incision/cut?
  20. What’s your forceps and vacuum extractor rate? Which one do you use more and why?
  21. How long will you give me for labor from the time my water bag breaks (should it break)?
  22. Which scenarios would make you decide to go for an emergency C-section?
  23. Up to how many weeks are you willing to wait without inducing me should the baby be fine in all the tests we take?
  24. What is your stand on episiotomy? If I would rather tear than get an episiotomy, would that be okay with you?
  25. What is your stand on VBAC (Vaginal Birth After C-Section)? Should I go into emergency c-section and want to try for VBAC on my next child, what would be your conditions?
  26. Why did you become an OB/ midwife?
  27. Did you give birth vaginally or through a c-section? Why?
  28. Should I do a c-section for this birth, would you be willing to transfer microbiome from my vagina to my baby so that he still receives the first form of immunization?

NOTES:

  • Was not able to ask #27 since my OB has never given birth (yet).
  • Question #26 is important if you are looking for signs. If your OB replies that he or she is fascinated or challenged by surgery for example, then s/he’s probably the type who does not mind doing c-section right away. If you’re trying for a natural, normal delivery, then s/he’s probably not the best OB for you.
  • #19 is important to know because it will determine whether or not you can still try for VBAC on your next pregnancy if ever you want to. Ask for more information from your doctor.

 

 

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4 Comments

  1. Hi mommy Paula! like it that your questions were so detailed. I never asked my OB those questions before. Now that we are planning to get pregnant for my second child (I’m 35 years old) Ive been reading all your blog posts to learn more about normal child birth (btw,I gave birth via c-section) . May I ask if you did all the questioning in just 1 seating or 1 scheduled appointment. You’re OB must have been very patient answering all of them 🙂

    1. Hello! Haha yes, thank goodness she was VERY patient. It may not be a common practice to ask all these, but in the end, it’s our right to know so we can amanage our expectations and have a chance also to look for someone else should we not be in the same page as our chosen health care provider.

      I asked most of it in one session, then would just have follow-up questions from time to time. 🙂

  2. Hey Paula,
    Want to hear your thoughts on episiotomy vs. tearing?
    Of course I hear there are some ladies who do not tear and this is my wish! But I’ve seen videos where episiotomy was done and it looks so unnatural! But the argument is it’s better to cut then let it tear in all directions which will be harder to stitch. What is your stand on this?

    1. Hi. In my birth plan, I actually stated that I would rather tear than get an episiotomy, so that pretty much says a lot about my stand already. 🙂

      However, I must mention that I have also prepared for my tear by doing the following:

      1. Perineum Massage a month and a half prior my 37th week (5 minutes everyday)
      2. Better positions during labor and delivery (not lying down but doing positions where there’s gravity – I gave birth on all fours)

      The result? I tore, and according to my doctor, my lacerations reached 2nd degree, which she said was actually good as many of her patients (who even get episiotomy) reach 3rd or 4th degree. The perineum massage and my position really helped, she said!

      She didn’t mention having a hard time stitching me up, so am not sure about that one. But the tear will heal, so I’m not worried at all.

      Hope this answer helps!:)

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